Help. I need any advice I can get. I helped a friend who was in a bad situation. We had known each other for over 30 years. I got her out of the situation and was letting her live in my home for free until she got up on her feet. I cosigned for her a car but they ended up making me the primary buyer. When I told her that her bad situation could not move in, she ended up leaving while I was at work one day. Changed her number so the only way I could contact her was by email. I'm in Florida and I think she's on the other side of the country. But I'm not sure. She made the payment for almost a year but stopped two months ago so now I'm having to make up for the payment. Since I am primary, is there anything I can do to get the car. My name is on the registration along with hers. She won't reply to the emails anymore. Someone please help me with any information. How can I find her and can I make her give the car back?
Being the primary on the loan does not change your situation. If you were the cosigner, you would be obligated to pay once the primary failed to make payment which is the situation you are in now.
If she was not on the registration, you could report the car stolen. But as you indicate (from a registration perspective) she owns the car equally.
You could stop making the payments as well. This will likely cause a reposition of the car and will hurt your credit and standing with the lender. Depending on your financial situation you may also be sued.
Or you can continue to make the payments and gift this "friend" a car.
If it was me, I'd get this loan paid off as quickly as possible. I would work with the lender to possibly make a new loan that did not have the car as collateral even if it meant having to pay a higher interest rate. I would use a local bank or credit union if the current lender was not willing to negotiate. The next step would be to get my name off the title as quickly as possible.
Why? Well if she racks up unpaid E-Pass tolls, red light tickets, parking tickets, etc... you may be held responsible for paying those as well. In Florida that is exactly what happens.
When you cosigned/bought a car for this person with a loan you tied yourself to her for the life of the loan. Getting rid of that loan is the key to being rid of her crazy.
I bet she would be happy to contact you if she knew you were willing to give her the car with no further obligation. Get off the title and never make this mistake again.
If you don't want your credit ruined you need to pay that off no matter who is primary.