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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

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

    I bought a 1992 Volkswagen GTI in November of 2010 from an ad that was listed on craigslist. I contacted the owner and he stated the car had a clear NC title and the car wouldnt have any trouble making it back to where I lived in TN. I drove about two hours from my home in TN to pick the car up. Upon arrival the owner informed me that he had left the title at his mothers house and she was out of town at the time. We agreed to sign a bill of sale and he said he would send me the title in the mail as soon as he got it from his mother. When I left NC headed back to TN the car broke down about halfway there and I had to have it towed the rest of the way after being told the car would make it back to my house with no problem. I received what I thought to be a clean and clear NC title in the mail about a week later. The car was not yet in good running condition so I spent around $800 buying parts for the car and getting it in good enough shape to drive. I went to the DMV the other day to register the car and found out a few interesting things. The title he gave me wasnt even a title, it was a form for a duplicate title in NC. The name signed on the duplicate form wasnt even his name, but some guy from a completely different county in NC. I also found out that in NC it is completely illegal to sell a car in NC without a clean and clear title and that a notary has to be present and sign the title at the time of sale. Three different people at the dmv informed me that I could not title the car and it was illegal for him to even sell me the car in the first place. I contacted him and he is basically telling me i'm full of crap and he has registered cars that way before. I offered him to buy the car back but he wont. What should I do? Could I take him to court and sue to get a title for the car or get my money back?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,890

    Default Re: I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

    NC *REQUIRES* notarized signatures on NC titles and title jumping isn't permitted. They'll relent with great reticence on out of state titles with regard to the notary requirement but certainly not in state. If he gave you an MVR-4 and said it was a title, you were hoodwinked. As they pointed out to you at the agency that form has absolutely nothing to do with conveying ownership. All it does is allow the owner (with acquiescence of any lien holders) to obtain the title documents from the state.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,276

    Default Re: I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

    Sue him ... punitive damages may be in order .. so small claims v. regular court?

    And NC is a notice pleading state .. a plaintiff's dreamland...

    Always have a car you purchase title signed over at the DMV .. that way you prevent this stuff from happening.

    If a person does not want to do it, then don't buy the car..simple.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    NC *REQUIRES* notarized signatures on NC titles and title jumping isn't permitted. They'll relent with great reticence on out of state titles with regard to the notary requirement but certainly not in state. If he gave you an MVR-4 and said it was a title, you were hoodwinked. As they pointed out to you at the agency that form has absolutely nothing to do with conveying ownership. All it does is allow the owner (with acquiescence of any lien holders) to obtain the title documents from the state.
    So should I take him to court and sue him? I don't see any other option.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    9,890

    Default Re: I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

    That would appear to be the solution.
    I'd avoid driving the car in the interim.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    22

    Default Re: I Was Sold a Car Without a Title

    Quote Quoting flyingron
    View Post
    That would appear to be the solution.
    I'd avoid driving the car in the interim.
    Thank you.

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