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Can I Repo My Ex-Boyfriend's Car?

Tara Baukus Mello, Bankrate.com

Dear Driving for Dollars,
Q: A couple of years ago, my now ex-boyfriend needed a car. We tried to get the loan under his name with me as a co-signer. He did not qualify, so I became the primary owner with him as the co-signer. The agreement was for him to make the car payments and half of the insurance payment every month, but he didn't do it consistently. Now, for six months, I have been making the car and insurance payments all by myself. I can no longer afford to do this. Am I able to repo the car from him? I would like to try to sell it and pay off as much of the car as possible.
-- Abigail

Car Keys and Money

A:Dear Abigail,
It depends on how the loan is written. Check your car loan paperwork to see what rights you and your ex have. Then call the lender to talk about the situation and see if a loan officer can change the loan to remove your ex's name. Lenders in many states will do this if you are the primary signer on the car loan and your ex is listed as a secondary signer, as opposed to both of you being co-signers. This may involve simply making the change on the paperwork, or it may require actually rewriting the loan. Once his name is removed from the loan (and perhaps the registration too, which you can change once the loan is redone), you can do what you want with the car, though you'll have to gain possession of it first or hire a repo service to do so.