What can I do if my ex-wife signed my signature to sell our jointly owned vehicle without my consent?

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What can I do if my ex-wife signed my signature to sell our jointly owned vehicle without my consent?

Our divorce was final 3 months ago. I didn’t ask for anything and never went before the judge to fight for anything. I asked the police about this and they said it would be civil. What’s the bottom line if I file a police report?

Asked on November 4, 2015 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Filing a police report is irrelevant: it's not a crime when an owner sells a car. While her signing your signature does technically make it a crime, clearly the police do not want to help; filing a police report also will not help you get the car back, and your ex-wife is unlikely to suffer any serious punishment.
You also can't get the car back from the buyer, because someone who bought it in good faith, for fair value, from someone who had or reasonably seemed to have the authority (and under these circumstances, she unquestionably seemed to have authority) to sell the car is an innocent third party who did nothing wrong and cannot be made to give up the thing he bought.
All you can do is sue your ex-wife to get from her your share of the car: e.g. if she sold the car for $8,000 (and assuming there was no loan to pay off), you should get $4,000 of that.


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