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Thank you for your follow-up. What you are describing is not a valid transaction since it is arguably based on 'false pretenses'. Furthermore, if the vehicle remains under your name, it is still your car, and you can simply take it back. If the vehicle provided to you does not have a rightful owner, it may be a situation of being given a stolen good, so returning that vehicle is very much in your best interest. Furthermore, as that vehicle cannot be registered, it is not 'fit' to be used on the road and the trade between the parties is invalid unless the agreement specifically stated that the trade would be 'as is' and that the parties did not care about whether or not the vehicles could be registered. As it stands, a demand for the return of the vehicle is most valid and binding in this situation.
Good luck and please take care!
It is indeed a civil matter as it is not directly theft, at least arguably it is not theft. You have two options--you can either hire a repo company (or yourself) and simply drive it off since it still belongs to you. Or you can contact small claims and file suit against him for 'replevin' (return of personal property) or value of the vehicle and ask the courts to compel them to make him return the car back to you.
Hope that helps clarify.
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