My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Florida and Ohio.
We purchased a car on eBay in Feb 2010 from a seller in Florida. During the time, we resided in New Zealand (planned a move to the US in April) so organized transporting the car from Florida to Texas where my parents live.
The seller mailed the title and bill of sale to my parents house. Everything looked legit at the time.
At the end of April, my husband and I flew from New Zealand to Texas where we picked up a truck we purchased and the car which we towed to Ohio which is where we are living now. The car had no license plates and was in a much worse state then described by the previous owner and what was on the photos posted online. We took the title which was still in the name of different owner to the Ohio title department which refused to transfer it over to us because the person who is named on the title signed on the wrong place (on the back) and the person who sold to us signed on the wrong place (on the bottom). According to the title departments in both Ohio and Florida (I rang a Florida office for advice), the person who sold to us needs to get the title in his name before he can sell it to us.
I phoned the seller and explained the problem. He was hesitant to deal with the problem, started complaining that he would have to register the car if he got the title, etc. I sent the title back to him anyway (via certified mail) as it is not doing me any good here in Ohio (made copies of it first). The good news is that a previous lien holder had signed off on the title any liens on the car.
After a week I emailed the seller, asking if he made any progress. I got a short response that it is 'going to take some time' to figure it out. ???? I suggested going down to the title department and asking their advice. The problem is that I cannot register the car here in Ohio without the title and the temporary tags I purchased run out in 2 weeks leaving me a car I cannot drive.
Are there any options other than small claims court? Will I have to file a claim in Florida or can I file in Ohio? If I have to file a claim in Florida, do I need to drive the car all the way down to Florida? Finally, can I claim back cost such as transportation cost of the car from Florida to Texas, tow dolly rental (Texas to Ohio), court costs, and traveling costs to Florida?