Bill of Sale but no Title?

Bill of Sale but no Title?!?
I purchased a car from an individual. We wrote up and signed a bill of sale from She did not have the title at the time as it was being reissued in her name from the DMV. I paid her $1500 the day the bill of sale was signed. I took possession of the car two days later but did not apply for a new title. We had agreed that she would sign over the title when she received it in the mail. Well, not only has she not signed over the title, but she has taken the car off of my property and hid the car in an undisclosed location. How/what do I do to get my car back and can I file any criminal charges against her? Any insight would be appreciated and helpful.

2 thoughts on “Bill of Sale but no Title?

  1. Re: Bill of Sale but no Title?!?
    You will have problems with criminal charges, since she still has legal title to the car. Your best bet is to sue her for a refund or for possession – in small claims court.

    Alvin Lundgren
    Alvin R. Lundgren, L.C.
    5015 W. Old Hwy 30 Ste 200
    Mt. Green, UT 84050-9752

  2. Re: Bill of Sale but no Title?!?
    I’m assuming in writing this, that you paid in cash, cashier’s check, certified check or money order, or by person check that was actually good at the time you wrote it. In other words, she actually did get paid (whether the check was cashed isn’t important – it’s whether she could have done so successfully if she’d tried.)

    Most people in this situation, in my experience, took the car back because they didn’t get paid. If she did get paid, but just became unhappy with the deal, read on. Otherwise, hope she doesn’t charge you with a crime for having written a bad check.

    You basically have two options. First, take the bill of sale down to your state motor vehicles office (along with proof from the bank that the check was paid, if you can get it) and ask them if you can get a title issued in your name, since you bought the car. You probably just have to fill out an application and pay a fee. I’d do that in any case, as quickly as possible to protect your rights. Once the vehicle is titled in your name, her continued possession of it is a crime in most states (I don’t know about UT). Then you can call the police and see what they say.

    Secondly, and whether or not you take the first option, you can file suit against her for breach of contract. The bill of sale is a written contract. You can sue her for the total value of the car (regardless of what you agreed to pay for it) because of her having taken it back, as well as her having retained it.

    Daniel Hawes
    Hawes & Associates
    6835 Chestnut Oak Lane
    New Baltimore, VA 20187

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