I financed a vehicle for my ex & he has been late on payments, we have a notarized agreement that he's defaulting. what can i do

I have a notarized agreement that states he is responsible for the payment, insurance,registration, maintenance & upkeep of the vehicle as well as any tickets that may arise. It states that if he defaults on any of these he is subject to suit & liability and the debt owed through me...I drew this up @ the dealership and we both went and got it notarized. I am responsible for the loan to the creditors, However he is responsible to me. I can't handle the note but i don't want it to affect my credit anymore than it has. He has this "what do you want me to do attitude" what are my options?

San Leandro, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Scott Richard Kaufman

Scott Richard Kaufman

Lemon Law Attorney - Los Altos, CA
Answered

If there is equity in the car, sell it now before the dealer repossesses it and then sues you for any deficiency, which could damage your credit further than he already has by failing to pay on the loan. Hopefully, the loan is with the dealer and not with a third party like Wells Fargo...

James Michael Slominski

James Michael Slominski

Intellectual Property Law Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

While I have not seen the agreements you signed and cannot give you legal advice in this forum, I may be able to give you some general information that could be helpful.

It sounds like you signed the agreement with the dealership. If so, you are ultimtely the one on the hook.

Your normal remedy against your ex (assuming you mean boyfriend or girlfriend and not spouse) is a lawsuit for breach of contract.

If that person has no money and the car is in your name, you could consider selling it now to limit the amount of your loss. Talk to the finance department at the dealership.

If the dispute is large enough, contact a local lawyer who might work with you on the fees and help you out.

Tara Renee Burd

Tara Renee Burd

Litigation Lawyer - San Diego, CA
Answered

Although I cannot give you legal advice, I agree with the other attorneys, that you may want to immediately sell the vehicle in order to mitigate any further loss to yourself. However, it sounds like you also have a contract with your ex to pay you. Even if you sell the car, he is still liable to you for any damages based upon that contract. If damages are not too high, I would suggest considering small claims court against your Ex. In small claims, you do not need to hire an attorney and the cost to bring the suit is minimal. Even if your ex does not have the money to pay you right now, a successful judgment against him would be good for ten years and is renewable. If you decide your damages are significant enough to bring suit against the Ex, do not delay in bringing the action because you must file suit within the time frame defined by the applicable statute of limitation. An action for a breach of written contract is 4 years. (California Code of Civil Procedure Section 337).

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