Howdo Igo about protecting my credit on a gifted car?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Howdo Igo about protecting my credit on a gifted car?

I live in AZ. I gifted a car to my son and his wife in FL because they could not qualify for a loan. Verbal agreement with them was as long as they made the payments they could keep the car. If payments became late or stopped I would sell the car. Since then, they are now divorcing, son is incarcerated, wife took the car to CA. She does not want to make the payments or give the car back saying it is community property. I’m the only one on title and son is on registration so they could handle registering car in FL without me having to fly there. What are my options?

Asked on June 25, 2011 under Family Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You need to speak with an attorney about this, because the situation is more complex than you seem to be aware; to begin with, if you had the right to take the car back and/or sell it, it was not a gift, since a gift is no revocable. Instead, you basically gave them a "lease to own" on a car which was owned by you, where if they made their monthly payments, they would, at the end, presumbably have been given title.

As a general matter, if you are the one on the loan or financing, if payments aren't made, it will be your credit hurt and you who are sued--it doesn't matter what arrangments you had with your son and his wife, all that matters is the terms of the loan. However, if the car was not a gift, you should have the right to sue the wife for its return: the agreement was that they had to pay to keep the car, and they stopped paying, breaching the contract. You may also be able to sue for other compensation, too.

Your best bet may be to continue the payments, to protect your credit, while taking legal action against the wife; but again, this is a complicated situation, and you need to consult with an attorney who can evaluate it in detail and advise you.


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 AttorneyPages.com 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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption