Taylor, MI asked in Consumer Law for Michigan

Q: If I have title and provenance to a vehicle, but someone has assumed physical possession, how can I get it back?

Bought an old, classic RV. Seller agreed I could leave it in his yard for some time to arrange transport. Agreed to keep my number in case it became a problem. I called in Feb to let him know I still did not know when I could get it. He said it was fine, to call when I could. I again asked him to save my number in case it became a problem. Went to pick it up 2 weeks ago and it was gone. He claimed ignorance and said he thought I had taken it already. I located it with someone "in" it, and called local Sheriff's to ask how to proceed. They investigated, said the "seller" had admitted to giving it away in exchange for some yard work after deciding it was "too long." Though I had title, the Deputy said I would have to go through small claims to get my money back. I do not want money back, but want RV. I have a local tow that will tow it even under these circumstances if I show up with title. What is the best legal way to proceed? Thanks-I know it is weird!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Trent Harris
Trent Harris
  • Jackson, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: You don't have a security agreement with the person who has possession of your RV now, so it appears that you don't have the right to self-help repossession. But if you have a tow company that will do it for you nevertheless, then more power to ya.

That said, you can anticipate that if you try to tow the RV away from the people who have it now, they may not acquiesce to your repossession. Meaning, they may object, and your repossession will not be able to take place without breach of the peace. In that case, you might need to file a claim & delivery suit to get a court order for possession of the vehicle. You could also add a claim for damages, if any were caused by the people who are wrongfully in possession.

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