What are a co signers rights to a car?

UPDATED: Aug 25, 2011

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What are a co signers rights to a car?

I am a co-signer on a vehicle loan. I was late on a payment and the other signer took the vehicle from me and is now allowing someone not on the loan agreement make the monthly payments on the car to purchase it when it is paid off. What are my rights?

Asked on August 25, 2011 Tennessee


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you were the primary borrower and someone co-signed on the car, that person is acting as surety on the vehicle to ensure the car loan is paid and on time. If you are the primary borrower and not paying on time, the late payments will impact the co-signer's credit report and rating. Now, if this a co-borrower, in that you are both on the title, then you have just as much right to the vehicle as the person. If the person took the vehicle from you and is not on the title, then theoretically that person has no right to do that and it can be considered conversion or theft or both, depending on the jurisdiction in which you reside. Review your paperwork and see what your rights are. If you are on the title, when the other person who is making payments and wants to purchase it tries to register the vehicle, he or she may not be able to without your signature on the pink slip. In other words, no clean and clear title, no registration.

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