Can a buyer return a car that I sold him?

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2011

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Can a buyer return a car that I sold him?

I “sold” car to buyer for $10k. Buyer test drove, took possession, and deposited $8k. I had lien on title. Buyer held back $2k pending title. Bank took 10 working days to send me the title. I called upon receipt of title to schedule a transfer and he stated the car was leaking, running rough, and making loud noises. He stated he was taking the car to mechanic for review and that he was not responsible for any repairs. I told him it didn’t matter what the mechanic said, I wasn’t turning over the title until he paid me the remaining 2k he owed – as per notarized contract. What is my obligation?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Business Law, Alaska


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you sold your car to a third party for $10,000 and $2,000 is owed you pending transfer of the registered title, it is favorable that you have a written agreement signed by the buyer as to the terms of the sale.

I would write the buyer stating the terms of the sale and that you are ready, able and willing to provide the buyer with the registered title in exchange for the $2,000 still owed. Keep a copy of the letter for future reference. If you do not hear from the buyer within a time period stated in the letter, I would then bring an action against the buyer in small claims court for the $2,000.

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