I went to a Ford dealership and traded in a slightly older truck for a slightly newer one, and financed the rest.

The next day, my fiancée informed me that the title of the old truck is still on a loan she took out a year ago. We still owe $9000 on the loan. (How and why my title is on someone else's loan is a long story, but doesn't matter to the question.)

Now the dealership, of course, wants the title to my old truck. They are not yet willing to say what would happen if I don't produce it.

What are my options if I can't produce a title for a vehicle I just traded in? How does my having financed my truck affect this scenario?

  • not wife ...fiance!
    – josh
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 10:35
  • 24
    get a new fiancee
    – user27010
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 14:43
  • 2
    What country are you in? Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 15:10
  • 3
    Do you have the scenario accurate? I can't imagine someone else getting a loan on something that my name is on without (at LEAST) a notification going to me (and likely I would say it would need my signature). I also can't see how you wouldn't notice that your fiancee suddenly had an extra $9000. Are you sure this isn't an "ex-fiancee"? Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 16:58
  • 2
    who goes to a dealership to trade up slightly on a truck?? same guy who has a title loan on first truck. Guess what? The dealership won't be surprised at all.
    – blankip
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 18:48

3 Answers 3


The old truck is collateral for a loan. The place that made the loan expects that if you can't pay they can repossess that old truck. If you sell it they can't repossess it.

The dealer needs clean title to be able to buy the truck from you, so they can fix up the truck and sell it to somebody else.

I am assuming the the lender has filed paperwork with the state to show their lien on the title.

Your options are three:

  1. Come up with $9,000 to pay off the loan on the old truck.
  2. Borrow $9,000 more from the new car dealer and repay the loan.
  3. Undo the deal on the new truck

As to option 2: If the deal still makes sense the new car dealer can send the $9,000 to the lender that you forgot about. That will of course increase the amount of money you have to borrow.

You will also run into the problem that this loan that you forgot to mention on your credit application may cause them to rethink the decision to loan you the money.

  • 44
    Realistically if you are trading in a truck you haven't finished paying for, you should not be going into more debt. Undo the deal and pay off the existing truck without saddling yourself with debt.
    – enorl76
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 14:19
  • @enorl76 if only more people thought like you..... I know people who are still paying their first car loan... like 4 cars after.. it's important to have the greatest and latest right? who cares about the number of 0's after your "debt owed" number?
    – Patrice
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 14:40
  • 1
    @enorl76 There are exceptions to this. Replacing a large truck with a small car could save you a lot of money per month and give greater flexibility to get out of debt. Generally you're correct though. Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 16:21
  • 4
    @Xalorous What if having a truck is required to move stuff around on josh's farm or something?
    – user12515
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 22:46
  • 1
    For option #2, note how dealers handle negative equity.
    – bishop
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 1:00

If your fiancée took a title loan out on your truck you won't be able to trade it in for another vehicle until you pay the loan. The dealer will likely take your "slightly newer" truck back because you won't be able to produce the title for the trade until the other debt is settled.

Title loans are a terrible idea. You should probably try to pay that loan off as quickly as possible regardless, because interest rates are terrible on these loans.

I will update this answer if you add details about the circumstances of the current loan on your truck.


Check the sale contract for your new car. How much did you get for the trade-in? 2000$? 4000$? Pay that money and get the old truck back.

Or tell them to make a new sale contract, without the trade-in.

If they refuse, threaten to go back on the buying. They risk losing a sale and getting back a new car that has suddenly become second-hand and lost a lot of value.

Or just cancel the buying and get the old truck. As other poster says, you should pay the 9000$ loan first, before getting into more loans. New shiny cars can wait.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .