Is it legal for a bank to not give you a copy of the front of your car title after it has been paid off because you owe money on a credit card?

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Is it legal for a bank to not give you a copy of the front of your car title after it has been paid off because you owe money on a credit card?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking the answer to your question is "No."  If you paid the contractually agreed price in full, then they are required to produce a title.  They cannot hold it hostage for a different agreement on a different account.  This is considered a unilateral (one-sided) change in the contract which is an impermissible modification.  You may want to consider filing a complaint with the Texas Attorney General or the Texas Transportation Department.  Both offer online guides on how to file a complaint.  Another option is to hire an attorney to send a simple DTPA letter (Deceptive Trade Practice Act).  Most won't charge you much for a simple letter and can act a bit more quickly than a government agency.  The exception to your answer would be if your finance agreement did have a provision that authorized the bank to withhold a title transfer for non-payment on the credit card account complained of.  You may have other restrictions or options in addition to the ones listed about.  Considering having an attorney review your finance agreement at a legal aid clinic or at a free consultation with an attorney.


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