My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: OHIO
Bought a car from a person that a friend introduced me to. He's 96 yr old. He's not 100% there with memory but understood that he was selling me his car for under what it was worth. We couldn't find the title and went to the BMV with his passport as identification (couldn't find his license) and got a new title. He subsequently sold me his $25k car for $5k. I wrote him a check that same day (7/23/18). AFTER THE SALE, two days later (7/25/18) I get a call from his accountant who informs me he has power of attorney to sell 96 yr olds car. He was contacted by 96 yr old a month prior (June 2018) telling him that he wanted to sell me one of his two cars. [One was worth 6-7k and one was worth 24-25k (this was the one I bought)].
He gave the accountant my information (June 2018). On the phone on July 25, I tell him thanks for contacting me, but I already bought the 25k car for 5k on July 23. The accountant asks how I bought the car if we couldn't find the title. I told him we took his passport to the BMV as identification and got a new title. Accountant (power of attorney) tells me that 96 yr old is suffering from mental memory handicap and that as proof of his failing competency is the fact that he had given the accountant the car title and power of attorney but had forgotten about it. He also lost his licence but forgot about that as well. I say sorry to the accountant but tell him I didn't know he was in that degree of condition since he knew what we were doing when we went to the BMV.
Accountant continues to fill me in that for the past 6 months, a stranger has been trying to steal 96 yr olds estate and money by lying and saying that 96 yr olds nephew (closest family member, and executor of 96 yr olds will) was stealing money from them. Trying to get them to sign over their estate into her hands in order to block out the nephew from the estate. Accountant explains the nephew has never stolen a single penny from them and that they have had to have protective services remove the woman from their premises in the past. ALL THIS TO SAY.... Three weeks later (8/14/2018) accountant tells me the nephew (executor of the will) has applied with the probate courts for legal guardianship of 96yr olds estate to protect his interests. According to the accountant HE WAS GRANTED THE GUARDIANSHIP.
I am not sure I believe this, since it's a long process that requires interviewing the 96 yr old to determine competency. This couldn't have been done between July 25 and August 14. Unless he started the process in May or June or earlier, before I bought the car. The offender is the woman trying to steal money. But in the midst of this hornet's nest, nephew has informed the accountant (power of attorney) to contact ME (called on 8/14/18) demanding I either return the car and get my 5k back from them, or pay the additional 20k to them for fair purchase price of 25k. If not, he said I may have to get an attorney to defend myself against a charge of ELDERLY FINANCIAL ABUSE (A FELONY) which I can absolutely not afford for a lawyer.
Attorneys would make the case that 96 yr old was not competent during transaction (which is only partially true due to memory not being great and having to remind him of small details like when we were meeting or my last name, but don't all older people forget details????) and say that I COERCED him into selling that car for way under the value. I did NOT coerce him. I was introduced to them by their friend of 40 years. I told them I was looking for a car for around 5k. 96 yr old kept stating that he needed to sell his car since he was getting to old to drive. To me it very much seemed he knew what he was doing. He even told me to call the BMV to ask how we can get a new title when we couldn't find the original.
At this point I believe they have NOT actually hired a lawyer to file suit, as he says he would like to settle this dispute without lawyers since he is power of attorney. But isn't this car mine now??? Should I just give it back and avoid the problem? Or is the accountant and nephew just playing hard ball and trying to intimidate me? I did not do anything wrong and they would try to make the case that I took advantage of the 96 yr old. What should I do? Keep the car and tell him to cash the 5k check and say "go away leave me alone"? Or just sign the car back over for sake of simplicity? My friends and family say to just give it back, but I'm hesitant because I feel they are bullying me for a problem I didn't create.
This is their responsibility to protect the estate and 96 yr olds property. THEY SHOULD HAVE taken his passport from him if he was incompetent. THEY SHOULD HAVE applied for legal guardianship BEFORE THIS MESS HAPPENED. Am I right? Or do I need to give in? Would I lose a lawsuit given the competency of 96 yr old is questionable???
Will they file lawsuit?
Would they win?
Do I stand my ground? And how much of a risk would that be?