The vehicle my ex fiance drives has the title under my name only. I have been understanding and cooperative for 10 months now. It's gotten to the point he refuses to cooperate and the last two months I have had to reach out to his mother to pay his part. I have given my ex until the end of this month (March 2020) to find someone to transfer the loan to,but I don't think he will. What legal advice can I be given? Can I have the vehicle towed to my home? There are no spare keys, and his name is on the auto insurance we have together. Does that affect anything? I just want to be off of everything with him and need to move on... please help

  • 11
    Is there a loan on the car or is he just refusing to pay his part of the insurance?
    – Nosjack
    Mar 27, 2020 at 18:50
  • 7
    This is really a question for the Law site.
    – jamesqf
    Mar 28, 2020 at 3:31
  • If the title is under your name only, then the loan must be too. Are you paying for the insurance? Mar 28, 2020 at 4:07
  • 8
    What is your goal? "title out of my name" suggests to me that you want no part of the car. The answers are assuming that you want to take possession of the car (which could allow you to sell it and no longer have any responsibility for the car). Can you talk to the title holder and say "I'm done - you can deal with him alone"?
    – Teepeemm
    Mar 28, 2020 at 19:14

3 Answers 3


You go down to the police station where he lives and tell them you are repossessing a vehicle you own. Make sure they have a copy of the title and whatever useful information you can find (loan/receipt).

They will then either tell you to go find vehicle and call them or they will follow up where he lives and get the car handed over to you.

If the police act too busy to cooperate you notify your ex that you would like the car back within a reasonable amount of time (2-3 days). You tell your ex (and his mom) if you do not get the car back you are reporting it stolen. It is better if this is done with proof. A direct text message works. If your ex does not answer or accept your texts then certified mail with photocopies of what you sent.

You then go down to police station and file a stolen vehicle report (this is what you are doing in the first scenario but informally). This will force police to follow up on it.

To be clear you want the first scenario as giving notice to your ex is giving them time to hide the car or possibly damage it.

I would not have it towed to your house. You are then in a game of he said she said - cat and mouse. He has the keys. The keys are your property. By not cancelling your agreement more formally you are allowing him to take the car again. If he does not hand over the keys (most police will force him to), you then have the police write up a theft charge on him.

(I worked for a used car dealership and was a "make it happen guy" and courier during my teen years)

  • 1
    I think technically it isn't theft but conversion. Mar 29, 2020 at 1:16
  • 2
    The ex has been paying off the car for the last 10 months. Which makes the solution proposed here a lot more messy, because if you take the car back (to sell, or keep) then what's he going to get for the payments he's made towards it? He might come after you for that. I can't think of any way out of this without speaking with a lawyer.
    – acestar
    Mar 30, 2020 at 2:38
  • 1
    @acestar - his option is to keep paying or default. If you have a loan through a bank you don't get money back from them if you default on the loan after 2 years based on money you have already put in. There is absolutely no need for a lawyer either which in general is bad advice for anything in this amount of money. Even if the ex was entitled to money - he's not - a lawyer would cost more than she would owe (he isn't owed anything). We have to really quit with the lawyer speak.
    – blankip
    Mar 30, 2020 at 2:51
  • But it doesn't sound like he's "defaulted". He's still paying.
    – acestar
    Mar 30, 2020 at 3:37
  • @acestar - he doesn't have a contract with her. She has zero recourse if he does something to the car. He has her car, it doesn't matter what he has paid. If it means anything at all it is a civil matter that will amount to nothing.
    – blankip
    Mar 30, 2020 at 6:20

An alternative to involving the police...though if this isn't an option, please involve the police.

If he lives with his mother and she is understanding, there's nothing wrong (read: illegal) by swinging by their house while he's out, her letting you in the house, and her giving you the keys. Then you get in the car and drive home.

Is your ex on the loan? That might complicate things if they call the cops, but with your name being the only one on the title, they should tell your ex to cut it out and handle this yourselves/via civil court. If it does go to civil court for some reason, it'll likely be an open and shut case.

  • 6
    You might want to try this anyway before going to the police. Having your car stolen might make your insurance go up on the car.
    – corsiKa
    Mar 28, 2020 at 3:32
  • 6
    This only works if the ex leaves behind the keys, and doesn't have one on his keychain.
    – Polygnome
    Mar 28, 2020 at 9:24

Both answers so far seem to have overlooked that your ex-fiance has been paying for some or all of the car, even though you are the only one on the title.

Ask him to propose a plan for him to take full ownership of the car and its loan. Make sure that he understands that you no longer want to share the car. You would like him to take full responsibility or give it back to you.

If you end up taking it back, you should repay him for some of his investment in the car, assuming the value exceeds the loan. It will be hard to calculate this fairly, so it is better to be generous. Presumably you two made an agreement to share ownership of the vehicle. You are unilaterally withdrawing from an agreement, and it is not fair to place all the costs of your withdrawal on the other party.

If reimbursing him for his investment will be hard for you to do, then work to find a compromise if he finds your timeframe difficult.

I hope that you can find a solution together.

  • 14
    Unfortunately you can't just wave a magic wand and transfer a LOAN. The lender is perfectly happy with OP being liable for it since OP is reliable and has good credit to lose. Why would the lender exit that position and entrust payback to some flake? The only way this works is for OP to sell the ex the car, with the ex securing independent financing. That is probably impossible because the ex probably has bad credit, which is why the car/loan is in OP's name. Mar 28, 2020 at 4:11
  • 12
    I disagree that OP should repay his payments on the loan. She should repay the payments on the loan minus fair rental value. Otherwise she's giving him a free rental car for months. Mar 28, 2020 at 21:55
  • 3
    OP will have a much better negotiating position if they physically have the car. Mar 29, 2020 at 1:18
  • 5
    Unfortunately any answer beginning with "Ask him to..." isn't helpful here, as OP has been asking him to already for 10 months with no cooperation. OP wants to know if there's a way out of this without his cooperation. There is, and it involves some sort of legal help, but it isn't one of the other answers either, which you rightly point out fail to take into account that he has been paying the loan even though it's not in his name.
    – acestar
    Mar 30, 2020 at 2:32
  • @CareyGregory I did not say Brianna should "repay his payments." I recommended trying to find an arrangement that is fair, and since fair is difficult to pin down, errs on the side of being generous. OP might be unilaterally withdrawing from an explicit or implicit agreement to own a car together (and more), and having the costs of that breach fall entirely on the other party by converting that arrangement ex post facto to a rental agreement is probably not fair. Maybe lease terms could be considered.
    – Philip
    Mar 30, 2020 at 15:11

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