What is my recourse for collecting on a non-payment if all I have is the title to a vehicle as collateral but it was not signed over to me?

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What is my recourse for collecting on a non-payment if all I have is the title to a vehicle as collateral but it was not signed over to me?

We had a customer leave without paying a bill over $1,000. It has now been a week since the payment deadline. Upon leaving he gave us the title to his vehicle which is in a local shop but we were absentminded in getting it signed over to us so it’s useless. I also found out he owed the shop $700 for repairs. Do I have any recourse in this matter? Can I get a judge to transfer the title to me without the owner being present? What happens with the $700 debt on the vehicle? Aside from getting the vehicle title transferred can I get a warrant for his arrest in case I’m able to track him down?

Asked on January 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Georgia

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you made loan to a person where the security for the loan is the car's registration, but title has not been placed in your name and the borrower is in default, you can foreclose on the security via a process with your state's department of motor vehicles.

There is a process that you can look online to see what needs to be done to foreclose on the security if that is what you want to do. If you do not have the vehicle in your possession, you might want to waive the security and simply sue the borrower for a money judgment. Having a money judgment might be the better course to go. Where if you get a judgment, you can levy upon the borrower's assets that are not exempt from the levy process.

It seems a lot easier than trying to track down the location of the security if you do not have possession of it.


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