What are my options legally to get car title in my name if I still owe the lienholder?

UPDATED: Feb 15, 2012

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What are my options legally to get car title in my name if I still owe the lienholder?

My grandfather bought the car and I agreed to make payments to him. I am unable to continue making payments and he’s a lienholder on the title with it in my name. If I return the car to him does he have any liability to return the money I’ve paid in payments since he won’t release the lien until I’ve paid the balance in full?

Asked on February 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you cannot continue making payments on a vehicle where your grandfather is the lien holder on it, you legally are not entitled to title in your name until you pay the loan in full. If you return the car to your grandfather, he could write off the loan or sell the car and seek the balance owed on the loan from you that may exceed what is owed on the loan.

I suggest that you work with your grandfather in trying to get the loan you are obligated on paid off in full so you get legal title to the car. If you return the car to your grandfather he has no obligation to return any money that you paid him for it.

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