what is the law regarding someone scrapping my car without my consent or signature?

my ex husband offered to help me get my car fixed by a friend of his the man has had my car for over 6 months i threatened to get the police involved and i have now been told the man has scrapped my car without my consent or signature on the log book....... i didnt even think that was possible...... my husband is willing to give a statement to the police because we have both tried constantly to find out what was happening with my car.

from messages i have recieved and after a telephone conversation 3 weeks ago i was lead to believe the car would be fixed and given back to me if not the man would buy it and fix it in his own time but it turns out he has either sold it or scrapped it..

what are my legal rights over this and can i take him to court to get the money for my car the police are involved due to him illegally scrapping my car and there could be possible fraud charges if they can collect the evidence off the log book im waiting to hear from them

i just need some advice as to what i can do legally to get my money for the car

the man in question knew that i didnt want to scrap the car and that i had the money to pay for the car he just chose to ignore my calls and messages and is now trying to tell me that my ex husband gave him permission to do it even after he knew the logbook was in my name because i had previously asked him if he wanted to buy the car. i had even said to him that someone else wanted the car and was going to pay me for it and move it to which he replied i will buy it off you but he never did and now its gone and im left with nothing

my ex husband is behind me on this as he has never said anything to him about scrapping it and is willing to make a statement to the police i have asked the man for the scrap value of the car which is around 185 i will be seeking legal advice on this matter as i am now left without a car and no money for my loss

4 Answers

  • When you have a mechanic fix your car you temporarily "sign the car over to them" (giving them consent to fix what needs to be fixed.) If you refuse to pay him for work he had done and he scrapped it he had rights to do this because it was technically in his name and you owed him money.

    If he did not sell or scrap it and can not explain where it went he is responsible.

    If the car is missing at the fault of a 3rd party (someone stole it), then it is not his fault.

    However if he said he was still working on it and you were willing to pay then he had absolutely no right to do this. You seem to be doing everything right, the only thing you need to do is wait for the police to find what they need. You could also sue him for the cost of the car if you can not get it back, as well as suing for "pain and suffering" (ex: hardships you encountered as a result of not having a car such as missing work).

  • There are variations on this situation from state to state. If you can PROVE what you wrote, then the mechanic is guilty of "theft by conversion", or some similar statute.

    A mechanic's lien is only good if the mechanic files the lien against the vehicle, it is not an automatic thing.

    You can try the police, but you'll need your ex with you to do so. All they have from you is hearsay, and they will not do anything at all. They will tell you it is a civil matter, not a criminal matter. With your ex, they may (or still may not) work this as a stolen auto/theft by conversion case.

    Even if the police will not help, you can always file a civil suit against the mechanic for either the return of your property, or the value of the property. You cannot sue for pain and suffering or emotional distress or any of that crap, just the value of the car. And that is the value of the car when it was taken to the mechanic, not what you paid for it or what you owe on it. Basically, the blue book value of the car is all you can recover.

  • These days, pretty much anything can get you to court, so I do believe its possible to get the man in question in court, from there I believe (this only sounds the most logical to me!) that they will try to find the current location of the car, which MIGHT get you your money back, I didn't study law or anything, I am positive you can get the man in court, but what the judge does about it, is beyond my knowledge

  • Selling another persons property is a form of theft. You can get the value and punitive damages in Civil court.

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