Dear Terry,

After bankruptcy, my car was returned (on paper) to the finance company that held the title and the loan was written off. The bankruptcy case is over and everything has been settled.

The car is no longer registered or insured by me and I was told the finance company would pick it up soon. It has been sitting in my garage for four or five months. I called and they said they don’t know what to do since in most cases they just refinance the car with the original owner. I cannot drive it to them since it is neither registered or insured.

Who owns the car now? What is my liability for its care? Is there any way I can either make them pick up the car or take possession of it legally since it has sat in my garage for four or five months? Should I charge them rent?

Sal Clarizio

Dear Sal,

The finance company owns the car and you have no responsibility for its care or storage. But getting them to come pick it up may be difficult, since they have shown no interest so far.

My suggestion is to send them a registered letter that says they have 30 days to come get the car or you will have a salvage company pick it up. Another possibility would be to go to small claims court to file a mechanic’s lien on the car for storage costs. In many states, if the lien is not paid, the person with the lien may wind up in possession. Good luck.

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