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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 6370
Experience:  20 years experience as a civil trial and appellate lawyer
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My son made a car deal with a guy that did not follow through

Customer Question

My son made a car deal with a guy that did not follow through with payments. The buyer filed for lost title and forged the signature. We have placed a 10 day hold through the DMV. What can we do at this point? Is there any recourse?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
Welcome. My name is Maverick. I very much enjoy what I do and I hope that you will benefit from the information or assistance that I provide.
One option is to report the buyer to the local district attorney for a forgery prosecution.
Second option is to sue the buyer for breach of contract and for a declaratory judgment [DJ]. Both of these claims under Texas law allow for the possibility of recovering your legal fees from the buyer if you win.
The breach of contract action will allow you to get a court order that says the deal is off and you get the car back because the buyer missed payments.
The DJ action will allow you to ask for an order that says that the title remains in your son's name which order the DMV must follow.
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/CP/htm/CP.37.htm
If you sue the buyer and the buyer does not have any money to hire a lawyer, he will probably default by not filing an answer or showing up to court hearings.
Also, you should not try any direct or indirect means of repo without a perfected lien. A perfected lien is shown on the title and recorded by the motor vehicle records department. In the absence of such a lien there may not exist a present right to repossess by self help repossession. You must first get a judgment and then a writ of execution to get the car back.
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Where would we file a breech of contract at and how do we? Why cant we just repo the car back? How do we extend the 10 day hold we have filed in Austin. How do we file an injunction that they said we would need. I would like the car back for my son but most of all I would like this man to be charged.
Expert:  Maverick replied 2 years ago.
1. Where would we file a breech of contract at and how do we?
https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf
At the link above you will find instructions on filing a suit in small claims court which has a limit of 10K in damages.
2. Why cant we just repo the car back?
For the same reason a LL has to go to court to evict a tenant. To avoid a physical altercation and also who is going to be the judge of whether the buyer missed payments so as to grant you a right to repossess the property. You could try to repo without the help of a sheriff, but it is risky business.
3. How do we extend the 10 day hold we have filed in Austin.
You will need to get a court order staying DMV's transfer of title. This is called a temporary injunction.
4. How do we file an injunction that they said we would need.
The procedure for obtaining a Texas Temporary Injunction and Permanent Injunction is contained in the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure §680 - §693.
http://www.txcourts.gov/media/514725/TRCP_2014_01_01.pdf
See link above for the rules.
4. I would like the car back for my son but most of all I would like this man to be charged.
You need to make an appointment to see the DA or file a police report for forgery.