What recourse do I have against a used car dealer who cannot produce the title to my purchased vehicle?

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What recourse do I have against a used car dealer who cannot produce the title to my purchased vehicle?

A little over 2 months ago we purchased a used van from a local dealer. We paid in full by personal check. Since that time, the dealer has not been able to produce the title. We have put some money into maintenance and insurance. Should we ask for a full refund of the purchase price plus these amounts? The reason they have given me most recently is that the title had a lien on it and they had to work with the lien holder to release the title. I was told about 4 weeks ago that everything was worked out, however, still no title. I want to resolve this and need to know rights. What actions should I take?

Asked on August 1, 2011 Tennessee

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

And you entered in to a contract that stated that you would pay X for the vehicle and they would turn over a vehicle with title free and clear, correct?  Read your agreement.  It should say something to that effect.  And as far as I can tell without reading the agreement and knowing exactly what it says, they have breached their end and you need to decide what you wish to do at this point.  Do you want to bring an action to enforce the agreement and have them produce the title free and clear (since you have put some money in to the car you may want to keep it) or to sue them fro breach, return of the car and damages (the insurance and repairs)?  You need to decide and then implement the plan.  Good luck.

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

And you entered in to a contract that stated that you would pay X for the vehicle and they would turn over a vehicle with title free and clear, correct?  Read your agreement.  It should say something to that effect.  And as far as I can tell without reading the agreement and knowing exactly what it says, they have breached their end and you need to decide what you wish to do at this point.  Do you want to bring an action to enforce the agreement and have them produce the title free and clear (since you have put some money in to the car you may want to keep it) or to sue them fro breach, return of the car and damages (the insurance and repairs)?  You need to decide and then implement the plan.  Good luck.


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