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Daniel, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5708
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (dist) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practise. Admitted NSW Supreme Court / High Court
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There. I was hoping you could direct me in the right

Customer Question

Hi there.
I was hoping you could direct me in the right path should I be in the right to pursue any action.
I had bought a car from a friend of mine in November 2014.
The car was registered to him, though it was a fleet vehicle that he had through his work.
He left the country after he had been paid out (as redundant I believe) just prior to my purchase of this car.
The car was negotiated as his in the contract he signed upon leaving the company. A total of $6000 was to be deducted from the total payout.
I had seen the draft of this contract the hour before he had gone and signed.
As I do not hold an Austral***** *****cense I was unable to transfer the registration. I was not able to just transfer my license which would have allowed me to do so - I had to have a replacement sent from Canada and the issue date being less than 6 months old on the license meant that I was unable to transfer my international license. It was a very annoying bit of red tape as I've held that classification of license since I was 18 and fully licensed since 16.
The car remained under registration to my friend. It wouldnt start so I had it towed to the dealership to be repaired.
I had lost touch with the friend who moved away, but not before he started to try and interfere with the repairs of the car.
He told me he instructed the dealership not to contact me and that he would report the car stolen.
This was because he was broke, to be quite honest. I had already sent him money as he needed it even after the car had long been paid.
Unsure what to do I decided to step back and let him have his moment.
Two months went by before I called the dealership, who said that they could not get a hold of anyone for the car, and that they called the only contact they could find and that was his former employer as they held a lease in their name with my former friend.
After I eventually made contact with his former employer to get my car back, they told me that they were not going to return it to me, claiming money was owed to them for the car from the former friend.
They said they have every right to do so as they held a lease in the company name, despite it being registered only to my friend.
They have not given anything that proves this. Nor will they confirm that it had not already been deducted from his settlement like I had seen.
After I had run a car history and revscheck on the vehicle - there is no lease outstanding on the vehicle, it is not encumbered, there is nothing in the slightest to indicate that they have any right to withold this car from me.
As I see it, I paid the registered owner for a car that no longer had a lease. If they want money from him, it is certainly not from the vehicle.
The former friend has been MIA since the middle of march, and there is a substancial hole in my pocket as a result. The company he used to work for is huge, the largest of its purpose in the world. It takes 2 weeks at a time to so much as hear back from them.
I would like to know if they are to be held accountable for anything, and if they do infact have any right after all this time to with hold the vehicle from me. Many of my personal affects still remain in that car and I have not so much as been offered to go and get them.
I have had to take a lot of Uber because of this situation (Upwards of $5000+ since the vehicle was taken), I had paid my former friend $15,000.00 for the vehicle. The vehicle has been out of my posession since the end of febraury and will have already depreciated significantly in this time.
I seek to have all of these things compensated for, as I have done nothing wrong, and I continue to be the only victim who is day after day paying the price for the lack of communication and order betwenn former friend and his former employer.
It is not right. Please help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Daniel replied 2 years ago.
HelloSadlly as the vehicle has money owing and clearly your ex friend is a rouge, there is little that can be done. For as old as the hills, such matters, where there is money owing on the vehicle, the financer is able to take the vehicle back. Under the legal doctrine Nemo Dat, 'one cannot sell what one does not own' they can take the car back. You are at liberty however to sue the seller, however considering they are overseas. I am unsure as to why you need a drivers licence to register a vehicle in NSW. I do not think there is such a requirement. a business can be a registered owner.