What to do if I bought a car from someone and when I went to the DMV they told me the car had a lien hold?

UPDATED: Sep 4, 2012

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What to do if I bought a car from someone and when I went to the DMV they told me the car had a lien hold?

The seller lost the pinkslip so I went to the DMV. After being informed of the lesehold I contacted the leasing company. It told me that the person who I bought the car from owed money, about $1800. It said that id I paid $650, it would sign it off for me. The owner said she never owed money. For 5 months the company asked for money but it wouldn’t show me or the owner any paperrwork. Finally, the owner recently found the pink slip; it is stamped and signed off. Is this fraud by the lease company for trying to get me to pay money that wasn’t owed? What can I do? And is it best if I get a lawyer?

Asked on September 4, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

So long as you have registered title to the car transferred over to you by the prior owner and you had the local department of motor vehicles change title of the car to your name free and clear of any liens, then you have not been damaged. As such, the claims by the leasing company albeit seemingly improper did not cause you any damages.

From what you have written, I do not see a legal or factual basis for an action by you against leasing company since you have no damages under the law.

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