Can I sell a car going into repossession if the payments were ordered as alimony?

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Can I sell a car going into repossession if the payments were ordered as alimony?

As alimony I was ordered to make the monthly payments on my ex’s car. The loan is in my name; the title is hers. I recently lost my job and cannot make the payments. Additionally she would rather the car be repossessed rather than make payments herself. Can I sell the car to avoid the repossession?

Asked on April 17, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Making payments, whether voluntarily or by court order, does not make one an owner. The owner is the one to whom the car is titled; only the owner--in this case, your ex-wife--can decide to sell the car. If she is onboard with the plan, then the two of you should be able to work this out and make it happen. If she's not on-board with the plan, you have a problem--if you stop making payments, you'll be in violation of the court order, and therefore potentailly subject to sanctions. If you situation has materially changed for the worse, so you can't make the court-ordered payments, you may be able to petition the court to have the order modifed, or at least put in abeyance until you're back on your economic feet. You should consult with a matrimonial law attorney.


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