I hope this message finds you well, present circumstances excluded. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an attorney with over a decade of experience in handling litigation matters and have represented the DMV for a state for over 8 years. It is a pleasure to assist you with this matter.
The fact that this man did not give you a title does not negate the fact that you had a verbal contract in which consideration was made (you paid money and he transferred possession). As such, and at the very least, you have a breach of contract and you could sue him to either have the property returned to your possession or your money refunded.
This is also criminal in nature in that he took property without your permission that belonged to you based on this verbal contract and has not returned said property. As such, and in view of a potential civil suit for breach of contract, you should file a complaint with your local police or sheriff office as to the stolen property. If nothing else, when the civil suit arises, you will be able to enter into evidence that you filed criminal charges on the matter. This will be evidence to support your claim.
Small claims courts in Tennessee can hear claims for amounts up to $25,000. If the bus is valued under $25,000 you can file a claim for breach of contract without the need of an attorney in your home county small claims court.
Let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.
Best wishes going forward!