What are my rights as a co-owner of a car?

UPDATED: Oct 4, 2011

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UPDATED: Oct 4, 2011Fact Checked

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What are my rights as a co-owner of a car?

I am a co-owner on a car that is paid in full. The other co-owner who paid for the car, wrote up an agreement for me to pay him back monthly for the money he paid for the car. I am the only one who drives the car keeps full coverage insurance on the car and keeps the car maintenance, he pays for nothing. I recently ran into some issue at work and my hours were cut and I was force to move to a cheaper place. As a result I fell behind in the payments and now her wants to take the car away. Both our names are on the registration as “or” can he take the car?

Asked on October 4, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Good question. Since both you and the other registered owner for the vehicle are on title, you both have the rights to use the vehicle. The issue becomes really who is the actual owner for final possession issue of it.

You do pay the insurance, maintenance and other aspects of the vehicle to the exclusion of the other registered owner. You have a written agreement for the pay off of the vehicle to the other registered owner. Does the written agreement state that theother registered owner can simply take back the vehicle in the event that you cannot make the vehicle's payments to him or her? If not, I do not believe that the other co-owner can simply take the vehicle from you.

Good luck. 

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