How Can My Sister Get Out of Her Car Being Used as Collateral for a Loan in Her Ex Boyfriend’s Name?

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“I am trying to assist my sister who is in an abusive relationship with her live-in boyfriend of 18 months.   She has summoned up the resolve to leave him but there are financial constraints that we could use advice on.  He recently had her use her car as collateral for a personal $12K loan in his name.  What are her options should she leave him regarding her car?  There is no expectation that he will cooperate in any way when she leaves and he would likely cease payments on the loan since it is her asset and he would not be affected other than the impact on his already thoroughly tarnished credit record.  It was a transaction she felt forced into because she did not want to risk any abusive retaliation.  He bought an asset (an ATV) of equal value in his name, is there any way to get the bank to transfer collateral?  Any guidance on actions to take prior to leaving and/or after would be appreciated, thank you!”

[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.]

First, your sister should consult the lender to determine if there is anyway to substitute an asset in her loan contract.  Most lenders have very specific policies around points like this and some lenders may be willing to work with the borrower.

Secondly, your sister should contact an attorney in her area to assist in dealing with the lender as well as any potential cause of action your sister may bring against her boyfriend.

In general, a contract entered into can be voided as unenforceable if one can show that they were ‘under duress’ and essentially forced to sign the contract; however, not all courts recognize this very limited defense to a contract.  As stated above, your sister should contact an attorney to better advise her of her rights and options.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.