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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My brother bought me a second hand car as a wedding present.

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My brother bought me a second hand car as a wedding present. At the time, we agreed verbally I would pay half of it and the other half would be a gift. He took a loan to pay for the car.
We agreed I would pay him x amount of money per month verbally. He than started making more demands of how much I should pay him over email / telephone and how often.
Than a war of words began over email.
He kept on harassing me so I gave the car back to him. He than sold the car. Now he has now filed a Money claim online (MCOL) stating I owe him money for the loan he took out.
Do I have any grounds to dispute this? We never agreed in a legal document nor did I sign anything. I did agree on email to pay him but as he was being unreasonable with his demands I gave him the car back.
I understand emails can be used as evidence but not sure about exactly how this works.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do the emails say that you are not liable for the loan?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Not clearly. He said he took out the loan on my behalf. The loan was in his name. He said I would need to pay him. But he kept changing his mind about how much so I gave the car back to him and signed document to say he is allowed to sell the car on my behalf. He was bullying me and at the time we were expecting our first child and we were down to one income. So it was a struggle so we decided to give the car back.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok, that is more supportive of his case than yours I'm afraid.
It is a difficult situation. I have seen courts accept that vehicles can be a gift. What might be suspicious though is that a loan was taken out as generally that tends to suggest it was an agreement rather than a gift.
On your account, you owe him nothing. On his account you do owe him. This comes down to which of you is believed by the Judge and that cannot be predicted.
The fact that you have given the car back is not necessarily a disaster. On anybody's account you were going to pay something. The question is how much so that is not that damaging.
You can rely on emails though if they do support your position.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

But doesn't me giving him the car back cancel what I owe him?

He took the loan out on his name. He gave the car to me as a wedding present.

We never agreed on how or when I should pay him. I did say I would pay him before I gave the car back.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No.
It just puts him in a position where he can sell the car and use the profits to reduce the amount that you owe.
There might well still be a balance.
He is probably saying that you agree to pay the full amount back. The sale of the car now will not recover that sum.
On your account, you owe him nothing. On his account you do owe him. This comes down to which of you is believed by the Judge and that cannot be predicted.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70003
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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