Do I have legal recourse for non-delivery of a car title for a purchase conducted 8 days ago?

UPDATED: Aug 24, 2011

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Do I have legal recourse for non-delivery of a car title for a purchase conducted 8 days ago?

I agreed to pay off the car loan of the seller. While waiting for the title, the car is parked in my garage but the seller has kept the keys. He promised me – orally – that the financial company would send the title within 3 days. It has now been 8 days. I still owe him money that we agreed would be paid when we signed over the title. Can I legally deduct from the final payment?

Asked on August 24, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If your oral agreement with the seller of the car that you purchased is that you will receive registered title of the car to you by a certain time period and you have yet to receive title to the car, assuming you ever get registered title to the car in your name you have no legal basis for debiting any amount that you owe the seller from the balance owed.

My concern from your question is how much did you pay the seller, how much is owed by you to the seller and how much is owed to the lender on the balance of the car?

The reason for these questions is that potentially the seller took your money and vanished where you now have the car without any keys, title is not in your name, you do not have registered title to it and the loan may not have been paid off or will be.

If you are left holding the above, you have a legal action against the seller for breach of contract and fraud.

Good luck.

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 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.

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