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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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I bought a car from a private seller 5 days ago for $1600.00,

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I bought a car from a private seller 5 days ago for $1600.00, I was told the only issues were the sway bar link, a 14.99 part, two front tires and an oil change. I decided that the tires were most important, I took the car to the local tire shop and had the tires replaced and balanced for 64 dollars and change. At this time I was informed that my inner and outer tie rods needed to be replaced, the guy at the tire place said to help me out he would replace them for me if I bought the parts for the price of lunch, he couldn't in good conscience let me put my children in that car, one bump or pothole the wrong way and I would be in a serious accident. So I purchased them that was another 80.00. I purchased the sway bar links and windshield wiper blades for an additional 60.00 today. The car was also having trouble starting, so I decided to go get it tested, while on the way to autozone, the windows stopped working. I had the battery tested found out that it is bad and I need to replace it which will cost between 104.00 and 119.00, I bought a new circuit breaker for the windows and after trying two I found out that its not the breaker it is most likely a wiring issue, who knows how much that will cost. when I got home I called the seller and informed him that there is a lot more wrong with it than he disclosed and he said well you should have called him to do the work he would have gotten tie rods for 15.00 and there was nothing wrong with it when he sold it to me tie rods don't just go bad over night, I think in the 5 days I have had it I maybe put thirty miles on it. The seller said well I don't know what you want me to do about it, I asked if out of the kindness of his heart he could at least reimburse me for the money I have put in it besides what I already knew about and he was really mean about it with his wife screaming in the background and said no, I don't have it, take me to court over it and hung up. My question is do I have a case in small claims court against him?
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. Do you have proof that the seller knew about these defects before selling the car to you? In other words, do you have the evidence to prove that the seller intended to defraud you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I only have his word that he is a mechanic and looked over the car and that his wife had supposedly been driving it and that he wouldn't let his wife drive an unreliable unsafe car. he also made a comment that it was the most reliable car in his driveway.

Thank you for the reply. Did he include a warranty with the car or did you purchase it "as is"?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Unfortunately I purchased the car "as is". But while on the phone with him I described the windows and he said oh yeah I forgot to tell you sometimes you have to jiggle the key. This leads me to believe he could have possibly known about the issues.

If you can paint the picture that he knew about defects and lied about them to you in an attempt to get you to purchase the car, then you can sue him in small claims court under the theory of fraud/misrepresentation.

You have to paint the picture that he knew X, Y, and Z, and lied to you in an effort to get you to make the purchase. You have to also tell the judge that had you known X, Y, and Z that you would not have made the purchase.

Let me be clear: it's not just about proving that there were problems about the car. You have to prove that he knew about it and lied to you about it in an effort to get you to buy it. That's what fraud/misrepresentation is about. If you can't prove that, then you lose under the "as is" presumption.

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is there some type of lemon law when it comes to private party sales in indiana?


 

The state law does not apply under the facts you've described. You can read more about it here: http://www.in.gov/attorneygeneral/2544.htm

I know that this is not what you wanted to hear but you deserve a candid answer.

~~ J.B.
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