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My husband signed a car for a friend – against my wishes. We now receive notifications of unpaid tolls and parking tickets. What if there is an accident?

Dear Quentin,

My husband signed a car rental contract with a friend. He told me he signed a contract because his friend had bad credit although I was against it and asked why his friend couldn’t buy a used car. Then at the last second, my husband told me that his friend’s credit was “so bad that he had to borrow all of my husband’s name.”

Aside from the fact that this story doesn’t add up, he’s currently getting a second notification for unpaid tolls and parking tickets, and simply send them over to his friend and trust him. will pay. He ensures rental payments are made monthly and tells me that tolls will send collection notices before reporting them to credit collection agencies.

He also claims that his friends have insurance, but that doesn’t add up. The state we are in is requiring owners to have insurance. He told me that this is none of my business and I have no right to be upset. However, every time another “overdue” envelope arrives, I panic when the thought of the savings I have put in so much effort may disappear in an accident and that the house I want Buying with our awesome credit will be no more.

Can you help me explain to him why this is such a bad idea and why it is Not “Not my business,” as he said? What options do I have to get us out of this mess before we lose it all?

Wife panicked

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Dear Panicking,

Yes, your husband is responsible for auto insurance, especially if someone else drives the car regularly.

But your problem goes far beyond this car. The fact that your husband is willing to sign a lease on behalf of a friend and tolerate these collection notices has raised many red signs. What does your husband owe this man? Why did he exceed all reasonable expectations of a friendship to risk his finances and rank his credit this way? The fact that he does this goes against your will and your good sense will offend the hurt even more. Something’s wrong with bigger Picture.

For your husband’s liability. Based on Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, a law firm based in Fort Lee, NJ, “As strange as it sounds, you could be held responsible for an auto accident involving your car – even if you weren’t present at the moment. that point. In most motor vehicle accidents, a negligent driver is responsible for any injury or harm caused. However, in certain situations, the law can blame the replacement car owner ”.

‘Why did he go above any reasonable expectation of a friendship to risk his finances and rank his credit this way?’

– Moneyist

The company cites the legal principles of negligent fiduciary and negligent maintenance. The first involves “handing over your car to someone who is not suitable to drive.” Negligence maintenance “is the failure of you to properly service your vehicle, posing a safety risk to anyone operating the vehicle. This term ‘negligent maintenance’ is used because it is your duty to other drivers to keep your vehicle in a safe, active state to minimize the risk of an accident. “

Given that your husband owns the car and it is driven by someone who doesn’t pay the bill and creates additional costs due to careless driving and bad parking, your husband is fully aware that This is a bad situation. You are left without a “reason” or act by your husband to fix the problem. Take a closer look – with the help of an attorney – on your private / general finances and discover ways to protect your savings. You will also need to take action to restore your peace of mind.

Otherwise, you will reel in proverbial circles unaware of your legal and financial options. Whatever the potential action requires to be decided between you and your attorney in the first case. I am willing to guess that this is not the first time your husband has made a marriage decision that has confused you. Your lawyer should explain to you why tolerating unilateral decisions like these is a bad idea and what you can do about them.

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