Vehicle Title Transfer Problems On 3/12/05 I purchased a used motorcycle from a…

Vehicle Title Transfer Problems
On 3/12/05 I purchased a used motorcycle from a private party for $6k. Seller owed bank $7k which is far more than what the bike is worth. Bank would not release title until loan was paid in full. DMV told me that for this case all I can do is fill out a ”Bill of Sale” and ”Statement of facts” (SoF) form so I did. In the SoF from the seller promised to ”send me the title asap”. He verbally promised me that he would pay off the remainder of the loan within a week after the sale. But I did not get that in writing. On 5/24/05 I called seller and he told me that ”the bank had released the title on 5/23/05. If you don’t get anything in the mail by next week (5/30/05) give me a call.” I did not receive anything. I have left numerous messages on his voice mail without any responses from seller. I’m out of options. I want my title! I want to know what are my legal options? Can the courts help? What evidence do I need to gather so I may win the case against this guy.

2 thoughts on “Vehicle Title Transfer Problems On 3/12/05 I purchased a used motorcycle from a…

  1. Re: Vehicle Title Transfer Problems
    The agreement was that you pay the seller $6,000 for a bike that had $7,000 left on the original financing. Of course the bank will not release title while its loan is outstanding. Since the agreement was that you would get the bike for 6k, it can be presumed that you would get it with ”good title,” meaning that the seller would have to pay the bank the additional $1,000 to get the pink slip. If the seller has not done this, you have to. Start by contacting the bank to see if the seller paid any of your purchase money toward the outstanding balance. If you have to pay anything to the bank to have it release the pink slip in your name, you can sue the seller for that amount as damages. Call me if you need me. Good luck.

    Philip Iadevaia
    Law Offices of Philip A. Iadevaia
    12100 Wilshire Blvd., Eighth Floor
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

  2. Re: Vehicle Title Transfer Problems
    I do not agree with attorney Iadevaia that you should contact the bank. They will come and get the bike and thank you for taking such good care of it. That is the 2nd worst scenario. The worst scenario is, the bike is really stolen and the police come and take it, and if you are very lucky, you don’t get arrested and charged with receiving stolen property.

    Have you actually seen the title, or a payoff demand from the bank? What prompted you to trust this guy to pay the $6,000 to him instead of directly to the bank? Why didn’t you trade him, he gives you $1000 and the bike, and you give him a certified check for $7000 (or whatever) made payable to the bank? Do you even know this guy’s real name? At best, you are out $6000: as sure as the grass comes up in the springtime, none of the $6000 ever made it to any bank.

    I assume you are either 18 years old or you were stoned when you made this deal, or both, because buyers of normal intelligence always insist on getting a signed certificate of title (pink slip) and a smog certificate at the time they take delivery of a purchased vehicle. Pray hard that he has given you his real name, it really is his bike (the bank’s bike) and he cares whether or not the bank dings his credit report.

    You can sue for up to $5000 in small claims court, and you can seize his assets or paycheck if you can find them, this is not a simple process — look up the small claims court books from, they are at the law library at the courthouse or your local public library. Suing for over $5000 is a more complicated and you will likely want to befriend a lawyer. He could always file for bankruptcy and erase his $6000 debt to you.

    The odds are overwhelming that, when the dust settles, you will have no $6000 and no bike.

    Michael Stone
    Law Offices of Michael B. Stone Toll Free 1-855-USE-MIKE
    3020 Old Ranch Parkway, Suite 300
    Seal Beach, CA 90740

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