What are my rights for payment from my ex-boyfriend on a boat purchase and shopping expeneses for items he took with him when he left?

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What are my rights for payment from my ex-boyfriend on a boat purchase and shopping expeneses for items he took with him when he left?

My boyfriend moved in on 3/2/11, and moved out and left me on 4/13/11. We purchased a boat for $7000 on my credit card on 3/2/11. We are both on the sale contract and title. I can’t afford to keep the boat on my own, want to sell it. He said I can’t unless he signs and won’t help me make payments on it. He also ran my credit cards up approx $3,000 in fishing equipment/rods/reels/lures, all which he took with him and won’t pay me back for them. During the time he was here I paid for everything and he insisted he would eventually help make payments. I am stuck with over 10k in debt.

Asked on April 19, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, for that month you lived together, the court could consider this not a loan and not a purchase for which he considers or you consider a loan, but rather a gift. If you used your credit card for the fishing equipment and accessories, the court could consider and he may use as his affirmative defense that it was a gift from you. Take whatever evidence you have that is to the contrary (to prove it was a loan or he was simply your credit card and intended on paying you back). File this with any court lawsuit as part of your evidence and you should be able to obtain a judgment from him. Once you obtain a judgment, you can garnish his wages, put a lien on property he owes and even freeze his bank account. As to the boat, you might be stuck unless you can get a court order to force him to sign over the property to you or sign off to refinance in only your name. If you are a joint owner, you might be able to wait a sufficient amount of time, consider it abandoned property for him and then sell it. Make sure you go over the legal ramifications because if you cannot sell it and transfer title in your state without both signatures (i.e., a cloud on title remains), you may need to obtain a court order.


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