Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle... - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 04:39 PM Thread Starter
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Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

Hello everyone, first of all I appreciate any time and advice that you guys can give me... THANK YOU...

A few months ago I decided to sell my 1984 TransAM. I put up a thread about it on a local forum. I was contacted by another member of the forum/club who was interested in purchasing the car. Came over to my house, did not have enough money on him at the time so he paid be 800 out of the 1000, I told him it was ok and let him take the car anyway, a week later we met up again to get the other 200 from him and hand him the title. Everything was smooth...

Now here's the problem: Couple of months after that I get a letter from City Wide Towing stating that the car has been impounded and that if I want to get it out I have to pay them close to 300 bucks. I tell them it's not my car but they insist I pay them since it's registered under my name. I say forget it, keep the car and they say "no problem". I contact the buyer and tell him I will need him to sign another Bill of Sale for me (since "I" lost the original one, this is the cause of all my problems) and he agrees to this, he even agrees to allowing me to make a copy of the signed title.

Yesterday I received a letter from a collection agency for quite a bit more debt money. They still insist that I pay this and refuse to work with me in any way. The car is NOT mine. I called the DMV and they are useless as can be, stating that there is no registration changes they can make EVEN IF I had a Bill of Sale...

I have been trying to contact the buyer/club member without any luck. I'm trying to give him the benefit of the doubt but I refuse to let my credit be ruined because of someone else. I realize the big mistake is on my part by not keeping the Bill of Sale... However, I'm sure this is not the first time something like this happens.

What do I do? Please PLEASE give any advice you can... I could really use some help here. THANK YOU!

Juan


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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 04:59 PM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I am not a lawyer, but according to the Nevada DMV's site:

Quote:
Selling to a Private Party:

Provide a proper title to the buyer

Complete and keep a Bill of Sale (Form RD-104)

Keep your license plates
Did you do all three? You mentioned the original bill of sale...what happened to it?

The page continues:

Quote:
The Bill of Sale is your proof that you sold the vehicle. This proof is particularly important in case the vehicle is abandoned at a later date. The buyer does not need a Bill of Sale to register the vehicle if you have provided a properly signed-off title.
So it sounds like the BOS is your only real proof that this guy got the car impounded and not you. Did he register the vehicle in his name before the impoundment? Finally, was the new BOS that you had him sign dated for the time of the original sale? Or was the date on it AFTER the impoundment?

It seems like we can take the following to be true: Nevada does not require you to submit any paperwork when you sell a vehicle, as the only thing someone needs to register the vehicle in their name is the signed off title, or a BOS if that is not available. A BOS is proof that you no longer own the car. In other words, according to the DMV website, you are under no obligation to do a damn thing. So it sounds like you should be fine as long as you have a BOS that is dated prior to the impoundment. If you DON'T have that, then you may be out of luck unless this guy is willing to sign an affidavit saying that he bought the car.

If I were you I would look up the relevant statutes in the nevada vehicle code, photocopy them and your bill of sale and send it to both the towing company and the collections agency along with a letter explaining why you are not responsible for these costs. If they don't give in, then you should spend the $100 to sit down with an attorney for an hour in your area. He or she will either explain what you should do next or will tell you how much it will cost you to make it go away.

Finally, if it ends up on your credit report you should dispute the account and add a comment to your report.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 05:02 PM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I forgot to ask: did you use the BOS available from the Nevada DMV? Or did you just make one up yourself? I ask because, although it should be sufficient to have just written "I sell my car to Bob for $X", it might bite you in the ass if you did that.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 05:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I am sorry, I think I didn't state everything clear enough. Let me tell you what happened with the Bill of Sale...

1. "I" lost it.
2. I never got him to sign me a few one.

So in a nutshell, I have no Bill of Sale. And of course he won't contact me so I have no way to get a copy of the signed off title or a new signed copy of a BOS dated before the car was impounded.

Thanks for any further advice you can give murph or anyone else who can help, I could really use some advice...

Juan


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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-20-2006, 06:24 PM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

what do you mean by "I" lost it? If it's not pertinent to the discussion, then that's cool.

Without a bill of sale, I would definitely go talk to a lawyer. many will do an initial consultation for free or for cheap, and even if they don't then $100 to maybe get out of this mess isn't that big a deal. They'll most likely be able to give you some options and send you on your way.

Alternatively, you could follow a slightly less legal path and go pay the fee, have the car towed somewhere safe, and then tell the guy you're going to hold it for 30 days until he pays you back, at which point you'll sell it to another buyer. You'll only get away with that if the guy is an idiot, but that might be a good call. I don't see why he would buy a car for $1000 and then basically throw the money away by not getting it out of the impound.

But I think talking to a local attorney is the best course of action.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 09:37 AM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I know it isn't Nevada, but in Maryland basically what terminates ownership of a vehicle is returning the plates to the DMV and notifying them when you turn in the plates that you sold the vehicle. They anote that under the VIN of the vehicle. That way even if the person who bought the car doesn't go about registering the car or getting a new title it will be under the vehicle record that it has been sold.

I am not sure how Nevada does it, but if you did take the tags off the vehicle and turned them in the guy would have HAD to of gotten a new title (in his name) and registered the vehicle to get tags put on the car (unless he is using tags taken illegally off one of his other cars or something).

When I sold my saturn I just signed over the title to the guy and took the tags off. I never bothered with a bill of sale as it is usually used by the purchaser if they are attempting to get a lower excise tax on the vehicle when they get it titled (it is a 5% excise tax in MD on the value of the vehicle or the selling price). I then proceeded to turn in the tags on the car and told them I sold it (as they asked why I was turning in the tags). The woman said it would be noted on the vehicles VIN that I had sold the car.

Good luck!
-Matt
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 09:56 AM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I know in California you sign a release of liability form when you sell a call thru private property. Does Nevada have something similar?
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

murph182. when I say "'I' lost it" it's really irrelevant to the conversation, it just means I handed to someone else to keep and now it's gone, in any case, it's gone.

azazel1024. The tags were actually returned back in 2004. Car was never registered since then, the title is just under my father's name. I am going to the DMV tomorrow to get a copy of their records stating I cancelled the registration in 04. We'll see where that takes us...

FemGearHead. Yes, we do, it's called a Bill of Sale, the document I'm unable to provide.

I'm open to any advice, I need help! Thanks!

Juan


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 11:36 AM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

not according to the DMV website. he isn't required or instructed to submit anything, merely retain a bill of sale. The BOS states clearly that it is a release from interest in the vehicle. As soon as it is signed, he no longer owns the car. * The fact that he no longer has the BOS is bad news because he also does not have the title so he cannot simply go and get the car.

This is why he needs a lawyer. If he pays the fine and picks up the car, it might be theft. If he pays the fine and leaves the car where it is, it will only be impounded again and he will get fined again. If he just doesn't pay it, his credit is fucked. He's really stuck. I'm sure an attorney can help him figure out how to either avoid paying for the car or how to retrieve the car legally.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 07-21-2006, 11:45 AM
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Re: Need Legal Advice - Sold Vehicle...

I think what [VU]Juan is trying to get across is that he no longer has proof that he has sold the car to someone else. If he can't prove the sale, then legally the car is still under his name and he is responsible for any dues levied against it. A signed bill of sale will automatically transfer all liability from the seller regardless of which state you're in, I would think. A BOS will also transfer ownership because it means you have already recieved money for the vehicle. I think murph182's right, contact a lawyer to discuss your options. Although it makes ZERO sense- like murph also alluded to earlier- the buyer might have changed his mind about keeping the car and paying another 300 for it.

The maryland law you (Azazel) describe regarding notification of sale sounds weird. A change in ownership will be registered into DMV's system anyway when either
A) The new owner registers his car OR
B) You register another car with the same plates you had on the car you sold OR
C) You just return the plates

Regarding point C it would seem they want to know whether you are just deregistering the car or selling it just to file a note in the system. Assuming you have beaten the buyer of your car to the DMV and a new file hasn't already been registered under the car's VIN.

Unless Maryland requires mandatory registeration of all owned vehicles, it seems to me that a bill of sale should suffice to terminate your ownership of the vehicle. But then you mention a BOS isn't required either so this is all a bit odd. In Ontario you pay tax on either purchase price or the blue book value (whichever is greater). So a BOS is indeed a requirement since in private sales it's somewhat unlikely for you to get a wholesale price on the car (assuming it isn't a POS).

EDIT: Ah. Murph beat me to it. Shoul've reviewed the new posts like the forum thingy suggested

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