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Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 118253
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I was not informed about a lien on a vehicle's title before

Customer Question

I was not informed about a lien on a vehicle's title before a written bill of sale was signed by both myself and the seller. Is there a Florida law about non disclosure of a lien on a vehicles title? Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

The law is the common law warranties that apply to EVERY sale. The common law warranty of merchantability is what applies here. The common law warranty of merchantability states that the seller must provide a title that can be transferred to the new buyer. If there is a lien on the title, the title cannot be transferred and as such the seller has violated the implied warranty of merchantability that applies in EVERY sale. Also, the implied warranty of good faith is another warranty that applies. The implied warranty of good faith is in every sale and it says the seller cannot misrepresent or fail to disclose a major defect in the item being sold and a lien is a major defect, since the lien must be paid off by the seller to clear the title to be transferred.

Thus, the seller can be sued to rescind the sale for breach of the two implied warranties.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. The seller is refusing to release the vehicle that we have already paid for in full. He thinks he has the right to wait for the title to be mailed to him, before releasing the car to me. From what I have read, a Bill of Sale is all that is needed to release the vehicle into my possession? The bill of sale form from the Florida DMV states all all liability shall be transferred to me upon both parties signing a bill of sale. The seller should not be able to withhold our property that we have paid in full. Please correct me if I am wrong but the bill of sale form is used for these specific circumstances, as to alleviate the time period where we are waiting for title in mail. Does the seller have to release the car to me if I present a bill of sale? Tha ks
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

He does not have such a right and you have a right to sue him for the vehicle. The bill of sale is all that is needed, he can send the title later. You need to inform him he is in breach of the contract and if he does not turn over he car, you will sue him for breach of contract.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks. I have a signed deposit form from when I test drove and bought the vehicle. Two days later I transferred my remaining amount to the seller, which was sent to his bank holding the lien. This was two weeks ago. Just to clarify... I should be able to bring a Bill of Sale for the seller, as well as myself, to sign and have the seller release the vehicle to my possession? Thanks
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your reply.

If you paid in full to the seller, you are entitled to the vehicle. If he is not giving you the car, he is in breach of contract.