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QLD Ex-housemate's Car - Abandoned Property?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by Teaspoon, 5 March 2015.

  1. Teaspoon

    Teaspoon Member

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    Hey, I have a car in my garage from a ex-housemate/ex-friend which he has abandoned completely ( abandoned property?). I have made over 4 attempts to contact him to ask him what he wants to do with it and to organise to have it taken care of by both text message and email. He gave no response.

    The reason he no longer lives with me is because I caught him stealing from me and believe he stole a fair bit of cash and pawned a few valuable tools and other items before I caught on. He also owed some weeks in board/bills.

    The car has been in my garage for just over a year now. Where I have looked after it as best I can, keeping it clean, running it for 15 - 20 min every week and even paid a lot of registration for it so it didn't lapse. But that is over now and I believe the registration is cancelled.

    The car is quite valuable and always suspected he had financed it through a car loan. I always thought one day someone would come wanting to reposes the car - but they never did. I found out about the PPS check and the Revs check recently which I found the bank who 'mortgaged' the vehicle. I called them and explained the situation and asked what they suggested to do, they didn't have any clear response but they asked me if I want them to come and get the car from me.

    I spoke with them and explained that I lost money and am still owed money from my ex-housemate/ex-friend and I'd like to work in some sort of deal for the proceedings from the sale/auction of the car I suspected they'd be doing to firstly pay of his debt with me. They said they wouldn't do that. I also asked and they wouldn't give me any information on anything due to privacy laws.

    I want to know what I can do, what my options are. Can I organise a auction under some laws I've seen on the RTA website relating to abandoned goods from tenants? Can after a set time I claim the car, or apply to? Can I make a claim in court to have my debt paid first from the proceedings? It doesn't cause me to much hassle for it to be kept where it is, but I don't want to keep it here in vain and have nothing come of it, in other words if I have or will never have any rights to the car or to any sale or proceedings from it even far in the future, then I'd give it to the banks to deal with.
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Teaspoon,

    Provided that the vehicle isn't secured property on the loan, you may be able to have it registered in your name after 3 months of deregistration. If the vehicle has been unregistered for 3 months, then you can re-register it using this form with Qld Transport. Unlike the normal registration transfer form, I don't believe this form requires the old owner to sign it. Therefore, you may be able to register it in your own name (get title to it) and then be able to sell it and validly transfer it to someone else. (Never done it though so can't say for sure). You will likely have to go through a bit of bother with roadworthying etc though to get it registered.

    Apart from that, because you don't have any of the debts owed to you secured by the car, you cannot simply claim it and sell it like the bank can. And there is no way a bank will consider sharing their proceeds of sale with you.

    If the bank has a claim on the car because their loan wasn't paid, (there is a search you can do to check this if the bank won't tell you) then there is no point bothering. Just get the bank to take it away and try to get your money back from your house mate some other way.
     
    Ivy likes this.
  3. Teaspoon

    Teaspoon Member

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    Thanks for your reply,

    But with money owing on the car, will I not inherit the current debt if I register the car in my name. Plus after I pay the over thousand dollars to do so and I was to use it, could the banks not just take it whenever they want? (though they aren't actively pursuing it). How do I know if the car is secured property? I did a ppsr check on it a little while ago and it mentioned something like bank providing mortgage - or something like that, probably not those exact words, but did mention mortgaged.
     
  4. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    Hi Teaspoon,
    That's what I meant by...
    You can't take title to the car if the bank has a lien over it. Yes the check that you did revealing the loan over the car suggests it is secured to the bank. I would get the bank to take it away.
     

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