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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32331
Experience:  Began practicing law in 1992
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I am a s.c. car dealer who bought a car from a n.c. auto

Customer Question

i am a s.c. car dealer who bought a car from a n.c. auto auction on 1/28/2016 through a site known as OVE. The vechicle was represented at a price that was below several other similar units. After the online purchase, we immediately called the auction to verify the price. They confirmed it. By noon the next day, after several phone conversations, e-mails, and texts, the money was wired to them for full payment along with the bill of sale they sent us for signature. later that day when the transfer was confirmed, they released the vechicle and assisted in shipping the unit to us. On monday morning, 2/1/2016, the truck was delivered. Later that day we recieved a call from the auction telling us the price was wrong. After a week long of conversations, texts , and e-mails, the auction has refused to turn over the title. We have pursued action through the N.C. enforcement division which they also conferred with the state attorney general on the matter and have determined it is not a criminal action and that it will need to be pursued in civil court. This is a dollar figure of up to $10,000.
Can you please offer opinion here.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.

Is there a specific question with which I could assist?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
do the facts in this matter appear to be in my favor to win in civil court?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

Yes, initially so.

Unfortunately, there is a defense to the formation of a contract known as "mistake". It is exactly what it sounds like, you can get out of a contract if it was entered into and there was a mistake as to material facts.

You will want a lawyer to help you sort through what was and what was not know, what they are basing their subsequent rejection on, etc. They are going to allege "mistake" so your lawyer has to figure out what it is based on and how to defend against it.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
in your opinion, were they not given the opportunity to correct their mistake when we asked to verify the sale price?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

Yes, but the law doesn't require them to correct it. The law looks at whether or not there was a mistake and, if so, was it a material mistake. For instance, if they say the mistake was that they thought they were selling a 2006 model but the paperwork was done incorrectly and it was actually a 2016 model, then the court is probably going to say it was a material mistake. If, instead, they state it was supposed to be sold for $10,050 and instead they sold it for $10,000 then the court is probably going to say that $50 isn't a material mistake when you're talking about $10k.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
if they're saying the unit was priced $10,000 less than it should have been, and are asking us for the money to hand over the title, should i take my chances in a court of law?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

Not exactly, what I am saying is hire an attorney to look over the information, contact the other side, and find out what reason they have for not wanting to tun the title over to you. Once you know the reason for certain and get an explanation as to how the issue occurred then at that point you can make a decision on whether or not to sue.

At this point I can be reasonably sure they are going to claim mistake because it is the only defense that make sense under your facts. However, just claiming mistake isn't sufficient, the burden is on them to prove that it was a mistake as that term is used in the law. I think that your chances are pretty good especially since you did the follow up, it was purchased at an auction with, I assume, no reserve, etc.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your help.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 9 months ago.

You're very welcome. Best wishes to you and please don't forget to leave a Positive Rating so I receive credit for my work.

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