What to do if I borrowed a car from a friend with a lien on it but now she is trying to call it in stolen?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What to do if I borrowed a car from a friend with a lien on it but now she is trying to call it in stolen?

My friend told me that I could have her truck as long as I needed to use it. Everytime she gets upset she tells me that she is calling it in stolen. My concerns are that the vehicle has a lien on it for 2 years now. Can she call it in stolen to the police when she gave me permission to have it whenever or would she have to go through the repo company?

Asked on June 24, 2017 under Business Law, Wisconsin


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Return the truck. When somone lets you borrow something, you can only borrow it as long as she lets you--at any time, she can say "enough; give it back," and she can do that if you and she get into an argument. If you don't return someone's property when they ask you to, technically, it is stolen. I say "technically" because most police would recognize this as an argument between friends and not consider it criminal...but they could. If she reached the right officer in the right mood with the right plea or claim or story, you could face theft charges. Don't risk it: return the truck, especially since you don't have any right to it anyway.

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