Co-borrower of a car loan, if I pay the loan off because the loan is in default do I become the sole owner?

Asked about 4 years ago - Concord, NH

I am co-borrower on a car loan. The person who is to make the payment is not. I just received notice that the loan is 100 days past due, which is now affecting my credit. If I pay the remaining balance due because the borrower is in default, do I become the sole owner of the vehicle in question?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Ronald Lee Burdge

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . In most states, the answer would be no. You have the right to make payments but ownership of the car depends entirely on whose name is on the car title. Cosigning the loan does not give you any ownership right in the vehicle itself, unless you name is put on the car title as a co-owner. However, it may well be that the loan company may be willing to repo the car and turn it over to you if you make the payments, but they likely will only do that if you are already on the title as a co-owner. Otherwise, even if they gave you the vehicle, you still wouldn't have any right to possess or use it, let alone actually get to own it. All of this can be confusing. To find out what all this means to you, your situation, and in your state, you really need to talk to a local Consumer Law attorney who deals with this kind of case to find out for sure how the law works in your state. Call your local attorney's Bar Association and ask for a referral to a Consumer Law attorney near you or you can go to this web site page for a Free Online 50 State National List of Consumer Law Lawyers (http://www.ohiolemonlaw.com/ocll-site/ocll-loca...) and find one near you (lawyers don’t pay to get listed here and most of them are members of the only national association for Consumer Law lawyers, NACA.net). But act quickly because for every legal right you have, there is only a limited amount of time to actually file a lawsuit in court or your rights expire (it's called the statute of limitations), so don't waste your time getting to a Consumer Law attorney and finding out what your rights are. If this answer was helpful, please give a thumbs up below. Ron Burdge, www.BurdgeLaw.com

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