What to do about a jeep that is under my name but that another has not kept up payments on?

Almost 4 years ago, I let my brother take over payments on a jeep that is under my name. He was making the payments faithfully but he passed away 3 months ago. His wife was supposed to keep up with the payments but she hasn’t made a payment yet. She also doesn’t have insurance on the jeep and she is driving it without insurance. Does she have any rights to the jeep? I want to have it picked up by the bank but I don’t want any problems with the law.

Asked on June 9, 2017 under Business Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, if the jeep is still titled in your name, it is your jep--your deceased brother, his estate, and his widow do not have any rights to it simply because he had been making payments. Without some sort of lease or rent-to-own agreement with him, you cannot pursue his estate for any missed payments, but you can do what you want with the jeep. (Note: even if you'd had an agreement with him, his death and/or the recent missed payment would have terminated it, so while you might be able to seek money due under it, if you wanted, you'd still be able to take the jeep back and do with it as you will.)

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