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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 110522
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I purchased a car from Bob. I paid him $12,000 and he

Customer Question

Hello. I purchased a car from Bob. I paid him $12,000 and he gave me the title. I took the title to the DMV and put the car in my name. 8 months later, I woke up and realized my car had been taken from my driveway in the middle of the night. I called the police and they told me my car was not stolen but repossessed by a company I never heard of. I called the company and they told me I purchased a title washed car and they claim they have a superior title. Is this true? They also said basic common-law principle is that an individual cannot pass a better title than she has, and a buyer can acquire no better title than that of the seller.
JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: no
JA: Please tell me everything you can about this issue so the Lawyer can help you best. Is there anything else the Lawyer should be aware of?
Customer: I went to the dealership that repo'd my car and called the police. They showed the police their title so the police said there was nothing they could do and that its a civil matter. I also contacted the DMV and they said Its a civil matter as well
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
They would have to prove that claim. If they had a lien they will have to prove that they had a lien and the title was washed or they will be liable to you for all damages and costs of their illegal repossession, including your legal fees. If the title was washed and you were defrauded, then you would have to sue Bob and also file criminal charges against him for theft by fraud for selling you a car he knew he had no rights to sell you.
Unfortunately, what all that means is that you are going to need a local attorney Monday to get involved and take the repossession company and Bob to court if they cannot resolve it and get your money or your car back without suing.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I spoke with the DMV investigator and the title was in fact actually washed.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Can I sue the dealer that repossess the car? I have no idea where the guy who sold me the car is. His phone number is ***** a working number anymore.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
You can sue the dealer who repossessed the car only if you can get evidence they did not have a valid lien. Otherwise you have to sue both Bob and the dealer together and let the two of them prove who is liable to you in court.
If the title was in fact washed, then you have to pursue Bob and call the police to report a theft by fraud by Bob selling you the car with washed title that he had no right to sell and you have to sue him in court to recover your money.

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