My partner is in the middle of purchasing a used car from a private party. The car was represented as being worth around $12,000. The car is really worth around $9,300-9,600. She paid off the loan on the car for the owners so they can get the title and sign the car over. Loan amount was $9,048 and the rest she paid to owners bank account. We found out today that the car has been in an accident which they never told us. The title is to be signed over this Thursday 7/5/12. We have having 2nd thoughts on the car and ultimately we want our money back. What are our rights. We live in Hawaii.
Country relating to Question: United States
State (if USA): Hawaii
Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswerMy name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and would like to help. Please keep in mind that the law does not always support our position and justice is not always just, Unlike buying a new vehicle which is protected under the "Lemon Laws" of the 50 States, there is no such protection when purchasing a used vehicle. Unfortunately, the laws impose on us the obligation of taking the vehicle to a mechanic of our own choosing to inspect the mechanical part of it and to te us if there is anything seriously wrong with the vehicle which we should consider before we sign an Agree,ent of Sale and before we pay anything towards the purchase price. The Courts have held that a certain amount of "hype" goes along with selling a vehicle and will not be deemed a basis for rescinding the sale. The only exception which the Courts have carved out is if any misrepresentations made by the seller amount to fraud. An example of this would be if the vehicle was in a very serious accident which cause damage to the vehicle which presents a clear danger and a threat to the driver and passengers. An accident which does not reach that level of damage does not qualify as fraud. Your partner can try to negotiate a way out of the deal but the seller would be under no legal obligation to give any money back. Your friend can try bluffing, telling the seller that she will file suit against the seller for fraud, even though it may not amount to fraud. However, at this point. your partner has nothing to lose.. I wish I could have given you the Answer you were hoping for and it would have given me great pleasure to do so, but I have anethical obligation to you to give you only correct Answers and information, so I kindly request that you not hold the law applicable to your partner's situation against me.
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They gave her a car report from edmonds.com stating the car was worth a lot more. Kelly Blue book came up with a price much less. Also the car hasn't actually been signed over to us yet. Do we still have legal right to back out?
Hi, Alex, Thank you for your follow up questions, These sales are governed by the legal principle of "Caveat Emptor" - "Let the Buyer /beware" The law might sound harsh, but it does put an obligation on us to do our homework before we hand over our hard earned money. The fact that the seller gave your partner a higher value base on a different valuation book does not negate the principle of "Caveat Emptor". You picked up Kelly's Blue Book, and saw a different fair market value for the vehicle, This is part of the homework the law expected your partner to have done before she agreed to buy the vehicle and before she paid off the outstanding balance of the loan. . Although your partner has not yet received the title or delivery of the vehicle, the Agreement to purchase became a binding contract as a result of her partial performance by her payment of the outstanding balance of the loan on the vehicle. I still maintain that since your partner has nothing to lose, she should try to either negotiate her way out of the deal by mentioning "fraud", even though this would be bluffing, but we are grasping at straws here. If the seller will not take the bluff, your partner might try to negotiate a lower price by showing the seller the value of the vehicle in Kelly's Blue Book which is considered the "Bible" in the industry, and showing the seller some advertisements showing a lower price for the same vehicle, and have her use the word "fraud" in her negotiations with the seller,
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