If I loaned a person funds to buy a car but he stopped making payments, can I repossess the car?

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If I loaned a person funds to buy a car but he stopped making payments, can I repossess the car?

They signed a promissory note which is notarized. There is also a loan from a bank for the other half. He is paying them. He did not put me on the title like I asked him to.

Asked on January 21, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are not on the title and not on the loan, then you have no security interest in this vehicle and your promissory note will not trump a lienholder listed on the title, the title which is registered with the state's department of motor vehicles. The bank is the only one who has right at this point to repossess the vehicle. What you have is an unsecured loan, even if it is in the form of a promissory note. You need to see if you can try to get in a second lien holder position and file for an amended title if the promissory note is sufficient by the state. Otherwise, you will need to sue.


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