Need Advice: My son's ex-girlfriend wrecked the car


#1

I need a little help please. My son's girlfriends car died and she still owed $2000 on the car. She was to start school in 2 weeks. He/she initially asked if we would co-sign a loan for her, and we declined, since we were already out $1000 making her car payments for her when she was behind in payments. Since they have a child together, we decided to purchase a used car and paid for it outright. Both my son and his girlfriend signed a promissory note. We didn't charge them any interest, and made the first payment due 8 months after she got the car, since they told us that she would be out of school by then. We had a clause in the agreement to where she must get the other car sold so it wouldn't ruin her grandmother's credit. That didn't get done, they didn't make the payments (or they were already behind) and it was repossessed. Well, they broke up 8 months later when the 1st payment was due. My son did pay us the 1st payment for her, but late... then not another payment until 3 months later, which she actually paid for 4 months (income tax check), then finally another payment was made. My problem is that she wrecked the car 2 weeks ago and thank goodness she was not serious injured and my son kept up with the insurance payments. We did put the title in my son's name so the insurance company will be cutting a check to him, not us. She/he owes us $5,000 on the car. The insurance will be totalling the car, but not sure what dollar amount. If the insurance gives us more than that is owed, are we legally obligated to give her the difference? I want to be fair to her, but she is now hounding us regarding money and already wants us to help get her another car. If we get more, I am willing to give it to her, but I am not reconsidering since she is kinda expecting us to help her.


#2

[quote="iamfish, post:1, topic:204113"]
If the insurance gives us more than that is owed, are we legally obligated to give her the difference? I want to be fair to her, but she is now hounding us regarding money and already wants us to help get her another car. If we get more, I am willing to give it to her, but I am not reconsidering since she is kinda expecting us to help her.

[/quote]

It depends. The car belongs to whoever's name is on the title, not you. Your security interest in the car is limited to the amount the owner owes you ($5000). Even if you had repossessed the car and sold it, you would have had to return any excess money to the owner.

A bigger question is whether or not your promissory note is valid. According to your post, the title (and therefore the ownership) of the car is vested in your son. Yet the woman's name is on the promissory note. What consideration did she receive for signing? She didn't get a car, that belongs to your son. This could get very sticky if it wound up in court. I would consult a lawyer.

Is this woman receiving child support?


#3

thank you for responding. Oh yes, he pays his support!!


#4

I would consult a lawyer - I certainly would not get her another car since she did not make good on what she owed you this time. If she had made all of her payments on time this time and then had a freak accident then it may be a different story. Christian charity does not require us to be put into the poor house while others live nicely on our charity either.


#5

Sorry, I am new to this forum, so I didn't see the other PP. We made the agreement between the both because we were making our son responsible for making the payment as well as her. He was instructed that once all the payments were made (3 years) that he would sign over the car to her. Also, we do not live in the same town. I didn't want my name on the title and be responsible if anything happened They have lived together for 3 1/2 years and she wasn't working most of that time. He worked nights as a police officer. He had been paying for all her bills and car payment. She did get a job as a waitress (we found out later that she was drinking at work and driving drunk).but car companies wouldn't even consider. She did finish her class and found a job, but didn't go take her test. It was just a rough time for him and a really long story.


#6

We purchased the car in April having the 1st payment due in Nov. Received that payment at the end of Nov. No Dec, Jan, payment, then middle of Feb, she made those 3 payments - plus Mar. In May she made April's payment. No June payment. Then the accident.


#7

We have given her a lot, and she expected more. I made her car payments when my son couldn't. I would give her back the 5 payments she made. Just not sure what the insurance will give us for the car. She put 60,000 miles on the car in 1 year.


#8

How does she treat you - is she respectful of you and your husband? Does she give you and your husband a place of honor in your grandchild's life as grandparents? I am not saying that you should buy these things but I am saying that I would be more inclined to help her out if she was doing these things without a motive.


#9

This is the first time I have actually talked with her since they broke up in late Dec. Our son is the one that will come visit when he can and we get to see our grandson then. They live about 4 hours away. Her mother called me a month ago and just chewed me out saying that my son didn't support her. Well, I just went through the roof and let her have it. Her daughter didn't tell her then entire story. We have given them over $4000 since our grandson was born. We purchased all the furniture in the apt., we paid for a moving truck and moved them. I paid for his utilities, diapers, medication, hospital deductable when the baby was sick, and other necessities. I purchased her clothes for events.

I lost my job 11 months ago and haven't been able to find anything. My husband is working, thank goodness, to pay for the bills.

I am just upset at her attitude, she is expecting us to help her and we are not obligated too. Her own grandmother won't help her because the other car that broke down was in the grandmother's name and was repossessed because of non-payment. If she would have just gotten a job after the baby was born, it would have helped with payment her cell phone, insurance, gas, etc.


#10

Well, personally, I think you know what the right answer is - however it sounds to me for the best interests of the child maybe some family counseling and mediation would be best for everyone. I notice you are Baptist. Do you all go to the same Church or different Churches - is there one priest/pastor you can all agree to respect the opinion of regardless of religious differences?


#11

I actually talk with my son, I think that was most of their problems is that he believes in the Lord, and she really didn't feel the same way or wasn't involved in the Lord like he is. She is just young and does need guidance. She always had her parents to take care of her and she lost her dad a while back. So, her mom is struggling and so is she. She hasn't had to pay for anything and now there is no one taking care of her. She is having to learn what it takes to take care of yourself and now a child. My son has him every weekend or 3-4 days during the week when he is off. Pays his support and it's still not enough. Her mother would take my son's side when they were together, and understood what he was going through. Not now, since she had to move in with her and she doesn't make that kind of money to support them both. My son even takes diapers, laundy detergent, etc. to her which isn't appreciated.


#12

I am so sorry that you are going through this. These situations are tough. The best thing for all involved in the childs life will be family counseling. If she is not goiing to be open to having counseling with a priest/pastor than it may need to be with a secular counselor. Either way - everyone is going to have to learn their role so to speak -and it is going to be very hard not to want to step out of those roles when some people are behaving so badly. However, a child's mother - will always be just that - a child's mother. The worst thing we can do to a child is ever make a child question his/her mother. That is why counseling from the beginning is so important. That is so we can learn to teach these differences without insulting other members of the family.

God bless you for your love and caring towards your grandchild and your daughter-in-law. While they never married she will always be the mother of your grandchild and for that there will always be a special place in your heart no matter how infuriating her behavior may be. Do you think she would go for the counseling idea if it were free? There are many place that will give so many appointments to help out. Contact Catholic Charities to start and they can work from there to get you more information.


#13

Thank you Joandarc. Not sure if she will go to counseling or if it will even help. I will talk with my son.

Thank you again for all your words of advice, they are much appreciated.


#14

[quote="iamfish, post:13, topic:204113"]
Thank you Joandarc. Not sure if she will go to counseling or if it will even help. I will talk with my son.

Thank you again for all your words of advice, they are much appreciated.

[/quote]

Even if it doesn't do miracles - it does not sound like it could hurt. I wish you all the love in the world. God's peace to you and your family.


#15

I'm confused. Why are you responsible for buying your son's ex-girlfriend a car (or anything else)? You should read Allison Bottke's Setting Boundaries with your Adult Children. She's a Christian (not Catholic) who went through a lot of struggles with her own son trying to rescue him from the consequences of his actions, then she realized that she wasn't helping him, she was enabling his bad choices, and impoverishing herself. If you're interested, you can get it here .


#16

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