Hello and thank you for allowing me to address your legal question.
No, generally speaking a creditor is not required by law to notify a debtor of his phone number by certified mail or otherwise.
If the vehicle was actually given as a gift, then your obligation to pay for it is extinguished (and bear in mind – once given, gifts cannot be revoked). However, a mere promise to give a gift in the future is not binding at all and cannot be enforced.
Arizona law does require the seller to notify the buyer that the vehicle is salvaged, however. Specifically, the law states:
28-2091. Salvage certificate of title; nonrepairable vehicle certificate of title; recovered vehicles; violation; classification; definitions
N. Any person who sells a vehicle for which a salvage certificate of title has been issued and who knows a salvage certificate of title has been issued for the vehicle shall disclose to the buyer before completion of the sale that the vehicle is a salvage vehicle.
You can view the applicable law HERE. Therefore, depending on the facts (such as how long you had the vehicle and when you found out that it was salvaged), you could have an argument for rescinding the sales contract, or at least for damages (i.e. the judge could order the seller to return part of the sales price to you). In order to do that, you would need to sue the seller in small claims court (assuming the amount in question does not exceed $2500). You can read about how to sue in Arizona’s small claims court HERE.
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The fact that the seller did not share his contact information with the buyer would be a defense to breach of contract for non-payment for the period that the seller could not be reached, but it is not a defense against paying what was owed now that the seller wants his money. Therefore, the seller would be within his rights to sue and/or repossess the vehicle if the buyer does not pay the amount owed to that point. The buyer should have put the money that she owed aside so that she could immediately pay the seller a lump sum when he did finally ask for the money.
It is normal for the lienholder to hold the title, but as mentioned, the buyer should have been made aware that she was buying a salvage vehicle. Therefore, based on what you wrote she has a case against the seller.
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