Monday, March 09, 2009

What Would You Do?

Just curious. I need to learn how to put one of those "poll" thingys, here. [I just signed up for a free one. I'll put it here, at the bottom and see if it works.]

Here's the thing... A couple of years ago when we bought our new truck, DH sold our old truck to a "friend" who he worked with at the time. For simplicity, I'll call the friend 3L [as in "triple L" for lying low life]. When DH sold the truck, a 1992 or '94 Land Rover, to 3L, 3L was working at the same company that DH works for but not as an employee - 3L was a contractor. As a contractor, you are not allowed to purchase your own vehicle [just one of many, many "rules"]. When the transaction took place, DH was under the impression that 3L would be hired as a "full-time" employee in the short term, and thus would be able to transfer title and ownership of our truck to 3L's name. DH, being the nice guy that he is, agreed to letting 3L keep the truck in DH's name until such time as 3L could change the paperwork. DH sold the Land Rover to 3L TWO years ago and the truck paperwork remains, to this day, in DH's name.

As it happens, 3L did not get hired as a full-time employee and was fired while he was still a contractor because he lied on his application - something about having a college degree when he didn't really have one. DH assumed that 3L would be leaving the country and would either return the truck to us - it is still in DH's name - or that 3L would sell the truck to someone else, which would mean DH would have to be involved in the transaction to be able to change ownership. No biggie. Instead, 3L took a job with another company in Saudi. I think he is working somewhere in Riyadh. 3L's girlfriend works for the same company that 3L was a contractor for - the company where DH still works. 3L is still around and comes to Dhahran at every possible opportunity to visit his girlfriend. Could care less about that. Don't like the girlfriend, though, because when 3L and she came to our house for some social thing she refused to come in unless we put The Kids in their kennels. You KNEW before you came over that we have two Kids. If you are that bothered by a Great Dane and a Standard Poodle, do us all a favor - stay home! Whatever.

DH has been calling 3L and sending him e-mails and text messages for the last year and a half asking him when he is going to do something about the truck - insofar as getting DH off the paperwork. 3L says, "I'm looking into it." "As soon as I get my iqama [official residence / working papers which would allow him to purchase a vehicle in his name], I'll take care of it." All sorts of excuses. One after another. Basically he has paid for a vehicle - DH sold it to him pretty cheap - the truck was fifteen years old! - but the truck "officially" is still ours. Where it gets kind of sticky is that if 3L gets a traffic violation [a possibility since ex-pats are targets], or gets into an accident, DH is going to be responsible because it is "his" truck as far as the authorities are concerned. That is how it works. The owner of the vehicle is the responsible party. DH found out that 3L was here a few days ago and DH called him and said, "Look, you need to take care of this." 3L said, "Sure thing buddy. That's why I'm here this time, to take care of the truck." Yeah. Right. Not a chance of that happening. 3L has been avoiding DH at all possible costs since that phone conversation.

There is a sticker on the truck which allows 3L to come and go off of our compound at will. You must have a particular sticker on your vehicle to enter the compound - if you don't have one - there are security procedures that you have to go through to enter. They aren't a big deal. You have to sign in and you have to have someone that is a resident on the compound "sponsor" you. So, in essence, since 3L was fired and left and moved to Riyadh he has been able to come back, at will, and just drive onto the compound because there is a sticker on the truck that says the truck belongs to a resident.

I have no idea how it worked out that we just happened to have a couple of extra keys to the truck in out kitchen "junk" drawer. The day before yesterday I suggested to DH that we go over and take the truck back. We know it is here [just so happens that one of 3L's arch-enemies lives in the same building as 3L's girlfriend, so he lets us know every time he sees the truck here]. DH is too nice. And DH is not confrontational. [I am.] So, DH continues to let 3L take advantage of DH's friendship. DH said, "No. I already called him. He is going to take care of things." Yeah, Honey, but he's been telling you that for the last year and a half and he hasn't taken care of things because it is so much easier to leave it alone and let you have the headache. I rambling on and getting to no particular point? Probably.

After numerous attempts, DH finally realized he had had enough and yesterday he took the old key we have and went over and removed the sticker from the truck which now makes it only a slight inconvenience to 3L as far as coming and going. I think DH made a mistake by not removing the license plates. They are still ours as far as I'm concerned. DH said last night that if 3L doesn't do something about this soon then he is just going to report the truck as stolen. What is "soon?" You've already given 3L a year and a half.

3L has had ample opportunity and time to rectify the matter and get the truck taken out of DH's name and put into his. Why bother, though, when DH is still fully responsible for everything and doing the transfer of a vehicle from one owner to another is such a hassle? Lots of paperwork involved, several different offices and authorities to have to deal with. [There are men who you can hire to do all of the running around and waiting in various lines to accomplish these tasks for you and they are relatively inexpensive.] 3L, as far as I am concerned, has abused DH's friendship and taken advantage of him. I will say that when I was talking to DH about this yesterday I said something to the effect of, "I find it hard to believe that you are going to continue to let him walk all over you like this," to which DH responded, "Why? You do it all the time." WHAT?!? I don't think so! Anyway, it was my saying that to DH that spurred him into taking some action as opposed to no action - and that's when he went over and took the sticker off the truck.

Something I failed to mention to DH yesterday is the fact that the truck probably isn't even insured at this point and if 3L does get into an accident DH is going to have to pay for the damages... I'll mention it over coffee this morning and see if that gets DH to do something more drastic. I just hate to see someone take advantage of DH. It is one thing for DH to say that I take advantage of him - I'm his wife! And that isn't even remotely true. DH definitely wears the pants in our family... Sure, maybe I do a little manipulating here and there to get my own way sometimes, but I hardly call that taking advantage of him. What wife doesn't have her own "little ways" when it comes to being able to get whatever it is she wants?

So, what I want to know is, what would you do in this situation?


  1. I do not know about the laws there but here if he has given you money he owns the truck. Now...because it has been over a year and a half you could state that the monies exchanged was applied toward use of the truck and take it back. Reporting it stolen could be considered filling a false police report. That would get you in trouble. Removing the plates would also get you in trouble as you, as the owner, would be "allowing" someone to drive your truck without plates. Personaly, I would take the truck. If 3L wants it back, he can take care of the paperwork, then I would give it back. NO paperwork, NO truck.

  2. I assume you were my very FIRST voter, RowdyRed. Thank you! He may have given us money - but there is no proof. DH did not give him a receipt and it was a cash transaction so there is no canceled check. I'm all for taking the truck back!

  3. Sabra, I think you have been very lucky so far that there has not been an accident.

    I can just picture 3L getting into a fatal crash and ditching the car at the scene of the accident because he knows it's not in his name *with the way they all drive, lucky it hasn't happened yet* and DH ending up in the Saudi Gazette proclaiming his innocence as he is sentenced to a thousand lashes and some local blogger writing about it in a Locally... post.

    The scary thing is, this is not that far fetched.

    Report it stolen, take it back, grab the plates, anything.

  4. You make a very strong argument for reporting it stolen, AIO. Will definitely share this with DH!

    "...some local blogger writing about it in a Locally... post." LOL!!!

  5. Living in Saudi as an expat is sticky enough as it is. It's your husband's car, he needs to get it because what if this 3L gets into an accident and kills someone then there is the mess of dealing with that blood money prehaps best to get the truck and if 3L gives him any crap tell him that taking the truck was in his right and that 3L should be thankful he didn't report the thing stolen. Yes, almost 2 years to fix the situation has gone on long enough. I hope you guys get this resolved soon. Good luck! :^)

  6. Take the truck...let the guy pitch a fit if he wants to but to whom? Some people will walk all over you...with spiky shoes if you left them. Enough is enough. if you were in the states things might not be so serious but being in Saudi...and you blog enough about the crazy shit that happens there...especially when foreigners are taking a needless risk.

  7. If the law did not veiw contract workers as a pool of potential victems you'd be in court and explaining it to a judge. So you must work outside the courts but as close to the law as you can. The problem is not the truck, but the touble it can get into as it moves about. Open the hood and drop a few grams of mercury into the carburator, burn it down or otherwise permentantly disable the vehicle. If you have to face the courts, show up with the "blood money" and proof of what he paid for it (otherwise 3L will declare the vehicle was worth much more). I am civilized enough to want to use the court system, but pragmatic enough to know when words fail.

    “Patience, n. A minor form of dispair, disguised as a virtue.” -- Ambrose Bierce

  8. There is no written proof the car was sold. It's under Dh's name. If there is an accident it sounds as if DH will be responsible.
    Take back the car and remove the plates so, it cannot be taken back on the sly by 3L. If he calls the police he has no documentation he ever purchased the car and it sounds from your post he cannot claim ownership anyway, since he has no iqama.
    3L cannot claim the car was stolen by your husband as he has no documentation he 'owns' the car. It would prbably be viewed as a false claim on his part
    He has not been above board, keeping the sticker on the car so he can enter the compound at will.
    It sounds as if he doesn't have a leg to stand on. Everything seems to be on your husbands side.
    One thing, what is 3Ls rage factor, would he retaliate someway if you took the car back and if so how?
    You husband and you have a lot to lose to let this continue as it is.
    If you take the car back I wouldn't give 3L any advance notice, just do it.

  9. DH has already given some thought as to what could happen if 3L gets in an accident. Somehow I don't think he gave any consideration to blood money, though Marianna68. When he gets home from his "other job" [golfing] later I'm going to bring that to his attention.

    Truck headed back to Riyadh this morning, Coolred. Not until several not very nice text messages were received from 3L. It will be interesting to see what 3L does next... I'll fill you in next weekend when I'm there.

    DH is a full-time employee, Vermindust. 3L is now working for another company and he is an employee. He was a contractor when he was here. He should, at this point, have all his paperwork in order to get the truck changed over. Use the court system, here? As Americans and whatever 3L is? I think he holds a passport from Ireland, but may be England... No matter. The whole ordeal has turned into one giant pain in the ass. DH will NEVER be nice to anyone again, that's for sure!

  10. My sentiments, exactly, BW! We should have taken the truck this morning before it headed back to Riyadh... Now we will have to wait until it is here again. Plates will definitely come off of it. We've got a key. We can drive it back and park it in the driveway.

    3L's rage factor can be whatever he wants it to be. DH is twice his size. Go for it, 3L. I dare ya! And, all DH would have to do is call security and 3L wouldn't be allowed on the compound ever again to sleep with his four-legged-Kid hating girlfriend, so I don't think we'd need to worry too much about retaliation. DH has many, many friends here. 3L? Only a few.

  11. Hi Sabra
    I would tell 3L that you will report the "theft" to the police and to give you the car back. A friend of ours was in a similar situation. He gave the car to a another party who after six months never changed the title. The car was in an accident and my friend sat in a Saudi Jail for two days. Then had his passport taken and was not let out of the coountry till things were sorted out. It was very scary for him and it does happen. Thank god it was sorted quickly but he paid a lot of money for that Rebecca

  12. Definitely sharing ALL of this with DH, Rebecca. He may have realized the consequences, originally, but he looks for the good in everyone and never thought that a "friend" would screw him over like this for so long. 3L is NOT a friend!

  13. Technically, I believe it's still your truck!!

  14. Far as I'm concerned it is, Anonymous!

  15. Inform 3L that you'll report the truck stolen in 72 hours... unless he gets the paperwork taken care of.

    Or, just report it stolen. Let the Saudi Civil Liberties Union defend him.

    Oh, wait a second...

  16. I am actually laughing out loud reading your description of poor DH’s dilemma. Not because the predicament he is in is so funny (it is not,) but, I have to laugh because I see myself (Mr. Nice Guy) being placed in this scenario. I have the same personality flaw, and I have allowed myself to be caught-up in similar scenarios on a couple of occasions. I now refer to these events as lessons learned. So I can certainly empathize with DH, the poor guy. My theory is DH’s problem is purely gender related – and it only afflicts males; similar to the phenomenon of male pattern blindness – the inability of a male, with perfect eye-sight, to spot a gallon of milk, labeled as “MILK,” located in the fridge, at the very front of the top shelf. (Neither incurable genetic flaw has ever been discovered in females; that is why you display the greatest clarity over DH’s debacle.) I have had exactly the same mind-set as DH: a buddy (even 3L’s) needs a little help or assistance. And, gee, “buddies” would never consider taking advantage of me. And I couldn’t become confrontational with a “buddy” that has just experienced a tragic life-altering experience (being fired), even if he choose poorly… by lying on his resume’! The “buddy” will certainly do the right thing; he told me he would! The “buddy” just needs a little more time. (Please refer back to male pattern blindness syndrome.)

    Please continue providing your saintly aid to the blind one; it is the humane thing to do.

  17. 3L has left for Riyadh already, Mark. Yesterday morning. Some nasty text messages were sent to DH when 3L had a hard time leaving without the proper paperwork [he was missing the truck sticker - so, hey, where's your "gate pass" - and of course he didn't know the sticker was even gone until Security pointed it out to him]. 3L threw a small fit over the fact that we just happen to have a spare key to what he thinks is his truck... See my response to St. Diesel...

  18. After several nasty text messages to DH's mobile from 3L, DH responded this morning, StDiesel. "If the paperwork isn't done by the end of the month, I'm going to instruct Security to take the plates and impound the truck" [but not UNTIL he has the record checked to make sure there is nothing "outstanding"]. I will continue to "saintly aide my blind DH" because it is the humane thing to do and because I am his wife. And, as far as buddy's go? Never again. One bad apple always ruins the entire barrel.

  19. I voted repossess. Consider the money he gave y'all rent, and get it back before he wrecks it or sells it for cash.

  20. He can't sell it, Angela. It is still in DH's name. I am concerned about a wreck though. DH is being much to lenient and generous, and is giving him until the end of the month. Then WHAM! Truck gets impounded if 3L tries to drive on the compound.

  21. Sorry I'm late to the party. I had a similar situation here in the states. I gave my vehicle to my niece. She agreed to get it registered on the next business day.

    Three months later, I get a parking ticket for the vehicle. I called my niece and she had given it to her boyfriend who gave it to a friend(none of whom registered the transactions and more parking tickets were on the way.)
    I said I was taking the car back if I had to pay parking tickets for it and no one was going to register it as theirs. Then I was told they didn't know who had the car now. I said okay, then I'm reporting it as stolen.
    Somehow the car appeared in the possession of my niece's now ex-boyfriend who assured me that he would take care of the parking tickets.

    Upon receipt of the next ticket, I brought my extra set of keys down to where they were, took the car and gave it to my niece's father. He took care of the problem.
    Do NOT allow yourself to be put on the hook for someone else's actions in this way. It took months to get the parking tickets off my record.

    Not worth the hassle and it was family and only parking tickets and here where the laws are not so unforgiving.


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