Can a Car Erroneously Released by the Lien Holder Still be Repossessed?

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“I received a “Right to Cure Default” notice on my vehicle which my mother is a co-signer. The interesting thing is that my mother had a loan with the same financial institution which she paid in full last summer. When they sent her the final paperwork, they also sent her the title to my car. I realize I need to pay the remaining balance of my loan. My question is can they repossess my car if I have the title and they signed it as released?”

[NOTE: Articles and answers on DearEsq., while written and published by lawyers, do not constitute legal advice, and no attorney-client relationship is formed by your reading of this information. You should always consult with an attorney for any legal situations.]

This is a very interesting question, and will depend at least in part on the laws of your particular state and, perhaps even more importantly, on the wording of the contract between you and the financial institution.

Otherwise, generally speaking, the way that I see this most likely playing out is that they repossess your car, you take them to court saying that you have a title which is clear, and their asking the court to reform the paperwork to correct the error. Whether the court would do so is anybody’s best guess.

The bottom line is that whether they can repossess it legally, they may well physically do so, and then it would be up to you to prove that they did not have legal grounds to do so, which almost certainly would cost far more than your balance on the loan.

Recommended reading (click on the picture for details):
Surviving Financial Disasters: Bankruptcy, Foreclosure, Eviction, Auto Repossession, Excessive Debts and Much More



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Author: Anne P. Mitchell, Esq.

Anne P. Mitchell, Esq. is a noted family law expert, Internet law expert, and Professor of Law at Lincoln Law School of San Jose. She is the author of "Surviving Divorce: the Single Father's Guide" and "The Email Deliverability Handbook"

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