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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    6

    Exclamation Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    well i have an issue, back in sepemeber of this year (2007) i was trying to sell my toyota on craigs list, well a guy from Sacramento emailed me and wanted to trade my truck for another car.. we both agreed and i told him give me some time so i can go and smog the vehicle it was 15 days past the 90 day mark i had it smoged.. well my work i work for long hours and didn't have the time to re-smog the truck.. about 3 weeks after the first contact the person who i was gonna trade said "don't worry about it ill take care of it, ill get it done" well he is so eager to trade he shows up @ 9pm that night with a uhaul and a car trailer with the car.. we exchange info.he leaves.. now fast forward to today 3 months later i get a voice mail on my phone saying he cant smog the truck and "we have some problems and i allredy talked to dmv" in a harsh voice, i tried calling him back and just left a message telling him to call me... i was wondering whats the statue of limitations and a verbal agreement (with witnesses) apply to vehicals in the state of california?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: California verbal agreements.(traded cars)

    After the trade, did you also transfer the titles? That was done three months ago?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    6

    Default Re: California verbal agreements.(traded cars)

    Quote Quoting aaron
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    After the trade, did you also transfer the titles? That was done three months ago?
    yes.. i submitted the release of liability the California DMV a few days after the transaction and signed over the pink slip to him during the transaction.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Michigan
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    Default Re: California verbal agreements.(traded cars)

    Although you don't have anything in writing to confirm an "as is" deal, there's also nothing in writing suggesting any form of warranty. Unless he starts claiming intentional misrepresentation, which would complicate your defense, I doubt that he has much of a case if he sues.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    California
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    1,206

    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    California is weird in so many respects and all the smog stuff is a good example of it (I'm pretty sure it all started here and is about 90% about money). California states that smogging a vehicle that's being sold is "the responsibility of the seller" which, in my opinion, really means nothing.

    If a willing seller sells to a willing buyer, I think any agreement they might enter into negates the customary rule that the seller smogs the vehicle. It's a bad idea for a buyer to consider such a proposition because he's essentially buying a 'pig in a poke'. If it can't pass smog, it's worth almost nothing ($500, I think, thanks to the taxpayers) in the state of California.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Seattle
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    3,577

    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    Quote Quoting chuckycheese
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    If a willing seller sells to a willing buyer, I think any agreement they might enter into negates the customary rule that the seller smogs the vehicle.
    I'm not so sure, Chucky. If there is a law which makes it illegal to sell a vehicle which has not been smogged, I think that nullifies the contract. In general, I believe, a contract based on an illegality is null and void. Remember, however, that I am not an attorney and I could certainly be wrong about that. But I do remember reading something to that effect. I just don't remember in what context....

    Barry

  7. #7
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    Oct 2005
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    California
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    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    Quote Quoting blewis
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    I'm not so sure, Chucky. If there is a law which makes it illegal to sell a vehicle which has not been smogged, I think that nullifies the contract. In general, I believe, a contract based on an illegality is null and void. Remember, however, that I am not an attorney and I could certainly be wrong about that. But I do remember reading something to that effect. I just don't remember in what context....

    Barry
    I understand what you're saying and completely agree....if it is, in fact, a law. It's never affected me so I've never researched it but my guess is that it's not.

    EDIT: I did a quick check and found that Barry is most likely correct; it appears to be a legal requirement in California. I stand corrected!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
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    28,906

    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    A smog certificate is only good for 90 days, so even if one had been provided it wouldn't be valid three full months later. I see various sites that indicate that a used car seller is to provide a smog certificate, but I don't see any which describe the consequence of failure or what happens when the buyer knowingly purchases a car without a smog certificate. I would be interested in seeing any legal authority on this question, one way or the other.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    Per the DMV the seller is required to obtain a smog certificate prior to the transfer of title to the vehicle. No smog certificate, no transfer of title.

    I believe that current and valid registration is sufficient, but it may be only so long as the vehicle was smogged in the past year. I recently sold a car to a friend of ours and we did not have to get it smogged ... though it had to pass inspection several months earlier for registration renewal.

    So ... who has the car right now? Have you gotten it back? If not, then if there has been no transfer of title or release of liability filed, you might just be able to go collect the car yourself as it is not legally his.

    - Carl
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Verbal Agreement for a Car Trade in California

    well heres an update.. he's files a small clams suit. i went and spoke to a lawyer, basically hes had the truck longer then three months and sighed the release of liability knowingly not being presented a smog cert, even tho its my response ability he has basically dug himself a hole, his clams are payment for the testing and for the money he has dumped into the truck in accessory's in the last three months i.e. paint and lift and tires. the lawyer says if he would have done it right away and it dose not pass then he has grounds but since this amount of time has passed he'll be lucky to even get in front of a judge. he knowingly accepted a veihical without smog cert and entered into a verbal contract. so this should get interesting since it will challenge the current California smog rules and verbal contracts @ the same time. eather way.....

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