What can I do if we purchased a vehicle without clear title?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What can I do if we purchased a vehicle without clear title?

I bought a truck from a lady on-line 3 weeks ago. She signed the back of the title; we do not have a bill of sale. We went to get the title put in our name and her name is not on the front of the title. The tax people said this is not a clean title because she did not put the title in her name. The title is still in her ex-husband’s name. He will not help us and she will not give us our money back. What can we do?

Asked on March 13, 2011 under General Practice, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

First, as a basic rule: someone can't sell something they don't own. If the title is in her ex-husband's name, then technically, the vehicle is owned by him, not her, and so she cannot convey title.

Second, she has to then give the money back. You made an agreement with her in essence; in exchange for $XXX, she would sell you a vehicle, which means giving you title to it. It is impossible for her to do that; when a contract is impossible, it is void and the two parties get back the consideration, if any, they paid. So since she can't give you the car, she has to give you the money.

Unfortunately, to get that money back, you may need to sue her...there is no one who will enforce your rights for you but you, so you need to decide if, economically, it is worthwhile to do this.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption