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  1. #1

    Default Sold a Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

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

    I owned two identical(except for color) 1997 Tahoes. I sold one vehicle but grabbed the wrong title(and stupidly neither me or the buyer checked that the VIN's matched!). I discovered this months after the sale when I tried to register the vehicle in my possession and DMV said I didn't own it and could not register it. So now the buyer has title to the vehicle in my possession and I have title to the vehicle in his possession. I contacted the buyer and he said he would get together and get this straightened out. That was a month and a half ago and now he will not answer my calls. I talked to DMV(they actually should not have allowed him to plate the vehicle) and they said there is nothing they can do. I talked to the local police and asked them to go with me on civil assist call to the guy just to be on the safe side, but they refuse to do that. Since he won't return my calls I don't feel comfortable confronting him with this. I know where the vehicle is located and can legally repossess the vehicle since I have legal title to it but did not want to go to that extreme.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    16,859

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    I know where the vehicle is located and can legally repossess the vehicle
    Keep thinking that and try to explain it to the cops when they arrest you for grand theft auto.

    did not want to go to that extreme.
    Good thinking.

    When you contacted the buyer did you say "I'll pick you up tomorrow, drive us to the DMV, and I'll pay whatever it takes to fix this. What time would you like me to come get you?"

    Or did you leave it open for him to call you back someday and say "I'm ready."?

    Here's an idea.

    Take the right title to the guy's house, knock on his door, and do the switch. Hand him a $20 to cover any DMV fees he might incur. Bring a notary if titles need to be notarized.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    The buyer told me when I first called about this that he would get the title and call me about a meet. That was a month ago and he has not returned any of my 10+ calls since. When I went to the police they did call him and he told them the same thing. From his actions alone, and since he seems hesitant to resolve this in a reasonable manner and his lack of action to contact me and set up a meeting, there seems to be something going on. That makes me a little hesitant to pay a visit to him alone since he has been avoiding my calls. But the police - "serving and protecting" refuse to do a civil assist so as to avoid any confrontations. And if I have legal title in my hand how is repossessing going to turn into grand theft? That is not what the police or the repo guy told me. Also him having registered a vehicle where the VIN does not match the registration will cause him some amount of grief if he gets stopped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    You sold him the car. You messed up the documentation. That's not a police matter, and the police are being perfectly reasonable in declining to help you take away a car that the buyer paid for over your clerical error.

    I am not in a position to explain why this person is not cooperating with the correction of the problem. It's going to be a difficult issue for you to resolve without the buyer's cooperation.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    Maybe I am not making it clear. The vehicle he has title to is sitting in my garage. The title to the vehicle he has in his possession is sitting in an envelope on my desk. The vehicle I have title to is in his possession.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    No, that's perfectly clear. You messed up the paperwork, and you each have the "wrong" car -- it's a problem you caused. If you want to go to a lawyer and spend several thousand dollars to try to compel the buyer to cooperate with your correcting your error, by all means -- it's your money. Otherwise I suggest that you find a way to work with the buyer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,530

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    Quote Quoting OlderAndWiser
    View Post
    Maybe I am not making it clear. The vehicle he has title to is sitting in my garage. The title to the vehicle he has in his possession is sitting in an envelope on my desk. The vehicle I have title to is in his possession.
    You sold him the car he has in his possession. You having the title does not change that. It means you screwed up and gave him the wrong title. That doesn't mean you have a right to take back the car you sold to him because it doesn't.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
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    127

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    Best option, offer to meet up with him at his convenience to swap titles so you both have title to the vehicle you have possession of.
    If he refuses, you need to remember that he is driving a vehicle that you legally own 100%.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    Well ladies and gentleman I went directly to the source - the State Department of Revenue, which is the repository of vehicle titles.(well indirectly through my state representatives office) The young lady in the Reps office did all the work for me after I explained everything. She went to the powers that be and they apparently understood that the vehicle is illegally licensed and titled(VIN does not match registration) and voided the title in question. So now all I have to do is go to DMV, file for a duplicate title and then I will have the proper title to my own vehicle so I can get my tags! This puts the onus on the other party to contact me if he wants the legal title to his vehicle.

    Thanks to everyone who responded.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    38,530

    Default Re: Sold Vehicle but Transferred the Wrong Title

    No, it puts the onus upon you to provide a title for a vehicle you accepted money for and which you provided no title. You are the one that screwed up here and it is your obligation to correct it

    the state had no right to void the title the issued to the other party. They had a validly signed title and presented it for transfer. The state had no idea whether you were telling the truth or not.

    I suspect you need to act to rectify the further errors you have made before something happens to the other party such as tickets or even being arrested for a variety of issues involving this matter.

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