not sure what to do, help!

01-10-2007, 12:18 AM
About 6 months ago, I had a 1986 Nissan longbed pickup that I crashed into a ditch, and bent the driver's side a-arms. I didn't have the money to fix it, so I asked a (at that time) friend of mine if he wanted to buy it, and we agreed on $400. He game me $100, and told me that on payday he'd give me the rest. So I (big mistake) trusted him and we both signed the title. Come payday, I asked him if he had the money, and he was like, "oh I'll have it next week" and guess what? No money. I finally gave up, and I eventually moved 30 miles away (which is where I currently am). Recently, I was at the courthouse, and come to find out, the Nissan was still in my name, even though I had signed off on the title, so I had the courthouse fill out a report of sale online so that I would no longer be responsible for it. I've been thinking about the truck more and more recently, and told my parents about my story, and they both say I should forget about it and chalk it up as a lesson well learned. A friend of mine at work says that even though it's not in my name, legally its still mine and that I can claim it was stolen. I want it back, so I can have a project truck for the summer, but I'm not sure whether I can legally get it back. So I guess the question is, is there anything that I can do (legally) to get my ol' Nissan back?

01-10-2007, 12:55 PM
I'd say chalk it up as a life lesson for multiple reasons, rather than pursuing any legal measures...and here's why.

1) Always get a written bill of sale adn have it signed by both parties, and dated. If you can get it notorized, even better. And get all payments in some sort of trackable funds. Cash = no good. Friendships fade, and everybody on here can say they have gotten screwed by a friend for money at one time in their life or another. Without this, it's hard to prove you sold the car for $400 and he is still $300 short. With that, you could take him to small claims court. Without it, it's his word against yours, and he has a signed title.

2) Granted he is supposed to have registered the car into his name within a short period of time, I think it's like 2 weeks or something like that. I'm not exactly sure what hte penalty for not doing that is. However, I do know that a) it is a felong for you to try and report the last title as stolen/missing and get a duplicate in your name and b) gonna look REALLY bad when you try that and he presents the original with your signature on it at any point in the future.

Basically, you got screwed, that sucks. But you partially set yourself up for it. And any subsequent legal costs aren't going to be worth it to recover the additional $300, or get the $400 truck back...especially because without proof, it's pretty much his word against yours...and he has the truck and signed title. Sorry, but that's the way it goes. Be happy you learned the lesson for only $300 and not on a $25,000 car or something.

01-10-2007, 09:28 PM
Yeah, I was kinda thinkin that I might as well give up. Thanks for your reply, I appreciate it.

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