Question posted in the Criminal Law category relating to Gauteng
i recently moved out of my ex girlfriends place and left the ownership papers to my car in a file in her home, i have just found out that the owersship of my car has been transfered to another person without my consent or knowlege. what do i do?
Information Requested by Lawyer
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
Please keep in mind that our discussions is for general information purposes only. Our engagement on this website does not create an attorney-client relationship.
Do you mind if I take a moment to review your question? I will come back to you shortly!
Answer to the Question
Okay, so when you say ownership papers, I think that you mean the original registration papers.
What must have happened is that somebody (either your ex girlfriend, or the person she gave the registration papers to) went to the motor vehicle registering authority and completed and signed all of the vehicle transfer forms in order to move the car off your name onto the next person's name.
In short, this is fraud.
I assume that you still have your car in your possession and you still use it everyday? If that's the case, then what you need to do is to go to the motor vehicle registering authority and explain the situation to them, and ask them to move the car back onto your name. You can explain that you never signed the documents, and that somebody fraudulently completed the documents in your name. You can ask to see the originally signed transfer documents.
Otherwise, you could go to the SAPS and lay a complaint against this "new owner" that he has committed fraud and has attempted to steal your car from you. It is a criminal case.
Otherwise, if you know who this person is, then you can contact them directly to get your registration papers back, and get them to sign the necessary forms to transfer your car back into your name. If this person has previously paid your ex girlfriend money for the car, then he needs to get that money back himself.
If they refuse to give your papers back, then I'm afraid that you'll need to go to court and sue them to get your papers, and to force them to sign the car back to you.
Do not give up possession of your car to anyone. Not the SAPS, not the "new owner", nobody!
What you should try do is to do this all by yourself, but if it doesn't work, then you might want a lawyer to assist you.