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Can scrapping a car with a title loan on it put me in jail?

Chicago, IL |
Filed under: Car loan

I had a car with a title loan and the engine blew. I haven't paid In 4 months and even told the company to come and get the car. After weeks of my in-laws whom I live with demanding I got it out of there I scrapped it. I didn't even think about the fact the title loan company has a lien on the title and now I'm worried. I know either way I owe the money but can I be arrested for this? I had to sign a paper from the scrap company saying I scrapped the car so I'm thinking now when that paper gets down state the lein will pop up and I'll be ib hot water. Can anyone give me more info? I'm very, very scared right now as I've heard it may be considered theft. Thanks for any help.

Attorney Answers 3


As you mentioned, you know you owe the money. Just pay the loan and you will be fine.

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A title lien on a junk car is worth exactly as much as the junk car. I'm really surprised that the scrapyard took the vehicle. They're supposed to do title searches beforehand. However, for you, the bottom line is that you still owe the money and you haven't stolen anything. Just keep paying on schedule and you'll be just fine. One day, you'll even get a title release form in the mail from the lender. You can frame it as a memento or just stuff it in a drawer. Good luck.

Please be sure to mark the best answer to your question. My answers are general and do not form an attorney-client relationship. I'm happy to talk to prospective clients in my areas of concentration and geographical location.

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No, you have not "stolen" the car, you have sold it. I am also surprised the scrapyard took it without a title, which presumably the loan company currently has in their possession. The lien is now worthless as is the title, but your credit is of value. Keep paying if you can. In fact, pay the balance if you can to clear the issue and avoid interest. Title loans are among the highest of interest rates.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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