Can you be held legally responsible if someone parks an automobile on your property and their auto loan is in default?

UPDATED: Jul 12, 2010

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Can you be held legally responsible if someone parks an automobile on your property and their auto loan is in default?

Trying to avoid repossession.

Asked on July 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Do you own the car? Are you a cosignor on the loan? Or a guarantor of it? If the answer to these questions is "no," then you cannot be held liable for the debt or payments due on the car. However, it is possible that if you interfere with legal attempts to repossess the car, you may incur some liability for that. You also want to avoid any confrontations with anyone sent to repossess it, since that situation can easily escalate and result in violence or property damage. Since you have no right to prevent repossession--i.e. people cannot avoid repossession simply by where they park their car--you are best served by staying out of the matter entirely. Ask your friend or neighbor to get the car off your property; if they won't, and someone comes to get it, it's fine for you to take down all the relevant information and provide it to the car's owner so they can take action if appropriate, but you are under no obligation to "defend" the car.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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