Bought car with a Bill of Sale, No title, the buyer took (stole) the car back. What to do?


My friend recently bought a car from an individual with a Bill of Sale. He was given two copies of keys. The title was still with the bank since the seller was financing it. My friend was given a fake registration by the seller. But the seller NEVER transferred any paper work to the bank for the title to switch so that my friend could finish paying whatever was left on the car. The seller came back and TOOK the car off of my friend's property.

My friend still has a bill of sale, he knows where the car is now (with seller) and called the police when it was first reported missing.

Can my friend, just go down and take back the car without getting in trouble?

Any advice as far as what he might be able to do?

Please help..

Thank you. 

10 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You bought the car with a bill of sale, no title. Lol. 

    You mean you PAID for a car. 

    You didn't BUY anything. 

    Did you happen to look at the "seller's" driver's license? 

    To verify who they were? 

    You have a mess, but if you can identify the person, they have committed FRAUD, which is rather bad. 

    See your city or county prosecuting attorney.  I'm sure they will help you if you have any valid evidence. 

    Next time you attempt to buy a car, you need to know how first.  

    Your "friend", I mean.

    Right now you just sound like another troll fiction author. 

  • 1 month ago

    No, he should not go get the car. He does not own the car the bank does. The seller had no legal right to sell the car without a lien release from the bank. This is called fraud. Go tell the police about this and they will tell you how to proceed. 

  • 1 month ago

    File charges!

    Thief by deception is still theft. The bill of sale is proof of an attempt to sell the goods and them taking it back suggests a form of fraud.

    Often such cases do require "restitution" to the victim. 

  • 1 month ago

    "The title was still with the bank since the seller was financing it..." -- Of course. So, in essence, your friend bought nothing. The car would have to be paid in full, either through the transaction or whatever, for the bank to release the title to the seller. 

    "My friend was given a fake registration..." -- In private sales like this, the registration wouldn't change hands. 

    "But the seller NEVER transferred any paper work to the bank for the title to switch..." --- What paperwork??? The bank doesn't "change the name on the title", that occurs when the buyer goes to the DMV to register the vehicle in their name. And your friend doesn't "finish paying off the leftover on the car", that occurs BEFORE the title is released. 

    "The seller came back and took the car... " -- It's still legally their car. 

    "Can my friend go down and take back the car?" -- No. And that's not what he should do, anyway. 

    Advice? He needs a full refund from the seller. If he doesn't get it, sue him. He'd win in a heartbeat. 

    NOW... contrary to other advice, the police are NOT going to walk in and make anyone get rid of the vehicle. This isn't a criminal matter, it's a civil one, and police won't get involved. 

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  • 1 month ago

    There's no helping someone dumb enough to buy a car and not get a clear title at the time of purchase. 

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Sounds like a made up story. 

    If not....

    If he knows where it is, why didn't he tell the police?

    If he has a key and bill of sale, I guess he could take it back. 

    The lesson here is to not buy a car without the title.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    EPIC FAIL. The only legal proof of ownership is transfer of title. All you (or your "friend") can do is take the guy to court, but if both the buyers and sellers signatures aren't on the bill of sale it's not going to be very helpful, and you'd need some form of proof that money actually changed hands. Cash deal? Let me guess, no receit for the cash and the bill of sale wasn't witnessed or notarized either, right? I'll say it again...EPIC FAIL. Ignorance is not a blessing.

  • Scott
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Your friend bought nothing if he didn't receive the title. The car wasn't the seller's property to sell. Your friend got scammed. Thus is the price of stupidity.

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Without a title it's not his car

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    A vehicle is not delivered without a title, properly signed over.

    Use the bill of sale to pressure the Bank or police to take action.

    You will need a lawyer if there is any further troubles, and the District Attorney (aka, Prosecutor) will not get involved.

    YOU cannot take position when there is a lien against the Vehicle, Someone has to Pay off the Bank's Loan to get the title.

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