My mother has recently gotten a new car - something that has needed to happen for a long time. However, she's generally not comfortable being in debt - especially not to banks.

I've agreed to lend her enough money to fully "pay off" the auto loan, so that she would instead pay me the same amount she would otherwise have been paying the bank (so, principal + interest, at the same rate as the bank). Both our names will be on the title of the car, and other people and family members know about (and can corroborate) our arrangement, but we'd both like something in writing to make it official.

Trouble is - neither of us know exactly what to put in writing, neither of us have much legal experience, especially not in this sector. What sort of process should we go through to make sure that it's written down ahead-of-time that we both understand and agree on the terms of this loan? We're both in the state of Washington.

To assuage questions about the wisdom of this;

She knows she'll be paying about the same amount of money to me as she would to a bank. I'm quite content to take the risk on the loan, I'm not worried about her paying it back. I'm willing to take the risk that if some natural disaster or sudden medical condition occurs, that I may not be paid back on time. We're both on great terms.


A very simple approach is to take the existing loan agreement, the two of you carefully read it and understand the meaning of the different clauses, and then adopt that agreement, putting your name in place of the bank's. It's another matter, which would have to be addressed by a paid attorney, whether the resulting contract would be legally enforceable, or ill-advised for some other reason. You can always put thing in writing as a personal understanding, not intended to be enforced by courts (e.g. if she defaults on the loan, what do you do? Not repossess the car).

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