What are my liability/righttoa car that I sold if the new owner never registered it in his name?

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What are my liability/righttoa car that I sold if the new owner never registered it in his name?

I sold a car last month, and I kind of screwed up. I lost the release of liability form that you are supposed to turn in to the DMV. Yesterday, I got a notice in the mail stating that the car is in a tow yard because the guy I sold it to got arrested. Come to find out the guy never registered the car in his name, so I am still the legal owner. Is it legal for me to get the car out of the to yard so I don’t end up with huge fees, essentially getting sent to collections? When the new owner gets out of jail, can he file a stolen car report if I do get the car out of the yard?

Asked on October 28, 2010 under Business Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Who has the title to the car?  Did you transfer the title?  Do you have a contract of sale that you can show them?  Anything?  You need to go down to DMV and speak with someone about straightening out this mess and quickly.  I can see your wanting to get the car out of the tow yard and save yourself huge headaches down the road but I am not sure that this is the way to go at this pint in time.  Bring your documents to an attorney in your area to review as to liability, etc.  and let him or her advise you how to handle the tow yard.  Do so quickly.  Good luck. 


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