Unbelievable.

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I have been trying hard to get along with my sister and niece. I now wish I would not have agreed to give my niece my mothers car but at the time she had just adopted 2 children and was in need of good transportation. The only stipulation I put on her taking the car was that when I took Mom home the car had to be back at her house and stay as long as my mother was there. Of course now we have a trip planned in September and she is refusing to bring the car back. it is only an 8 hour drive but she claims that she can't because she is starting a new job and my sister is in the same position. I live in Texas so to me an 8 hour drive is not a big deal. My mom will be so upset and mad if she finds out that my niece has that car, I discussed this with several people because I did not feel good about this but I was told the longer it sat that the car would begin to rot so I agreed to let her have the car. I was told by my sister that I have 2 choices, I can either tell my mom that the car is in the shop or I can cancel my trip. This made me so mad, with that comment I became very upset, I ask my sister what else do you want me to do for your guys, you won't help in any way and now this, I have never gone back on my word about anything to them. I refuse to cancel this trip, it has been planned for a year and we have a lot of friends and family coming. Mom is so excited to go home that is all that she talks about. My sister acts like its no big deal however she is once again not going to have to deal with any of this. any suggestions on how to handle this, I told her that if my mom went home and realized her car was gone and said bring it back they will have to return the car My sister told me that its not my moms car anymore that it belongs to my niece, this is not right at all. Can she do that? She signed the title over to my niece I refused even though I told her that she could but with all this going on if my Mom tells her to bring it back that its her car does she have the right to say NO? From my past posts you know that I stay home with Mom all the time with no help from my sister not even a vacation and now she has the nerve to tell me that I should cancel my trip to take my mom home to the farm how uncaring that is of her, that is what my mother looks forward to I try to take her home every year and to say that to cover up a car being gone I think that is about as low as you can get.

24 Comments

When you state that you 'gave your niece the car' - do you mean you signed over the Pink Slip to her, or are you meaning that you 'gave her the car' to use so it could be of some use to someone? I won't get into the insurance and liability questions.

I don't see how you could have transferred ownership of your mom's vehicle without her signature. If you want/need the car back - tell them (preferably in writing) that you expect the car returned by (set a date). After that date - the car will be reported stolen.
My sister wanted me to sign the car over to my niece but I told her know I would not do that so she did. I never even though about that I guess she did have to sign my moms name. Oh wow no wonder she is freaking out on me wanting me to cancel my trip. I had just got married when they approached me, of course my mind was somewhere else, It was just a few weeks after the wedding, I'm the type that would let it set and rot which is stupid on my part but very sentimental, when I lost my dad my mom ask me to go start his truck and just drive it to make sure the battery did not go down and I had to refuse I could not even do that so I guess I never really thought about the paperwork. I did find it funny that she had the tidal she lives 1200 miles away from me but wanted to mail it to me to sign, I said WHY WOULD you do that, now I'm understanding.
If mom signed the title over to her niece, her niece owns the car. Period. If YOU allowed the niece to BORROW your mom's cat, you made a big mistake. Is it insured? Does your niece have it properly registered and plated? If you just LENT her the car and she has a serious accident? Your mom could Lise everything she had. Big mistake.

At any rate, if you posted correctly, mom signed the title over. Take mom car shopping. She doesn't own a car anymore. (Maybe you can rent one for your trip.)
No my mother did not sign the title over, I'm guessing my sister signed my moms name on the title, that is what I was saying I had not even though about that. She called and wanted to send the title to me to sign and I said I will not so I guess she forged my mom's signature. WOW I told her she could not drive it in my mom's name and the tags were expired and insurance was shut down because the doctor told mom she was not allowed to drive anymore. Just had not even crossed my mind about the rest, well we do have POA so I guess she really did not forge her signature.
A POA does not automatically give you or your sister that authority; especially without your mom's permission. If your sister forged your mom's name to the Title/Pink Slip - she could face criminal charges.

Your sister needs to return the car and sign it back over to your mom immediately. If the registration was not changed - your mom could still be financially responsible for the vehicle. In California, when you transfer Title, who must also file a "Release of Liability" form within 30 days of transfer.
You might want to check with the local police about the apparent title forgery, which I believe would be a criminal offense.
Check with the DMV. Maybe they have a form to report "cloud of title", or some way to prevent transfer of title from taking place, especially if it is not registered or insured.
This scenario is not as unbelievable or uncommon as you may think. It happened in our neighborhood a few years ago. What I thought was "unbelievable" was the neice, yes it was also a niece! ended up with the car because no one took action immediately. I guess if there is "permission", the police cannot act.
There are, however, companies that can repossess vehicles, you will need registration, at the least. Will mom be present?
Call the repo-man, it may be easier than you know.
Stop trying to get along with sister and neice, placing that relationship above fiduciary responsibilities for mom. What I mean is, don't be so fearful of making others mad at you, step up. While everyone is left scratching their heads about what has happened, someone has to take action.
Isn't this car theft?
Do you have a key, repo-sister?
You could, depending on your mother's state of dementia vs. wellness, tell your mother the truth, now, not waiting for her to discover the entire family conspiracy to take her car and keep it. Have a recorder ready, record your mother's take on this, then, you might have to medicate her? Then, record the next day when and if she talks about it.
You have said you didn't think this out, the ramifications of your giving permission? What about when mother asks sister and neice, and they just say you gave permission? Then, you will be left to explain, looking very bad.
Who is the "we" entity that has the POA?
This is meant to be supportive, but you have to start thinkibg things through.
What about sharing this with your husband?

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