Tampa, FL asked in Contracts, Banking and Collections for Tennessee

Q: Defaulted on an auto loan, they want to repossess, I have title in hand with no lien holder listed, can they take it?

Former boyfriend purchased a vehicle for me, got into a wreck, insurance paid off the loan, got the exact same vehicle again and bank sent the title for the new vehicle to us, title only shows boyfriends name and shows the new cars VIN number, no lien holder listed, can they still take it?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: If the title to the vehicle is in your former boyfriend's name and does not list a lien holder, this typically means there is no legal claim on the vehicle from the bank, as it usually would be listed if there was an outstanding loan secured by the vehicle. However, if there was an error and the lien was mistakenly not recorded, the bank might still have a claim, especially if there is documentation proving that the loan exists and is tied to the vehicle in question.

It's important to understand that the presence of the title does not necessarily mean that there is no debt owed. If your former boyfriend took out a loan for the new vehicle and it's not yet paid off, the bank could attempt to repossess the vehicle if payments are not being made, despite what is shown on the title. You should consult with legal advice to understand the specifics of your situation, especially since this can be complex and varies by jurisdiction.

To protect yourself and understand your rights and options, gather all relevant documents, including the loan agreement, payment records, and any communication from the bank. It might be a mistake that the lien is not listed on the title, but you should verify whether the loan was indeed fully paid off or if it has been incorrectly marked. Reach out to the bank to clarify the situation and consider seeking legal assistance if there is a dispute over the vehicle's ownership or the existence of a lien.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.