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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Go0p Offline
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Angry Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 03:21 PM

Quick background, I moved in with my mom and my stepdad this past summer when I turned 18. My step dad gave me a car as a gift when I moved in. They have been really helpful and I'm very appreciative of that. The car, however was not registered under my name, it was registered under my grandma's name but everyone in the family was aware the car was mine. Also I was put in an insurance policy with my grandma, I was just listed as a driver of the vehicle. I was the only person who ever used my car and no one else.I was in a car accident on 02/28/2017, almost a month ago today. I was not at fault as the other person was given a ticket, and it also says on the police report that the other person was at fault. My car was declared a total loss. The repairs were going to cost about 80% of the value of the car. Before I started the total loss claim process my mom said I should declare the car as total loss that way I can buy another car and pocket whatever I had left. That's exactly what I did Being my first car, the value of the car was $5.5k, but I have a $1k deductible, so my insurance company wrote a check for $4.5k in my name and also my grandma's name. When we settled, I told my mom I had made arrangements to test drive some cars. I was going to see which car was in the best condition before purchasing it. Immediately after I said that, my mom said "you're not going to buy the car you want", I asked her for a reason but her reason was simply "because no." I was furious because she basically lied to me. She took the check from me, I never actually had the check in my hands. She said she was going to use it to pay some debts she had and my step dad was going to use some of the money to pay some debts he had. She also said they were going to give me a car, a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid. However, the car was declared as total loss back in 2009, and had been in the junk/salvage loop until early 2016. That's when my step-dad bought it and had it fixed. I've test driven the car and I don't like it. The engine light is on, there are scratches all around the car, one of the lights is burnt. The car also has 121,033 miles on it. To me, the car is in alright condition. What's even more messed up is that they weren't going to tell me this car was in an accident before and that it took serious damage. I figured out all the information about the car because I took a picture of the VIN number and did some research. I got information from the websites such Carfax, Kelly blue book, Edmunds, DMV, Cars.com, and also a VIN lookup site. They took a $4.5k check from me for a car that's worth $3.5k according to Carfax and even LESS according to KBB and Edmunds. I have voiced my thoughts on the car to my mom, I've told her I don't want the car and that I can buy one myself. The money was supposed to be strictly only to buy another car, in my opinion. I don't want to take any legal action, because that would be messed up and I don't think I can based on the situation? One more thing, when I asked my step dad if the car had been in an accident before he said it was only the bumper that got messed up, then I countered saying that I knew the car had been a total loss so it had to be more than just the bumper. He didn't say anything back but the fact he wasn't going to tell me the car had taken severe damage is sketchy. Now, I have two options as of right now, I can either get on my high horse and refuse the car, or I can ask for about $1k back. They told me I would have the car by this PAST Saturday (03/18/2017) but it wasn't ready, then they said Wednesday, that didn't happen. Now they're saying they don't know when I will get the car. I work one hour away from where I live, I have things to do such as going to the clinic, the dentist, run personal errands and I need a car ASAP. Is there anything I can do? What would you guys do in my situation? Sorry for the long read, but I really appreciate any help/advice. Thank you.
   
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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 03:58 PM

That seems tricky, because the car in theory was yours, but it wasn't registered with your name. You said the check was in your name, though? Yours and your grandmother's? The money belonged to the two of you, then, not to your mom and your step dad.

You said there's a number of things you don't like about your car, notably that it was in an accident and sustained serious damage. How does it handle after being fixed, though? I was opposed to cars that had an accident history until I found (and did research on) my car. It handled well.

I don't agree with what your parents did, but when it comes down to it, you have to work and you have other errands you need to tend to. Maybe you can sit down and weigh the options you listed: asking for 1k back, or taking the car your step-dad had fixed. You can get a car for 1k, but it could be worse off than the one you have now. Maybe the mileage on the Honda isn't ideal for you, but it is a car, and it will do its job in getting you around until you can get something else you like more.

Regardless, I hope you come to a decision that you feel is best for you.


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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 04:13 PM

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Originally Posted by Cassado View Post
That seems tricky, because the car in theory was yours, but it wasn't registered with your name. You said the check was in your name, though? Yours and your grandmother's? The money belonged to the two of you, then, not to your mom and your step dad.

You said there's a number of things you don't like about your car, notably that it was in an accident and sustained serious damage. How does it handle after being fixed, though? I was opposed to cars that had an accident history until I found (and did research on) my car. It handled well.

I don't agree with what your parents did, but when it comes down to it, you have to work and you have other errands you need to tend to. Maybe you can sit down and weigh the options you listed: asking for 1k back, or taking the car your step-dad had fixed. You can get a car for 1k, but it could be worse off than the one you have now. Maybe the mileage on the Honda isn't ideal for you, but it is a car, and it will do its job in getting you around until you can get something else you like more.

Regardless, I hope you come to a decision that you feel is best for you.
I 100% agree with your statement about the check belonging to me and my grandma. What if my grandma decided to give 100% of the money to my parents even though my name and signature were on the check? Can I claim 50% of the money?

The car handles well, the engine is more noisy than it's supposed to be, there are some sounds coming from the tires that sounds like two metallic pieces rubbing together, there's a stranger noise coming from the driver's side as well. Last but not least the engine light is on which could be something serious, but I refuse to pay for the repairs out of my own pocket.

What I want to do is ask for 1k back and also get the car as they will be keeping 3.5k which is the value of the car according to Carfax and other websites using the vin number. Now, I would not get a car with 1k because that 1k I would strictly use it to pay for college not anything else. But I agree with everything you have said, a car is car and it would do its job. until it breaks down which is more likely to happen with this car because it has had a lot of work done to it.
   
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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 04:22 PM

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Originally Posted by Go0p View Post
I 100% agree with your statement about the check belonging to me and my grandma. What if my grandma decided to give 100% of the money to my parents even though my name and signature were on the check? Can I claim 50% of the money?

The car handles well, the engine is more noisy than it's supposed to be, there are some sounds coming from the tires that sounds like two metallic pieces rubbing together, there's a stranger noise coming from the driver's side as well. Last but not least the engine light is on which could be something serious, but I refuse to pay for the repairs out of my own pocket.

What I want to do is ask for 1k back and also get the car as they will be keeping 3.5k which is the value of the car according to Carfax and other websites using the vin number. Now, I would not get a car with 1k because that 1k I would strictly use it to pay for college not anything else. But I agree with everything you have said, a car is car and it would do its job. until it breaks down which is more likely to happen with this car because it has had a lot of work done to it.
I am not sure how that would work, but since both your names were on the check, I do think the honorable thing for your parents to do would have been to keep your grandmother's half and given you your half. Do you think you can talk to them about it?

I think asking for 1k back and keeping the car, and using it until it breaks down on you is fair. You might be able to get at least a little bit of use out of it until you need to look for something else. I think as far as breaking down goes, you could cross that bridge when you come to it. It seems like having more issues with it down the line are inevitable but it could work for a little while. It might come to a point where the cost of the repairs exceed the value of the car, and when it does get there, it will make more sense to get something else and perhaps your parents could help you with that.


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I do not see an animal
I see a living being
I see a friend
I feel a soul.


They whispered to her
you cannot withstand the storm
she whispered back
i am the storm.
   
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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 04:57 PM

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Originally Posted by Cassado View Post
I am not sure how that would work, but since both your names were on the check, I do think the honorable thing for your parents to do would have been to keep your grandmother's half and given you your half. Do you think you can talk to them about it?

I think asking for 1k back and keeping the car, and using it until it breaks down on you is fair. You might be able to get at least a little bit of use out of it until you need to look for something else. I think as far as breaking down goes, you could cross that bridge when you come to it. It seems like having more issues with it down the line are inevitable but it could work for a little while. It might come to a point where the cost of the repairs exceed the value of the car, and when it does get there, it will make more sense to get something else and perhaps your parents could help you with that.
I can certainly try to talk to them about it. The thing is when it actually comes time to take action, I don't know how to express myself, and when I do express myself I leave out some stuff, and some of those things are important towards my augment.

Once again, I agree with you. The car will last me X amount of time. I don't know how long it will last. But, like you said we should talk about the car breaking down once it actually happens. Well, I feel like that entire future situation can be avoided if they just let me purchase my own car that I know is in good condition and will last longer than the one they're offering me.
   
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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 05:12 PM

Hey there.

I was in a similar situation a little while ago where my car was declared a write off but the damages were just over half of the worth of the car. The car was a 2015 so it wasn't like it was old but the cost of repairs was 26.5k of a determined value of 53k.
I hadn't been put on the insurance as the owner/primary because we get better rates if I am out on as a secondary driver. Plus, if I get into an accident, it won't count towards my premium.
However, my parents got the cheque because they paid for the car, they're on the insurance and technically they own it. Now, they took that money we got from the insurance and bought me a different vehicle but I didn't particularly get a say in which one I got because I wasn't buying it.

Now, I can't say how your situation would work because technically the car was registered under your grandmas name so technically she owns it despite you both being on the insurance. The fair thing to do would be to let you pick out a car with their help or spilt the cheque 50/50 with your grandma. Did you pay for part of the insurance? Because if you did, then you would be able to use that and mention that you paid for part/all of the insurance.

About the car that was declared a total loss. I personally wouldn't want a car that's been in an accident much less one that has been declared a total loss for safety reasons and issues with the car down the road. Plus, you don't know what hidden damages are there until it's too late.

Can you ask if they can get a mechanic to check it it over? To make sure there's nothing dangerously wrong and so you have an idea what may need replacing. Plus, get it checked to make sure there is no underlying frame damage or engine issues.
You also want to make sure that the car wasn't titled as being "salvage" or "non repairable" because that can lead to troubles insuring it. Check out the DMV for more specific information regarding your state.

I know where I am for example, if a car is declared as DPO (parts only) you can not use it or register it and it remains like that on the cars registration. However, if it's declared as salvaged, you can insure it to use it but it has to go through a variety of tests, repairs and inspections in order to be marked as a rebuilt car (and will stay like that on the papers) and that still can affect insurance premiums.
   
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Re: Total loss claim check taken by parents - March 23rd 2017, 06:07 PM

I wasn't named as the insurance holder for the same reason as yours.
The check was written to me and my grandma, so I agree with you we should split the check 50/50, especially since I cashed it using MY bank account.

I actually paid for 100% of the insurance, my grandma didn't pay anything, she's only involved because the policy was in her name and because the car was in her name.

I agree with you, that is why I'm hesitant in getting this car from my step dad. The thing is the car has been I'm multiple states. The car is no longer in the state where It was declared as a total loss. The laws in my state say you can get a clean title even if the car was declared a total loss/salvage in another state. That's where the issue is, the car was declared total loss/salvage in another state.

I can bring my own mechanic to check the car out but I'm familiar with cars as well and I've already made my judgement. Also, I don't think my parents would appreciate the fact I'm bringing a mechanic to check the car out. That's saying something though, isn't it. Plus, if I try to bring my own mechanic they would say not to because there are mechanics at the shop they have the car at. But obviously, those mechanics are going to side with them and are going to be biased. So to me, they are not trustworthy.
   
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