What can we do if my boyfriend purchased a car from but the seller wouldn’t give us the keys?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can we do if my boyfriend purchased a car from but the seller wouldn’t give us the keys?

The seller gave us the title already signed by the owner, which wasn’t him. My boyfriend signed it as well. We went and got the car registered, insured, and had title put in my boyfriend’s name. However, when we went back to get the keys to the car the seller wouldn’t give them to us. The police are no help.

Asked on July 20, 2017 under Business Law, Louisiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A "civil matter" means this is something for the civil courts--i.e. for a lawsuit. You can sue the seller for breach of contract--for violating his obligation to fully turn over the car, including its keys, to you after you paid--for the cost of "rekeying" the car, if such is possible; or to get your money back (and return the car to him; i.e. to rescind it) if it cannot be effectively rekeyed. If the value of the car is less than the limit for small claims, then suing in small claims, as your own attorney or "pro se" to reduce legal fees, is a very good option.

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