If a person buys you a mobile home and a truck and both are in your name, can they come back and demand payment for them?

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If a person buys you a mobile home and a truck and both are in your name, can they come back and demand payment for them?

A man bought me a double wide trailer and a truck and only my name is on the

title, now he is trying to tell me I need to pay him for it. I will not because it was a gift to me. He said he will get a lawyer. What can happen?

Asked on October 3, 2016 under Business Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Legally, if these things were gifted to you--that is, if they were gifts at the time  they were given--you do not have to pay this person: a gift once given is yours without any obligation to pay for it. Someone cannot after the fact make you pay for a gift.
Practically, if there is nothing in writing showing that these things were gifts and if he is prepared to lie in court, he may be able convince a court they were not gifts--that rather, for example, he was lending you the cost of these items with the intent (and your agreement, even if only an oral, or unwritten, agreement) that you repay him. It depends upon who is more credible, or believable, and also whether the surrounding facts or circumstances suggest that this was a loan, not a gift. 
Of course, if you have anything in writing from him, even something as informal as a text message, that these were gifts, that will substantially under his ability to claim these were not gifts; similarly, if there were other witnesses who can testify that they heard him give you these things as gifts, that will significantly hurt is ability to claim to the contrary.
In any event, if you do not voluntarily pay him, the only way he could get money from you would be to sue you and prove in court that these were not gifts.


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