My fiancé made an agreement with another individual allowing him to use my fiance's vehicle. My fiancé is currently incarcerated out of state and I have written permission from him to act on his behalf. The agreement was that the borrower would pay to renew the registration and inspection on the car, give us a monthly payment, and provide full coverage insurance for the vehicle. He has now had the vehicle for over two months and has not made any payments or provided proof of insurance. I asked him to sign a written agreement and he has refused. He now also refuses to return the car. What are our legal options at this point?
No, you cannot report it as stolen since, from your post, you have not described a criminal act.
You can, however, sue him for breach of the verbal agreement permitting use of the vehicle and for conversion, taking the personal property of another without permission or retaining possession after permission has been withdrawn. You can also retrieve the vehicle if you have keys and can do so without breaching the peace although I would be reluctant to do that without court intervention.
Since cars are easily hidden or moved, you should not delay in taking action. Getting a lawyer involved might be a good idea because you might be able to get a writ of sequestration allowing you to seize the property pre-judgment.
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Hopefully the agreement to represent your fiancé is a Power of Attorney, which gives you standing to represent him. If the agreement between your fiancé and the individual is in writing and meets the qualification of a contract, you can sue the individual in Court and ascertain a court order for the return of the vehicle and the consideration of the contract. Please have an attorney review the existing contract, because it may not be necessary to get the individual sign a new contract
An important factor to consider or be aware of is, is the vehicle in question subject to a bank loan? You cannot legally lease a vehicle subject to a bank loan to a third party in Texas. In doing so (if the vehicle is subject to a bank loan) an individual breaches the agreement with the lender and thereby potentially engages in "third party leasing" a prohibited practice in Texas. As mentioned above, there are remedies available even if you errored on leasing a vehicle subject to a bank loan. Consult a lawyer that can assist you and advise.
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