How do you repossess a car from a family member?

Last year, I agreed to let my sister buy my 2005 Honda Civic since I upgraded to a Tesla. We agreed that she would pay me $300/month until the Civic is paid off, then I’d transfer the title to her name. I haven’t gotten a payment in 3 months and she’s refusing to return the car. Can I legally repossess it from her?

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Answer provided by
Olivia Rose
Answered on Jun 23, 2022
You can repossess a car from a family member if the title is still in your name.
Here’s how you can do it:
  1. If you no longer have a key to the car, have a copy made.
  2. Locate your vehicle.
  3. Go retrieve your car at a time when confrontation is unlikely, like when the car is parked outside overnight or at an outdoor work parking lot.
  4. Park the car in a safe and secure location.
It might also be advisable to contact your sister beforehand to let you know your intentions—but we certainly recommend contacting your family member after you repossess your car, as long as it is safe to do so.
If this method feels too casual or risky for you, you have every right to contact your local police department. Once you show them the title paperwork that proves you are the rightful owner, they can escort you to repossess your car.
Good luck!
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