The Center For Debt Management
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Guide to Understanding
The Right of Possession

The right of possession means that someone currently holds something in hand and this person may be the temporary keeper or the long-term owner of an object.

Examples

  • A business buys a vehicle and obtains financing. The company purchasing the vehicle becomes the registered owner and has both possession and right of possession. The financial organization providing financing would become the lienholder and would have right of property. If the business that bought the vehicle then rented it to someone, that individual would then have possession but would not have right of possession. The company renting the vehicle to them could repossess the vehicle, for example if they hold the vehicle past the contract period. Also, if the rental company missed payments to the lienholder, the lienholder could repossess the vehicle from the person having possession as well.

  • I purchase a pen at a store. I have all three attributes (possession, right of possession and right of property). If I loan the pen to someone, they have only possession. If they fail to give it back they conceivably could have all three, if I was unable to find them, since it is unlikely it would be possible for me to prove that an inexpensive item such as a pen was borrowed and not returned.


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