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NSW Who Owns Car - Person with Car Loan or Registration?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by anne stephen, 23 November 2015.

  1. anne stephen

    anne stephen Member

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    If one partner has the car loan in their name and the other has the car registration in their name, then who has the car if they part when money is still owed on it?
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    In Victoria, not sure about NSW, car registration does not determine car ownership.

    Generally it is the person/s who pays the money (from savings/loan etc). Receipts, loan contracts and bank statements are important documents to prove this fact.
     
    Timothy Longmire likes this.
  3. anne stephen

    anne stephen Member

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    Thank you. Just concerned if we go pick it up, that my son is doing the right thing . Lot of money owing on it. Need to sell it to keep his credit rating.
     
  4. Tim W

    Tim W Lawyer

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    There are two questions to think about.

    The first is - who owns the car on the facts? That is, who is the registered owner?
    If that isn't you, then being the borrower doesn't really give you much basis to just take possession of the car.
    (the borrower probably has what lawyers call "an equitable interest" in the car, but that
    does not always and automatically give them an a right to possession).

    The second question is - who borrowed the money and/or is responsible for repaying the loan?
    That borrower will need to keep paying, no matter where the car is, no matter who the registered owner is,
    and no matter where the car lives. You also need to know if the loan is secured (by the car, or by something else), or is unsecured. This will be in the loan papers, or you (the borrower) can just ring the lender and ask.

    Unless you/the borrower/whoever is/are "behind on payments"
    (lawyers, accountants, and bankers, talk about a loan being "in arrears"),
    then forget the credit rating thing.
    Unless you are already a financial train wreck, that is the least of your worries.

    I strongly recommend an early conversation with the lender.
    If at all possible, make an appointment to see a manager-level real person
    in an actual branch or office.
    As a general thing, lenders would much rather do a bit of re-arranging,
    than have to deal with a loan gone bad.
    Remember - this set of facts may be new, and difficult, and maybe even embarrassing, to you,
    but the lender has probably seen this sort of thing before.
     
  5. Timothy Longmire

    Timothy Longmire Active Member

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    My ex sold my car in a similar fashion, but we were also in a separation dealing with lawyers and the percentage of the split.

    My mother gifted a vehicle to me from my father's money after he had passed away. I was at work when it was purchased, and my partner, now my ex, had to put it in her name with registration, but it was a gift from my mother

    We were not finished finalizing everything with the slip and the equitable monetary assets division when she then traded the car in for $3000 and used it for a deposit on a brand new 2014 Nissan Pulsar.

    She cannot afford to pay out what I'm owed, but she goes and does this to me. I am financially crippled because of this act and she won't release the money owed within the house and division of assets.
     

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