My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: California.
I now know I acted foolishly. I'll explain why. But what to do now?
Just 10 days ago, late October, I bought a 2009 car off Craigslist from an Uber driver. Here's why i lept, before I looked closely:
I got the Calif DMV REGISTRATION slip (in name of the Title owner), also dated Aug 24 -just 2 months ago - so License Tags good for another year.
I got the PINK SLIP (TITLE)
The PINK Slip 'Issue Date' was this year, April 8, 2019 (it says the 'Transfer Date' was Jan 2019 & the 'Fees Paid' then was $1025.)
BUT !: The 'Registered Owner' Signed only line 1, ' i certify under penalty of perjury' that the signature "RELEASES Interest in the vehicle", & dated 9/25/2019, just 8 weeks before I bought it.
But that is All that was signed. Remaining UNfilled on the Pink is the date & Signature of 'the Seller', and I have not yet signed the PINK as Buyer.
145,000 miles was scribbled where the PINK Slip said 'ODOMETER' (but it's 155K when I bought it. So 10K has been put on it in the 8 weeks since then. The Seller is an UBER/LYFT driver, and said he has been using it for that.
VINaudit-com shows 'NOT reported STOLEN' ! ; & NO interim owners in the short 8 weeks since car last Registered with Calif DMV & the Pink was released.
&, VinAudit.com, under 'PREVIOUS SALES Information' Only lists, a local 'Auto Sales' Car Lot, for the same $7000, about 11 times during the 3 YEARS, between Feb 2016 & April 2019, when the 'Registered Owner' was finally issued the Pink Slip i now have.
So it was apparently Not driven & on a car lot for 3 years, when the Registered Owner finally got title, and soon 'Released' it, & got rid of it. And somebody else driving it for 10K miles, without registering.
VINaudit.com reports "NO LIENS".
But What are my OPTIONS now?:
How can I Register this car with DMV & legally drive it now?
What can I do with this car? Do I 'own' it? If not, who does?
Can I just pay whatever license and fees might be due for the recent months since Sept 25?
If I get stopped, will it immediately be impounded, or could I drive it home and put in storage?
What about getting a 'BONDED TITLE'?
I can't find the the Registered owner who signed it away? If I could, would he be able to say 'give him back the car & the pink slip & registration' or force me to negotiate with him to buy it all over again?
Must I just accept that I can't soon, if ever, have this car?
Abandon it? Drive it off a cliff (with me in it)? Drop it off at Goodwill with Pink slip & registration, and let them deal with it.
Sueing the seller is not a good solution, as that would take too long, and even if win, collection is problematical.
I can't get ahold of the 'seller', & expect he'd be uncooperative. How could I explain he might be in any trouble for 'selling' it, & thus have an incentive to cooperate?
The 'seller' listed it on Craigs for 28 days for $2800, but took $1800. Kelly Blue Book said Trade-In value only about $1100.
I spent almost all the money I have on this, because I was & still am desperate. This is a disastrous nightmare for me. I need this car to drive as a courier & pay rent. I learnt my lesson. I don't need much criticism. I'm 73 and my eyesight and brain aren't as good as once was.
I hope I get some good help so I can drive this car, please. Thanks so much,