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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    4

    Question Sold a Car Without Holding Title, Buyer Threatens to Sue

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



    I recently sold my car as-is. Now I bought the car from an estate sale (the woman who owned it passed away and her son handled the estate). The car in question is a 1998, and I lived in Rhode Island at the time, and in Rhode Island they really don't bother with or care about titles on cars older than 10 years, so the title was officially still in the deceased woman's name.

    Long story short, I moved to Georgia and sold the car via Craigslist to a man. The Bill of Sale reads "as-is". Now this man is threatening to sue me for committing a felony, as well as threatening to go to the police, because he's saying I had zero legal right to sell the car as I don't own it. Apparently Georgia is a little more strict when it comes to titles. I've offered to help him get the issue resolved by attempting to track down the man who sold me the car, and get the certificate of death and affidavit of estate or some such thing, however every time I talk to this man he keeps threatening to sue me if I don't have this issue resolved in a matter of days or give him a full refund.

    He also wants to use my RI plates so he can drive the car, and demanded I write him out a sheet of paper letting him lease the car for $1 and granting him ownership.



    What can he actually do in this situation? Have I committed a felony? Is the burden of proof on the seller, as he keeps telling me? It seems like he basically wants me to do all the leg work, and go with him to the tag office once I've acquired all this paperwork - am I required to do this?

    Any and all advice is very welcome on this matter. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,678

    Default Re: Sold Car - Buyer Threatening to Sue Me for Felony

    He can certainly has plenty of grounds to sue you. You are obliged to deliver title even on an "as-is" sale.
    While RI doesn't require titles on older cars, that doesn't help you in your obligation to present a title in your Georgia sale.
    You'd be a fool to allow him to drive the car on your plates. It opens yourself to all kinds of mischief. Further, you are opening yourself up to substantial liability "renting" a car like this, your insurance, even if you bothered to obtain any, won't cover this.

    You've certainly broken a number of laws starting with the fact you were obliged to retitle/register the car in Georgia.

    Your best course of action at this point is to refund any money he has paid you unless he's willing to wait it out.
    RI will issue the certified registration and title law letter (write the RI DMV Research Office) that you can present to Georgia to obtain title there.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    4

    Default Re: Sold Car - Buyer Threatening to Sue Me for Felony

    Rhode Island does not require the title on all vehicles older than 2001, and they don't re-title on vehicles that old. He has my registration from Rhode Island stating I was the owner.

    I'm trying to track down the information he needs to register it in Georgia, however he's still making all sorts of threats about suing me and going to the police. What can actually happen here if he decides to just go to the police or sue me instead of requesting a refund again?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    19,678

    Default Re: Sold Car - Buyer Threatening to Sue Me for Felony

    Quote Quoting piedmont26
    View Post
    Rhode Island does not require the title on all vehicles older than 2001, and they don't re-title on vehicles that old. He has my registration from Rhode Island stating I was the owner.
    I know that, but let me explain this to you AGAIN as simple as I can put it.
    Since this transaction took place in Georgia, not Rhode Island, YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PRESENTING HIM A VALID GEORGIA TITLE.

    You can't title jump, especially when you don't even have a title to jump with.

    I'm trying to track down the information he needs to register it in Georgia, however he's still making all sorts of threats about suing me and going to the police. What can actually happen here if he decides to just go to the police or sue me instead of requesting a refund agai
    n?
    What he needs is you to take your registration to the Georgia DMV and do what they need to issue YOU a title. You can then sign it over to him.
    There is NO WAY the DMV will issue him a title based on a registration certificate in someone else's name.

    What can happen? He can sue you in court for the money he has paid you plus other damages he has incurred due to your fraud.
    He can report it to the police who can issue you various citations for failling to register the car in Georgia, failure to have insurance, emissions inspection requirement.violations, etc... You certainly will attract the attention of the taxation department for failure to pay taxes due. If they want to allege a fraud in the transfer, they can arrest you for that.

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