What can I do about someone keeping a check that’s supposed to be mine?

UPDATED: May 22, 2012

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What can I do about someone keeping a check that’s supposed to be mine?

I was purchasing a vehicle from a family member; the title and insurance was in her name. I got hit and got a check from the at-fault driver’s insurer. The check was still in her name and she took the whole check and told me I could not even get the down payment that I gave to her back. Is there anything at all I can do to fight this?

Asked on May 22, 2012 under Insurance Law, Georgia


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Do you have a written contract for the purchase of the vehicle or is it only a verbal agreement? I fear that it is only verbal.  One issue becomes proving that the contract exists but the problem is that ownership is not vested in you and the insurance company had to pay her.  You are going to have to sue her for "breach" of the agreement and to ask for the down payment back.  Or in the alternative ask that she repair the veihicle.  It is insurance fraud if she does not.  Try that approach but do so tactfully.  Good luck. 

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