Can I take a car that I cosigned for after a breakup?

Answered by Car Loans Expert Eric on December 26, 2020

I cosigned a car loan for my then-boyfriend two years ago and I've made all the payments. After our breakup, I asked him to give the car to me but he refused. Is there a way for me to get the car in my name only?

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Car Loans Expert

Sorry to hear about your situation! Breakups are tough, and the car situation doesn’t make this any easier.

Unfortunately, cosigners have no legal rights to the property they’re paying for. And as the famous adage goes, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.” Therefore, you’ll have to take a different approach. But before you get into the matter, you may want to try one more time to cooperate with your ex-boyfriend or reach some sort of legally binding settlement. This can potentially save you both a ton of hassle or a long legal battle.

If that doesn’t work, the next step is to obtain a cosigner release from your lender. If you’ve been making payments on time and your credit score is at least in the moderate-to-good range, your lender will most likely grant you the release. As a result, you won’t be financially responsible for the car you aren’t driving.

Once you’ve done this, you have an important decision to make. Just make sure to use logic instead of emotion. Your first option: You could just walk away and learn your lesson about cosigning or agreeing to other financial obligations for other people.

The other option is to pursue the balance you paid in small claims court. Make certain you have all the proper documentation of your payments, and chances are good that the judge will side with you. While getting restitution still isn’t guaranteed — especially if your ex-boyfriend is unemployed or spiteful — you will at least have done your due diligence and may receive that money back in the future.

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