What are my rights if I made a verbal agreement on a purchase of a vehicle?

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What are my rights if I made a verbal agreement on a purchase of a vehicle?

The deal was $600 cash and trade value on myv ehicle for $500. The trade was given, and $600 cash has been paid. The guy that sold me the car was also going to replace the motor in the windows since they do not work and the hole in the muffler. The muffler and windows were never and fixed and now the guy is telling me that he wants me to pay him another $597 because he feels the jeep was only worth $100. Nothing was ever written down and signed. I have my sister as a witness since she is his neighbor at the original agreement. Also when I went to get the title in my name on the vehicle the dude that sold me the car never had transferred it into his name from the guy he purchased from previously.

Asked on October 15, 2012 under Business Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) An oral or verbal agreement is enforceable, as is a written contract--obviously, it can be more difficult to prove the existence and the terms of the agreement, but as a legal matter, you can enforce the agreement through filing a lawsuit, if necessary.

2) If the seller did not have title, he could not sell you the car. The contract may be voided by you, for one or more of the following: impossibility (he can't transfer title he does not have); mutual mistake (if he and you both did not know he lacked title, then the two of you were both mistaken about the circumstances and could not enter into an agreement); or fraud (if he knew he lacked title but represented--or lied--that he did). If you go this route, you should be able to force him to take back the car and return your vehicle and money.


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