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I purchased a used vehicle through a private party. The

Second opinion] Hello, I purchased a...
Second opinion] Hello,
I purchased a used vehicle through a private party. The agreed sell price was 15000. The agreement was to pay 10000, drive the car home and pay 5000 within 2 days. The agreement was made verbally; no paperwork; no bill of sale or title transfer. I was lied to, and the car has many issues; which are documented by a mechanic. Furthermore, the car does not pass smog because the motor is illegal. Not confirmed but there is a high chance that the car is not registered under the sellers name. I don't want the vehicle ; seller is refusing to return the money, and demands the rest. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you
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Answered in 4 hours by:
3/13/2018
Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,155
Experience: Attorney,17 years experience in consumer protection areas
Verified

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney and will try my best to help with your situation. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I type out an answer or reply.

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What state is this in?

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Hi Barrister,
Thank you for responding. I am in California. Thanks

If there was no written warranty given, and no agreement in writing, then the deal would normally have been "as is" and you would have taken the vehicle as it sat, defects and all. The time to have a mechanic inspection is before you agree to purchase and give the seller the money... after it is too late because you own it..

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With that said, if the car won't smog, then you can back out of the sale because that is a requirement in CA for a used vehicle sale where the vehicle is over 4 years old. So it is not lawful for the seller to sell the car to someone else without a passed smog check and the vehicle can't be registered.

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So your recourse here is to file suit against the seller for the return of the $10K you have paid, which is the limit in small claims court, under a complaint for breach of contract, misrepresentation and fraud if the seller knowingly lied about the condition of the vehicle and can't provide a valid smog certificate.

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Normally you are stuck because the seller doesn't have to volunteer info about the car, but they can't outright lie about known issues as that is misrepresentation and fraud.

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for the advice. Not sure if it is reasonable but can I hire attorney and sue him for the damages he has caused me? I am a disabled veteran, and now without a car to attend therapy, work and school. He said he spoke with a lawyer and have me 3 solutions which none include giving me 10k. 1. Return car and returns 7k keeping 3k 2. Lower sell price to 3500. 3. If I don't reply to him by the 3-16th, he will call the police and keep 10k.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Sorry, that's 13500 not 3500

You are very welcome.

Not sure if it is reasonable but can I hire attorney and sue him for the damages he has caused me?

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You can always hire an attorney and try to sue. But an attorney would cost you 3-4K to hire for something like this and you would have to prove actual money damages to recover more than your money back..

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He doesn't have any legal grounds to dictate terms here... he is the one who sold you a vehicle that didn't smog in violation of CA law.

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So if you are going to sue, go ahead and do it rather than listening to this scammer's "demands" because he is the one in the wrong here.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Understood. Will the cost of hiring an attorney come from my end or his? Although I really want this guy to pay for his actions but proving actual money damages sounds difficult.

Will the cost of hiring an attorney come from my end or his?

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Yours. That is why I am saying it probably isn't financially practical... You can ask the judge for your attorney fees, but it is up to him whether or not to award them. And unless you can point to a bill or receipt for actual damages you have incurred, you won't get anything for suing to "teach him a lesson".

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So sue him for your money back, you return the car, and then remember to always have a vehicle inspected before you buy it...

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Lesson learned! I will go ahead and proceed with small claims. Would you recommend a demand for payment sent to him with certified mail? I feel like his character is beyond turning around.

Honestly, if he is a shady and dishonest character, then a demand letter probably wouldn't help, but it might look good to a judge to show you tried to act in good faith to resolve it before suing. So you have nothing to lose by sending the demand letter...

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the title and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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If you feel I have answered all your questions, I would very much appreciate a 5 star rating by clicking on the rating scale on your screen as that is the only way I receive credit for my work.

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Thanks much

Barrister

Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,155
Experience: Attorney,17 years experience in consumer protection areas
Verified
Barrister and 87 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you for advice. You and Richard have been very helpful! Take care!
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Barrister
Barrister
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Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,155
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Experience: Attorney,17 years experience in consumer protection areas

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