If I bought a car 2 years ago but when I tried to trade it in found out that it has a salvage title, what are my rights?

The dealership did a car fax on my old car and found that it had a “salvaged title” which no one told me. It is worth nothing and I still owe around $2,000 on it. I’m just wondering if there is some legal recourse for me?

Asked on August 9, 2015 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If, as you indicate, they knew that there was a salvage title (something which materially, or in a significant way, affects value) but knowing that, withheld that information and misrepresented the history of the car, then the dealership likely committed fraud. Fraud provides a basis for recovering monetary compensation, such as the difference in value between what the car would cost with salvage title and what you actually paid for it. The statute of limitations, or time within which you must sue, for fraud in your state is four (4) years, so you are still within time to take legal action. Once option is to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal costs. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If, as you indicate, they knew that there was a salvage title (something which materially, or in a significant way, affects value) but knowing that, withheld that information and misrepresented the history of the car, then the dealership likely committed fraud. Fraud provides a basis for recovering monetary compensation, such as the difference in value between what the car would cost with salvage title and what you actually paid for it. The statute of limitations, or time within which you must sue, for fraud in your state is four (4) years, so you are still within time to take legal action. Once option is to sue in small claims court, acting as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal costs. 


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.