What can I do if I bought a vehicle under my name for my mother who promised to make the paymentsbut she has stopped?

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What can I do if I bought a vehicle under my name for my mother who promised to make the paymentsbut she has stopped?

I was only 20 and extremely naive. I am 24 now, ( probably still a bit naive), and it has come to my attention the car has been impounded and she has stopped paying. The car lot that did the in house financing has it well documented that while i was the “owner”, she was the one they would contact for monthly payments. Do i have a chance in a small claims court. I don’t want damages for her ruining my credit, I just want it payed off.

Asked on June 26, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Virginia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't matter whether your mother was supposed to make the payments; all that matters is who was on the loan or financing. If you were the one responsible under the financing arrangement, then you are the one who could be sued by the lender and also the one who's credit is at stake.

If you and your mother had an agreement that she would pay you for the car or make the car payments in exchange for its use, you should be able to use her under that agreement for the money she owes. However, you will have to sue her to get it; and if it was an oral or verbal agreement, note that it may be difficult to prove if she denies its existnece. In the meantime, though, the lender will likely be going after you, unfortunately. If you want to preserve your credit, you may wish to pay the loan, etc. off--or work out a deal with the lender to do so--while you are suing your mother.


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