About 11 months ago. I took over the payments on my sister's car because she wanted to get a new one and they wouldn't let her have two car loans. So instead of trading this in she let me take over the payments And bought a new car in her husband's name. I'm making the payments but it's still in her name. It's been almost a year and now she's telling me she wants it back. Do I have a leg to stand on here? Can I do anything about it? She's telling me. If I don't bring it back by 4 today, she's going to call the police. What do I do?

  • 3
    Talk to a lawyer. If the insurance is in your name for your address, and you've got receipts showing you were paying for it, maybe you can get a judge to force the deed into your name. And how in the hell didn't you see this coming?
    – RonJohn
    Feb 6, 2020 at 17:31
  • 1
    I'm talking about years of experience with her.
    – RonJohn
    Feb 6, 2020 at 17:35
  • 2
    It's hard to answer "what do I do" questions. What outcome would you like? What are your goals in this?
    – dwizum
    Feb 6, 2020 at 18:31
  • 2
    Also - can you clarify here: you made 11 months worth of payments, and you had use of the car for those 11 months, right? To me, that sounds like a fair deal. Why not give that one back (she owns it anyways), be happy that you had the opportunity to "rent" it for 11 months, and if you need a car, get your own?
    – dwizum
    Feb 6, 2020 at 18:36
  • 1
    I wasn't renting it. I took over the payments because she bought another car and couldn't afford both. So I was actually buying it.
    – Larry
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:06

1 Answer 1


If I was you I would document everything and return the car. The car is in her name so she owns it. She can easily say that you were making the payments out of good will. In the end, you are really not that bad off if it ends there. Cars depreciate in value, and long term rental would have cost you about double that payment.

If you have some documentation that proves that this was a "take over payment" situation, such as texts, emails, etc... I would seek relief from a small claims court. I would sue for the amount of the payments 11*290 or 3,190. This is well within the limits of most small claims courts. You may want to do some research to see how easy it is for you to collect on a judgement, as in some jurisdictions it is very difficult to collect. In general most judges will not look favorably on your sister for her actions.

In the future it is best to avoid these kinds of situations. You should have bought the car from her, obtained a loan on your own, and licensed the car in your name. It might have cost you some money in sales tax, but that is okay and a small price to pay to avoid this negative situation. The relationship is probably ruined, for life, with your sister.

I don't feel that this warrants hiring a lawyer as there is just not enough money involved to justify doing so. Small claims court, maybe, if there is the possibility of collection in your jurisdiction.

  • 3
    Suing for all of the payments might be a tough ask, since it did come with the benefit of using the car for the period. But "split the difference" sounds like a reasonable offer in small claims court. Who paid for repairs and insurance? That's also likely to matter.
    – MSalters
    Feb 6, 2020 at 22:43
  • I paid for everything. The car payment insurance the repairs because I was buying the car from her. But now she wants it back and I believe it's because she can't afford the other car she has cuz it's like $500 more a month than this one is
    – Larry
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:08
  • 1
    If my sister threadened me to call the police, the relationship was already ruined. Then a small claims court wouldn't do much to worsen it.
    – glglgl
    Feb 8, 2020 at 8:03
  • Totally agree with you there. I'm done with her
    – Larry
    Feb 8, 2020 at 17:57

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.