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Does she have any rights?

Upper Marlboro, MD |

a widow who has power of attorney over her husbands property decided to keep a vehicle her husband had not finished paying for. She informed the car dealer of her husbands passing, that she would she keep the vehicle and requested her name be added to the contract. The dealer continued to accept the payments from the widow for 10 mos but gives her the run around each time she ask her name be added to the contract. (more info needed) Last week the dealer informed the widow they wanted the vehicle back. The widow found out that the blue book value of the vehicle is $28,000. The vehicle only has $20,000 left to be paid. The widow has never been late with a payment. Can the dealer get the vehicle back after leaving it in her possession for 10 months?. Does she have any rights?

this lady's husband usually handled most business. She was unaware of her rights or responsibilities. She did what she that she could.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

I assume the following facts from your question: 1) That your name is NOT on the car title as a joint owner with your deceased husband, abd that you did NOT sign on the car loan. In that case, it does appear that the lender has the right to repossess the car, and must give to your husband's estate a check for any difference between the value of the car and the amount they are still owed, which may be nothing after their legal and repossession expenses are counted in. If their loan documents give them a lien on the car then they have to right to do what is necessary to reposses the car. if you really want that particular expensive car and want to continue to pay $20,000 for it, why dont you have your lawyer see if she or he can work out somethiing wiht the lender? P.S.: your power of attorney is no good after your husband's death.


The widow has done virtually everything wrong from the beginning. What you describe is sad, but also really, really foolish. She finds herself in this bind because she tried to take some "easy path" and (not surprisingly) it blows up in her face.

The car was in her husband's name. It was his property at time of death. There are many ways to properly handle a car title in the event of death, and she did precisely the wrong thing.

She should immediately contact a lawyer before she messes things up worse.
She cannot do it alone -- at least from what you are describing.

I wish you the best.

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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern lies.


Well said, Mr. Fick!

The question does not state whether the estate has been opened, and notice published. If so, what is the effect on the dealer if the 6 month bar date has run?