Saint George, UT asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Civil Rights and Collections for Utah

Q: Hi i have a question i was on a auto loan with a cosiginer an i was making monthly payment then they paid it off

Hi i have a question i was on a auto loan with a cosiginer an i was making monthly payment then they paid it off and demand that i paid them back an i was making payments but not very much and theres no contract that he created for me to sing to show that I would pay him back, then he went an stole the vehicle from my apartment. Am I able to sue for the money that I put on the loan?

1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore
  • Spanish Fork, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: First, it sounds as if the only agreement you signed is the one you both co-signed for the purchase of the car. The normal expectation is that you have the right to continue to pay the car loan on time until it is paid off. If you failed to do so, and the co-signer had to step in to save the payments, that is unusual and affects your rights to the car.

As you correctly noted, contracts make financial relationships more clear. As you haven't agreed to give him the car if you failed to pay, he doesn't have immediate legal right to take it. At most, your co-signer needs to sue you, win the case, and then get permission from the court to seize your assets, like the vehicle.

If your name is on the title, it is your car, and they can't change it. If they refuse to return it, you can call the police and show them a copy of the title. The police will normally help you obtain your own property.

Keep in mind, if you get sued and lose, you may end up paying more than is currently owed to your lender due to court fees and costs. If he is successful, you will also lose the car.

If you don't have the money to pay him what you owe, handing over the car may be a good option, but the co-signer/lender still owes you some money.

If that is your situation, you may want to prepare a specific amount you want to agree on, and then have a simple agreement prepared that states that you are giving up ownership of the car in exchange for the payment.

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