I lended my exboyfriend (were together for 5 years) money for a car and he's been paying me months (give or take). We recently broke up, the title is in my name, and we almost put the same amount of money into the car (but I've put more). Im still owed money, but he isn't able to pay it. So am i legally able to take the car (of course not trespassing onto his property to do so) and not compensate him for the money he put into the car. Due to the vehicle being depreciated due to his use of the vehicle and i would parallel his use of the vehicle to as if he was renting the vehicle monthly. The idea of getting payments back on a depreciating investment isn't practical in my eyes, bc id be losing money on something i never wanted in the first place. could he sue me and win if i did this?title was in both our names at first but then i changed it due to complications, etc. (see below comments as well for more detailed information)
In my state, IL, you are the owner of that car and can take possession of it. Consult a local attorney before taking action.
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The law has a "presumption of title" based on which it is presumed the party who holds title is the owner. That said, it seems like you and your boyfriend had a more complicated arrangement whereby you both invested some money into this vehicle, and there have been a series of payments from he to you. Unless you and he can reach an agreement on how to handle this, any unilateral action on your side (e.g. taking back the vehicle) will likely result in some sort of a dispute or lawsuit. If you believe it is possible to have an amicable conversation on that subject with him, you should prepare a detailed accounting of how much you and he each paid towards this vehicle, and ask your boyfriend to also prepare such a detailed accounting. Then, you need to compare your accounting against his accounting and see if you agree as to the numbers. If you agree, then you and he have a choice to either buy each other out, or to sell the vehicle and split the proceeds. If you cannot reach an agreement, you may need to bring a lawsuit and allow a judge to make these decisions for you. Be sure to consult your own attorney to protect your legal rights.
You need to determine how much equity each of you has in the vehicle and reach an agreement as to a buyout by either party. If you can't reach an agreement, then you will need to utilize the court system to settle the matter.
I would go risking my personal health trying to be a repoman, you don't know what the other party might do if they find you attempting to do it or find out later and get angry about it.
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