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'Parents sold my car and won’t tell me who bought it. What’s the best step to take?' UPDATED 2X

'Parents sold my car and won’t tell me who bought it. What’s the best step to take?' UPDATED 2X


In a perfect world, family would always have your back. But in the real world, that's not always the case.

In a popular post on the Legal Advice subreddit, the OP asked for advice on dealing with their th*eving parents. They wrote:

"Parents sold my car and won’t tell me who bought it. What’s the best step to take?"

First some background. I no longer get along with either of my parents. I won’t go more into it than it’s not reconcilable because of serious ab*se. I bought a car when I was sixteen and still living with them, and they believe that makes it theirs. Title and everything was originally in my mother’s name but was transferred into my name for three years now. It is mine and only my car.

When the family split my parents tried to call in what they called Debts of A Minor which they tried to convince me was a legal term saying if I took my support away from them then they had the right to recall all money involved in raising me. I went away for two weeks in September and left my car with my brother who I still get on well with. He is still in contact with my parents.

They visited him a couple of times while I was away and on the last visit they stole the keys to the car from him and drove off with it. My brother told me immediately and I said I’d deal with it when I got back (it happened a few days before I was to get back).

I went to my parents to get my car and they said they’d sold it and the $8000 they sold it for was to go towards Debts of a Minor and they informed me I now have only about $180k to go before I’ve paid them off. I called the p*lice immediately to report it stolen and they seemed to prefer to listen to my parents who said the title was in their name. I have title in my name however.

Advice from the police was to work it out between ourselves. Useless. So where I’m stuck now is I have no car, I have no keys to it, it’s out there somewhere and my parents refuse to tell me where it is. It’s my car and I can prove it. Who do I prove it to in order to have it retrieved?

Are the p*lice right in that I have to beg the people who took my car (my parents) to give it back? Is this a job for a lawyer or court or escalating it with police? I’ve never had to deal with the legal system before.

Not long after posting, OP shared a small update.

Update: I went to the station in person and got a lot further with different officers who asked what happened before with the other officer, and rolled their eyes when I said his name. I have my brother fully on side and we both made statements. I’ve contacted my insurance.

The comments came rolling in.

thisishowiinternet wrote:

"Debts of A Minor"" You realize you have no obligation if you're older than 18 to financially pay them back right? They can kick you out / Cut off any monetary support they have for you, but you don't have to pay your parents back for "raising you"

Also, if they sold the car in your name, and the title was in your name, go to the police station with that and re-file that it's been stolen, bring the proof. Also, if you do not have the title, and it's in your name, you can obtain a duplicate via this website:

OP responded:

When I first left home I realised very quickly that Debts of a Minor isn’t a thing. I owe them nothing. Title is definitely in my name. I’ll try again with the police with documentation at the station.

[deleted] wrote:

Don't call the police station again. Go down there with the title and registration showing that the car belongs to you and report it stolen. I'm not entirely sure you have to mention that your parents stole it and sold it. The person who bought it without a title will be SOL and need to recoup their costs from your parents. After this all comes to light there is a chance your parents will be charged.

OP responded:

Except for the buyer, that would be the best possible outcome. Thank you for the comment. Is there any possibility of any fallout on my from the buyer? Say if it was proven I was careless with the keys and that lead to the whole problem. Hope it’s not a stupid question. I’m not afraid to admit I’m really ignorant of the law and also paranoid about my parents and their actions.

seeyakid wrote:

Spoiler alert: your parents never sold the car and still have it.

Your car has been stolen. Go to the police station with the title, report it stolen, tell them who stole it and begin pursuing criminal charges for felony theft. You are 100% in the right here.

As a side note, because of your abuse, you have been programmed to think that everything is your fault. It's how you were raised and how you view things. The line of thinking of "If I was careless with the keys" is a symptom of this and is heartbreaking. Please begin taking steps to completely get your parents out of your life and get some counseling to rebuild your view of yourself.

KBCMe wrote:

Do you/did you have comprehensive insurance coverage on the car at the time? If you did, once you are able to file a police report (keep at it until the police will take a report), file a claim with your insurance company for theft.

A little over two weeks later, OP jumped on with a longer update.

All I needed was a more with-it police officer. I went in person with all the documentation proving that my car is my vehicle and with my brother, and stated clearly that my car had been stolen and sold and we knew who did it. The officer I dealt with this time treated everything seriously and listened to us both.

I had my car back within two days. My parents had taken it and hadn't sold it like they claimed but were renting it to someone they knew. The car was retrieved from the rentee's house. I hadn't yet made a claim on it so it was returned to me the day after retrieval.

My mother has been charged, and I've also been questioned about my parents dr*g use. I'm over the moon that what they did trying to rip me off has shone a light on more of their behavior. I'm still trying to gain clarity with my insurer about possible internal damage to the engine or transmission and having that thoroughly checked out, but that's beside the point.

As a bonus this was the last straw for my brother. He'd been still living under our parents thumb and this gave him enough reason to also cut them off and commit to acting against them. I have my car back and my brother back more than I did before.

The internet was happy to hear the update.

IAmNOtAChamp wrote:

I’ll never understand why people think their children owe them s**t, like they f#$king asked to be born lol.

Susinko wrote:

My father sold my house out from under me, so I feel this. Always remember to change the deed/title from your relatives name to yours when you buy it. We were young and dumb and didn't see it coming.

SparrowFlyAway wrote:

“Debts of a minor” is a completely BS thing that no law could reasonably enforce. Your parents CHOSE TO RAISE YOU. That is THEIR RESPONSIBILITY. It is not your responsibility to pay them back for raising you, because your existence is not your fault or choice.

VSuzanne wrote:

I just want to show this thread to everyone who insists that all women should have children, even those who don't like or want them. Some people should NOT be parents, better to let them keep themselves out of the general pool.

Good riddance to OP's parents.

Sources: Reddit
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