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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 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.


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