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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Can Private Seller of Vehicle Change Their Mind

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California

    We purchased a truck from my father-in-law approximately 3 years ago and has been sitting in my driveway. We have not registered it and the title is still in my father-in-laws name. It is not drivable. My husband had mentioned that my son-in-law might want to purchase the truck, but when I checked with my daughter. they had said no. Anyway, when one of my friends were over, I was telling him that my son-in-law didn't want to buy truck and he said that he knew someone that may want to buy it. My husband was out of town and was unreachable when all this was going on. The guy came over and gave me $280.00 towards the truck. I wrote out a receipt for the money and also how much more was owed on it. When my husband finally called me, I informed him of what was going on with the truck, but he stated that he did not want to sell it anymore. The only reason he was going to sell it to my son-in-law was because it would be staying in the family. Now the guy that gave me the $280.00 states that he has a binding contract and that he put money down on it and that I have to sell it to him. He tried to give me the rest of the money on several occasions, but I refused to take it. I told him I would give him back his money as soon as I can, but he says that he can sue me in court and I would have to sell him the truck.

    What can I do if he refuses to take his $280.00 back? This guy has a vehicle that he drives now, and he doesn't even have a valid drivers license. Could he take me to small claims court and sue me for more money than the $280.00? Do I, as a seller, have a right not to sell the vehicle?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,728

    Default Re: Can Private Seller of Vehicle Change Their Mind

    Do I, as a seller, have a right not to sell the vehicle?
    sure but just the same, you have the right to sell it and you did. He has a legitimate claim to seek an order to demand you complete the contract.

    whether the guy will actually go to court is up to him.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,620

    Default Re: Can Private Seller of Vehicle Change Their Mind

    Quote Quoting jk
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    sure but just the same, you have the right to sell it and you did. He has a legitimate claim to seek an order to demand you complete the contract.

    whether the guy will actually go to court is up to him.
    Maybe not in this case. The truck is still titled in her father in laws name. She may not have had the authority to sell the truck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,728

    Default Re: Can Private Seller of Vehicle Change Their Mind

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    Maybe not in this case. The truck is still titled in her father in laws name. She may not have had the authority to sell the truck.
    I considered that but the OP does have constructive title, if nothing else. They may also have a title signed off by dad to them which would allow a claim of actual title.

    but I guess if the OP wants to argue he doesn't have title to the vehicle, he can always deal with the police for fraud due to selling a vehicle he does not own. Either way, OP loses.

    Personally, for what the vehicle sounds like it's worth, I doubt the buyer would go to court for anything other than a return of his money.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    CT & IL
    Posts
    5,273

    Default Re: Can Private Seller of Vehicle Change Their Mind

    The OP should give the guy a casher's check for the deposit. Like most noted, unlikely the guy would sue. The OP could give the guy a hundred bucks more for his trouble ... I would.

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