What to do if I sold my vehicle to an individual and we agreed on $3000 for the sale price but he has defaulted on all payments?

UPDATED: Nov 18, 2012

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What to do if I sold my vehicle to an individual and we agreed on $3000 for the sale price but he has defaulted on all payments?

He has not given me a penny. I completed the bill of sale right before i deployed to afghanistan. Sense then he has transferred the title into his name. Ive given him multiple chances to make payments and im in the process of filling out the paperwork to take him to court. The issue im having now is serving him the papers. He is nowhere to be found. He is also in the military and is currently AWOL and on the run. He is not at the address that he put down on the bill of sale. What options do I have.

Asked on November 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

As a practical matter, you may not have any options: if you can'lt locate someone to serve them, you can't institute a lawsuit, which means you can't get a judgment against him--which in turn means that unless you had kept a security interest in the car, the way dealers do when they finance vehicles, you could not repossess it (even if you located it). Furthermore, from what you describe, even if you locate him, he may not have any money or assets which you could reach. And finally, there are laws designed to protect service people from lawsuits while on deployment that he may be able to exploit to dismiss any suit you did file, despite his currently being AWOL.

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