Can The Credit Union Keep My Car Title Till My Visa Card is Paid? – Shelley

“Dear Steve,

I had a car loan through a credit union in Florida where I live..it was paid off in March of 2010…I also had a Visa through them, that went into default and was charged off…They refuse to release the car title..they sent the visa out to a collection agency, and the credit union said they will not release the title of the car until the visa bill is paid

Can they repo my paid car, for this unpaid visa bill?


Dear Shelley,

Unfortunately it is absolutely true they can hold your car title hostage. Credit unions practice something called cross-collateralization where your assets, like the car, serve as collateral for your credit card account or other loans. If the other accounts are not in good standing they will hold your car title till they are.

It’s a very interesting practice since it’s not something you’d imagine that the local friendly credit union would do. But they do.

I would be surprised if they actually repoed your car but they will hold on to the title.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.


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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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6 thoughts on “Can The Credit Union Keep My Car Title Till My Visa Card is Paid? – Shelley”

  1. I paid off my daughters car, I have been making payments for the last year then paid it off because my husband and I were getting divorced and the car was in his name. I paid it off, the divorce is final and the decree gives me the car for our daughter. The credit union would not give me the title, said it was collateral for other things my husband owed….Two months later, they repoed the car–even though I paid it off and the divorce is final and gives me the ca!!!! What can I do. My attorneys are clueless, they do family law…

  2. I paid off my credit card and the company still won’t send my car title. It’s been 3 years! They just say they will look into it and never callback. What can I do?

  3. Was it credit union 1? They bought out my credit union (good ‘ole obama), and they are the most crooked company I have EVER dealt with! My car has been paid off for over a month, my unsecured in good standing. Never received title. Just got off phone with them, and the visa they charged off in 2010, THAT THEY NEVER SENT ANY PAPERWORK ON SINCE!!! is holding my car title hostage. The last paperwork from them I had on the visa was my last statement in 2010. They hold the accounts in house in the legal department and send NO paperwork. I looked at my credit report, and even though they say they charged it off, it’s listed as open just collecting months of past due. Is there anything that can be done?

  4. This same thing happen to me.  I kept bugging them until I got someone that could help me.  Then I was sent a lien release letter from the credit union clerk.  Then they later found out that the information was not to be release to me.  I asked a question to Steve is this a legal and binding document that can’t be retracked back.  Just waiting on an answer.


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