What to do if I want to let my ex keep the car that I helped to finance for him but also want to protect myself so that he doesn’t default on the loan, etc.?

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What to do if I want to let my ex keep the car that I helped to finance for him but also want to protect myself so that he doesn’t default on the loan, etc.?

I financed a car for my boyfriend, who makes the payments on it. If he had financed it, his payment would have been almost double. We are no longer together but he still would like to drive the ehicle, otherwise he will not have a car. I have no problem with that but I would like him to still make the payments, keep insurance on it, pay for gas, maintenance, repairs, etc., and pay everything on time. Then, when the car is fully paid off, I will transfer the title to it. I would like to come up with a contract that states he will adhere to this. Is that possible since I still have a lien on the vehicle or will I just have to trust him to make the payments, etc. if I allow him to continue to drive it?

Asked on June 13, 2019 under Business Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

You can draft an agreement which states that he has use of the car in exchange for paying all costs (define them in the agreement) and that, if and when the vehicle is fully paid off, you will transfer title to him.Until that happens, you are responsible for the car: if the monthl payments are not made, you can be sued by the bank (or whomever provided the financing); if he is in an accident or DUI, you can be held liable (e.g. sued) as the car's owner; etc. You cannot escape your responsibilities for the car, so you have some risks until the car is paid off and you can transfer it to him, but you can certainly have an agreement that he only gets to use the car as long as he pays, and as an incentive, that he gets the car when fully paid off. The agrement should state that if he fails to pay the financing or insurance, causes any damage to the car which he does not pay to fix, or is in an accident, that he is fully liable for all costs you incur or amounts you have to pay; and that also if he fails to pay any amounts he is required to pay under the agrement, he loses his right to use the car and you may take it back from him.


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