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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4430
Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Hello- I am planning to sell a car in California. The buyer

Resolved Question:

Hello- I am planning to sell a car in California. The buyer has agreed to my requested price but would like to pay about two thirds up front and make payments for the balance. The buyer is requesting to take possession of the car i e have me sign over the title with the receipt of the down payment. The total transaction is a small one--Is there a legally binding document ie a promissory note or other document that can be submitted with the title to the DMV? Thank you
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. In your case, what you want to do is make sure that you retain a "security interest" in the car so that if the last payment is not made you have legal recourse on the car. You would also want to have a written agreement that states the terms of the sale and gives you the right to repossess the vehicle in satisfaction of your lien if all the payments are not made as agreed.

That being said, the Certificate of Title has a way to transfer ownership but retain a lien interest in the car. It is on the back of the certificate of title. You don't want to sign it over to him without retaining the lien interest. See:

Also, you will want to file a UCC security interest in the car. This will show you have an interest in the car and it is not subject to seizure by any other creditor. this form can be found at:

Please let me know if you need further information.
TexLaw and 12 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello Thank you so much for the quick response- I have a State of Washington title and I am selling the car in California. I do not see a place on the Washington title to retain ownership-Please let me know if there is another option. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hello--Please do not respond to my follow up question regarding the Washington title. I have an answer fro the State of WA DMV-I do not want to be charged for the second question. Thank you
Expert:  TexLaw replied 4 years ago.

There is only one charge per question when you are on the same chain. That being said, I as an expert do not receive credit until you have rated my answer. If you give a positive rating, then I get paid for my work, which I would definitely appreciate as I do this for a living.

If there is anything more than I can help you with on this particular subject, let me know.