Lincoln, NE asked in Civil Litigation and Contracts for Nebraska

Q: I have money and my girlfriend doesn't. She wants a new car.

She wants a new BMW. I can pay cash for it. What is the best possible way to protect my assets in case our relationship fails or she's crashes the car and kills someone? Should I title it in her name and just put a lien on it or can I leave it in my name. I plan on giving her a "personal loan" of 1,000 a month for 30 months until she pays me back for the vehicle.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Julie Fowler
Julie Fowler
  • Omaha, NE
  • Licensed in Nebraska

A: There are a number of options. One commonly used method is to offer a vehicle loan and have the vehicle as the secured collateral for the loan. You need to file the same requirements as to registering your loan and the paperwork as do other secured lenders. You would be subject to the same requirements before you could repossess the vehicle for non-payment, etc. You might also have tax consequences for income that you received as part of the agreement. You would likely need to retain an attorney to have confidence that you completed the secured transaction correctly. If you want the protections of the legal formalities then you need to follow all the legal formalities correctly. If you do not follow the legal formalities, you may get into a dispute if there is vehicular liability or if the friend later argues that the loan was actually a gift or part gift.

There is a saying about never loaning a friend more money than you are willing to part with.

Tim Akpinar agrees with this answer

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
  • Little Neck, NY

A: Based on your assets, you should also consider a thorough discussion with your insurance broker to evaluate policy coverages and limits. Good luck

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