If my stepdad bought a car for me as a gift but after I got married he wanted me to take on the payments, am I legally obligated to pay for this car?

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If my stepdad bought a car for me as a gift but after I got married he wanted me to take on the payments, am I legally obligated to pay for this car?

I don’t think this is fair because I’m paying off someone else’s car loan and I have no rights to the car. He refused to sell it before I moved and I am now stuck with it. What options do I have to get rid of the car?

Asked on June 27, 2015 under Business Law, Hawaii

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Fair or not, if he voluntarily made payments for you, he is not obligated to continue paying it. If the car is titled in your name, you may wish to sell it, or see if the dealer will take it in trade for a much less expensive car which you can better afford, etc.

But if the car is titled in his name--i.e. if that's what you mean by "I have no legal rights to the car"--you don't have to do anything: he can't make you pay for it unless you choose to (since there was no agreement in place that you would pay) and if he fails to pay for it, it's *his* car that will be repossessed and his credit damaged. Being titled in his name, and if the payments also are in his name, means that you have no legal obligations.


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