Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Bought a Car, Title Not in Seller's Name Can't Register - What Happens Now

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: CA

    I bought a car for what to me is an extremely significant amount of money from a private party. I'm a bit inexperienced in this area, the seller seemed like he was as well but he went to the DMV and asked them what was the necessary paperwork for the "transfer"

    We filled out the Bill of Sale/Vehicle Transfer and Reassignment Form, but when I got to the DMV to register the car I started running into problems. The DMV was not very helpful in explaining to me what the exact problem was, but they told me that I needed a bill of sale from the previous owner (before the guy who sold it to me) and the seller.

    I tried questioning at the DMV, but they wouldn't really answer my questions. Now that I've done my own research, I finally understand that the problem arose because the Title is not in the seller's name. Also, there are other oddities with the title which are confusing.

    It has a portion where the last owner has signed off on it, and then another person also signed off on it a month later in the line below that.

    The only place that my seller's information appears is in the "printed name" section below someone else's signature. He also filled out the back of the title, which is an "Application for transfer by new owner", where he listed his information and purchase price of the vehicle.

    Since it's hard to explain, I scanned a picture (with personal information blanked out) of the title, and coded it as follows:

    A = Guy who's name appears on Title. Signed away interest in vehicle on 9/6/09.
    B = Unclear on Identity, Probably a Guy who bought/got it from A and went for a quick resell? Signed off interest in vehicle on 10/24/09.
    C = Guy who sold it to me, possibly bought it from B? In application for transfer on back of title, he listed his purchase date as 10/22/09

    Scan of Pink Slip: http://premium1.uploadit.org/Magnifico//Title.jpeg

    You can see that for some reason, C, my seller, printed his name underneath the signature of "B" (why was that area blank to begin with? It was supposed to contain B's printed name)

    When I registered the car, I gave them registration papers with C's name on them. However, I can't be sure if they were temporary registration papers (as I now have) or permanent ones, as they look the same without scrutiny and the DMV kept them. As it turns out, C was actually late on his registration, which I had to pay for

    Anyway, the point is that the DMV is asking for a bill of sale between B and C to prove C's ownership of the car and therefore his right to sell it to me. I've had a little contact with my seller (C), but he seems to think he gave me everything he had, saying he'd "check" to see if he could find anything else.

    I'm not really liking where this is heading. Honestly I'd like to just be able to register the car and let it be mine as I really like it and was happy with my purchase, but I don't think the DMV will let that happen without a document that may or may not exist, and I am not too hopeful of ever obtaining. Will a perfectly good car really become an unusable piece of junk?

    From doing some research online, it looks like my only real recourse is to sue (pretty sure asking for money back wont work). I think I've read a few things about a "bonded" title, but not sure if it applies to my situation or how it works exactly. Maybe someone can shed some light or give some insight? I can't tell if I'm being intentionally scammed, or if someone just messed up some paperwork down the road by being as naive with the process as I was.

    Really need some help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Bought a Car, Title Not in Seller's Name. Can't Register, What Happens Now

    You "bought" a car from a person who did not own it. I suspect you were happy with the price, but it is really useless to you. Your best bet is to take it back to the person you bought it from and demand your money back. NEVER buy a vehicle that is not registered to the person you are buying it from.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    27,034

    Default Re: Bought a Car, Title Not in Seller's Name. Can't Register, What Happens Now

    Quote Quoting Scott67
    View Post
    NEVER buy a vehicle that is not registered to the person you are buying it from.
    with the exception of a dealer which, in most states, allows for a pass through sale where the dealer does not have to title the vehicle in their name before selling it to another party.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Bought a Car, Title Not in Seller's Name. Can't Register, What Happens Now

    Quote Quoting Scott67
    View Post
    You "bought" a car from a person who did not own it. I suspect you were happy with the price, but it is really useless to you. Your best bet is to take it back to the person you bought it from and demand your money back. NEVER buy a vehicle that is not registered to the person you are buying it from.
    While I am happy with the car, i didn't buy it for the phenomenal price. That's the saddest part, it wasn't even that killer of a deal or anything.

    I know how to properly buy a car now, but this is too expensive of a lesson for me to learn. I am very doubtful that he will give me my money back, I think I'll just rather skip that and let the courts handle it without any warning. I should have a valid case right?

    thanks for the response

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    666

    Default Re: Bought a Car, Title Not in Seller's Name. Can't Register, What Happens Now

    You should have a valid case. In which court to sue, depends on how much money is involved. I would recommend that you make every attempt to get the money back first. Just maybe you can convince him and he still actually has the money. You can indicate that you will take legal action if he doesn't return the money. Winning in court takes time and doesn't guarantee that you will collect. You still need to handle the collection yourself, so if you are thinking, as your statement implies, that you just win in court and "let the courts handle it", it just doesn't work that way.

    It is actually possible that the car has been stolen someplace along the line. So, criminal charges might be appropriate also, although that won't typically help you get your money back. This person selling you a car that he had no right to sell quite likely constitutes fraud, but I don't know if a prosecuter would be willing to pursue it unless he has also done the same thing to others. It wouldn't hurt to take your paperwork to a police station and see if there is any interest in criminal charges. When I post this, I'm pretty sure that other responders with more knowledge in this area than I will jump in with an opinion on whether this is worthwhile or not.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-24-2011, 11:30 PM
  2. Bought Vehicle and Seller Refuses to Give Title
    By tkoenig in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-24-2010, 12:43 AM
  3. Bought Car But Never Registered It - Can I Register it in a Different State
    By slimmpickens in forum Vehicle Registration and Title
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-08-2009, 09:40 PM
  4. Bought A Boat From Seller Who Did Not Have Good Title
    By Innerg in forum Cars and Dealerships
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-03-2008, 08:51 PM
  5. Bought A Car, But Seller Won't Give It To Me
    By Please in forum Cars and Dealerships
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-16-2007, 03:31 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 
Forum Sponsor
Find A Lawyer - Free, confidential referrals.
Legal Forms - Buy easy-to-use legal forms.




Untitled Document