What should I do if I purchased a car from someone with a bad title?

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What should I do if I purchased a car from someone with a bad title?

I was looking for a used car, found one one craigslist. Got a cashier’s check to pay for it received the car and title payed with the check. Tried to get a temporary tag from the DMV but the car was never registered to the guy I got it from. The title he had was still from where he bought it from someone else. So needless to say I couldn’t get the tag. I put a stop payment on the check and just want out of the deal. Now he won’t take the keys and title back. What are my options? Am i just out of luck?

Asked on August 1, 2012 under General Practice, South Carolina

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, the sale of a vehicle unless stated otherwise presumes that the seller of it has valid legal title to transfer the item to a new person. In your situation since you were not getting registered title to the car, you had every right to cancel (rescind) the purchase of the vehicle.

Since you put a stop payment on your check, you can take the car back to the seller and give him or her the keys to it advising him or her the deal is off due to the seller not being able to give you good title to the car.

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If you placed a stop payment on that check, did you get your money back? If so, then you can do the following: give him written notice that you consider his fraud a breach of the deal. Ask him to come and take the keys and car back. If he ignores you, contact DMV police (safety officers), explain the situation and ask them to take the vehicle at the seller's cost. At some point, you want to make sure you keep all of these records in case anything happens.


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