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I bought a 2007 Chrysler Pacifica for my wife on 7/29/2010. The state of Florida only allows you to receive two temporary tags for your car. I bought the car from a private seller and we met at Vystar credit union to close the deal, Vystar was their lien holder so I got a loan through Vystar to make the process simpler. It's been 3 months now and the seller of the vehicle has not signed the paperwork sent to them by Vystar giving them permission to transfer the title. Therefore the title is still in the seller's name.

This is obviouslly a loop hole in the law. I have a car that I'm paying $300 a month on and insurance and I can't legally drive the car because I can't register the car without a title and I can't more than two temp tags. There is nothing vystar can do to make them sign the title over. If we drive the car we risk getting a hefty ticket for driving an unregistered car. If we don't drive it we are out a car we are making payments on.

Has anyone else dealt with something like this in the past? The seller has refused to return the paperwork or answer repeated calls by Vystar and myself. I have no idea what the next step is from here. They might sign it over in the next week if not it might be 5 months. Do i get any attorney? Do i try to reverse the bill of sell? Is that even possible? I'm at a complete loss. Anyone with expertise would be very appreciated.

Thanks.

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CU should handle this - they paid off old lien contingent on receiving title (new lien). They didn't get their new lien ... (more)

srl99 (Nov. 03, 2010 @ 11:54a) |

What avenue ??

xoneinax (Nov. 03, 2010 @ 11:56a) |

go to small claim court and sue the seller.

TheDealMaker (Nov. 03, 2010 @ 5:00p) |

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Have you tried contacting the seller to see why they are not signing the paperwork?

FYI: Florida is a title holding state.

That would be the immediate thing to do.

There are loopholes like this in almost every state that I know about.. Well, it may be more about the bank than the state laws.

I take it you've confirmed with the bank that the title was sent to the owner? Now it's time to confirm with the owner.

Suggested way to handle this next time.. And I do this on every single private party vehicle I buy: Get a power of Attorney on the vehicle.
The power of attorney allows you to sign "as" the owner. So you can recover a lost title, then get it signed off, and an owner that doesn't want to participate is taken out of the picture completely.


If the owner "won't" sign - the only thing left to do is small claims. It's not a criminal issue in most jurisdictions.

monopolymoney said: I have a car that I'm paying $300 a month on and insurance and I can't legally drive the car because I can't register the car without a title and I can't more than two temp tags.Why would you give someone money for a car without making them sign the title?

blueiedgod said: Have you tried contacting the seller to see why they are not signing the paperwork?

Yes I have contacted the seller along with Vystar. And to clarify things for the other poster. My payments are through Vystar their loan was through Vystar. Vystar handled all of the paperwork at closing but for whatever reason the seller was not given the title to sign or the rights to the title or whatever it is they are suppose to sign. Now they are not responding to phone calls, text messages, or mail that Vystar has sent them.

caterpillar123 said: monopolymoney said: I have a car that I'm paying $300 a month on and insurance and I can't legally drive the car because I can't register the car without a title and I can't more than two temp tags.Why would you give someone money for a car without making them sign the title?

Because in some circumstances it's simply not possible for the title to change hands at the same time the lien is paid...

You have a sales contract with the seller?

dcg9381 said:
Suggested way to handle this next time.. And I do this on every single private party vehicle I buy: Get a power of Attorney on the vehicle.
The power of attorney allows you to sign "as" the owner. So you can recover a lost title, then get it signed off, and an owner that doesn't want to participate is taken out of the picture completely.


Very nice idea. Thanks!

Like some credit unions, I'm going to assume that Vystar was in possession of the title to the car, that it was sitting on the title in an offsite area, and is listed as a lienholder on that title. You need to put pressure on Vystar to "repo" the car to get you that clear title possibly up to dropping the car off in their parking lot and not making the payments anymore.

When a credit union wants to sit in the middle of a transaction and not have that paperwork ready for the transfer of ownership until it gets its money, then these are the extra steps they have to do when an uncooperative seller is off the hook.

I'll also go so far as to say the seller may not have received a nickle out of the deal, but may even have had to fork over cash on an upside down car loan, and that's really why he doesn't want to lift a finger.

Should be a reminder to all of us that a contract must always be written when money changes hands. Sure, the contract on a title is best. But even something handwritten on a napkin would be a huge aid now.

enc0re said: Should be a reminder to all of us that a contract must always be written when money changes hands. Sure, the contract on a title is best. But even something handwritten on a napkin would be a huge aid now.
I do not think that documentation is the problem. From reading the OP, it sounds like he has a signed bill of sale from the seller. His problem is getting the seller to perform the contract and transfer title.

I would talk to an attorney before dumping the car in a parking lot and refusing to pay. That sounds like bad advice that could casue problems with your credit. I did dump a SUV in the parking lot of Wells Fargo about 2 years ago after my bankruptcy attorney told me to do so. She said that they call it a voluntary repo. Why would you do this unless you were going to file BK?

Sorry for any grammer/spelling. I am on a cell phone but the idea of dumping the car and refusing to pay the loan made me respond asap. That is bad advice

Was any of the mails sent to the seller returned? The seller might have moved out. A few years back, a friend of mine bought a used car here in California. He got a bill of sale and the unsigned title from Florida. He then mailed the title to the recorded address asking the owner to sign it. The mail came back. He went to the DMV office asking for what to do next. The clerk told him to send the mail again by certified mail, then take the UNOPENED returned mail to the DMV office. The DMV had enough proof to transfer the car to his name. That would be a nice patch to cover the loophole though.

you could sue?
or offer the guy some cash to smooth the process.
take him out to dinner, and get it done?

not that i am advocating being a good buddy, etc, but you want the car to be drivable.
maybe the guy has a rough spot going on, something like $200 cash or nice dinner out with him for $100 might save you problems long term

its still costing you $300 not to drive and time thinking about it.
$200 extra can wipe it.
its theory but possible?

I agree that letting the credit union repo the car is probably a bad idea and has negative consequences for *you* since the loan is in your name. If the car's title / current or last registration is in the seller's name, then they are still responsible for the car, with potential liability & insurance ramifications as well.

Does the seller still live in the same state? Perhaps the car might somehow end up in a location where the local government might ticket and / or tow the car to a municipal impound lot with daily storage charges due to the registered owner. Or perhaps after a ticket or two the car might end up elsewhere before it is towed. In my state, unpaid parking tickets prevent license renewals and who knows what else. If you don't have any leverage with the seller, the DMV probably does.

why would the owner still want his name on the title? if the car is involved in an accident isn't the registered owner also liable for the accident in certain situations?

Get a ton of parking tickets on it, then let the CU repo it!

Ok, bad advice, but fun to ponder.

I love the parking ticket idea. Do it, blog about it and profit

monopolymoney said: Vystar handled all of the paperwork at closing but for whatever reason the seller was not given the title to sign or the rights to the title or whatever it is they are suppose to sign. Why would you have a credit union process a car sale? They lend money, they arent a car dealership. I get that the loan was through them, but their business is putting liens on titles not transfering them.

The Florida Legislature just legalized red-light cameras. The OP could find a town that's using them and blow through a bunch of lights (only when safe, of course.)

Use this database to find a city near you ...

(edited to add: This is actually an abysmally stupid idea, as I'm sure the OP is aware. It was made in jest. I just had a thought that "oh, no, someone might actually take you seriously.")

I don't have a solution to offer. I learned something today. This has never happened to me, yet. But now it is one more thing for me to watch out for.

I don't live in Florida, but basically we had the same thing happen to us in Michigan. We went to the Secretary of State and applied for a lost title I think it was. Basically it was treated as an Abandoned vehicle.

From your DHSMV website:

What documentation is required to apply for a duplicate certificate of title when the original has been lost or destroyed?

* Form HSMV 82101, Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home or Vessel Title Certificate, accurately completed by the applicant.
* Proof of Identity. (copy of Drivers License, Identification Card or Military Identification Card etc.)
* Lien satisfaction, if applicable.
* Motor Vehicle title fees vary, as follows:
- If title remains electronic = $75.25
- To print and mail a paper title = $77.75
- To print and mail a fast title = $85.25
* Vessel title fees ($6)

* ($5 additional for Fast Title Service) If the mailing address differs from the address on the department's record for an individual owner or lienholder, see Form HSMV 82101 page 2, Address Change Directions for the required documentation.

Link to the Q and A

Oh, and what happened was the original owner, who we knew and were surprised was jerking us around, had received a letter that he misplaced. Then when we finally got ahold of him (we lived in another town) he didn't know the title wasn't signed over correctly. The letter from the bank looked like junk mail to him. He warned us he may not be able to find the title immediately, and we had already started the process. Keep in mind this vehicle was a real junker that we were going to fix up and we were college kids. Like I said, when we called him, it was the first he had heard of our problems with the title even though the bank said they had mailed stuff to him. He also was very apologetic and kept us updated on his title search. The process was pretty quick, and at some point after we were all set, he found the title in his paperwork for another vehicle they had.

Would like to see resolution to this. Aside: A coworker of mine bought a Fiat from his shop teacher in high school. The car followed him around for 20 years or so before he decided to start working on it, got it in drivable condition, and wanted to get it registered and titled (in Indiana). He had the original title, but it was in terrible shape, either no signature, or couldn't see it or something like that. Local DMV wouldn't take it at all. I think he spent months trying to track down the old shop teacher. Eventually found him, but he wasn't in any condition to sign over a car he sold 20+ years ago. Coworker also called the Ohio DMV (where car was from) and they told him the car had been registered, but the records that long ago had already been destroyed because they were paper only. All they knew what that they model year they had didn't match the model year on the title. That didn't help much. So, a few calls to the state DMV place got coworker a solution. First, have the state police inspect the car and create some sort of paper trail on the VIN and the condition, etc. Second, file a civil suit against the state (no idea what he actually sued for) to get before a judge. Apparently, this is some sort of formality, and people do it often when they no longer have the title to a car for one reason or another. Coworker showed up to court, talked to the judge, explained situation, and judge orders the state to issue him a new title for the car based on the already established VIN trail. Coworker didn't really have to prove anything else, although he was prepared to provide some evidence that he'd had the car for years, put some work into it, etc.

bfrik said:
- If title remains electronic = $75.25
- To print and mail a paper title = $77.75
- To print and mail a fast title = $85.25
* Vessel title fees ($6)


Yup. Apparently in some states, losing that little piece of paper is a big deal. This is why I now have to keep my titles in a safety deposit box at the bank. At least I know it won't get lost in the shuffle at home.

Get the title back and sign it urself

why don't you drive the car back over to his house and park it in his living room?

dcg9381 said: That would be the immediate thing to do.

There are loopholes like this in almost every state that I know about.. Well, it may be more about the bank than the state laws.

I take it you've confirmed with the bank that the title was sent to the owner? Now it's time to confirm with the owner.

Suggested way to handle this next time.. And I do this on every single private party vehicle I buy: Get a power of Attorney on the vehicle.
The power of attorney allows you to sign "as" the owner. So you can recover a lost title, then get it signed off, and an owner that doesn't want to participate is taken out of the picture completely.


If the owner "won't" sign - the only thing left to do is small claims. It's not a criminal issue in most jurisdictions.


When I bought and/or sold my car, my credit union, the then lienholder, made me sign power of attorney I think to prevent situations like this.

I don't understand if the CU was never holding the title and is now being unsuccessful at getting the previous owner to sign and deliver it. Or if they have the title, but just can't get the owner to come back and sign it over.

I guess it doesn't make that much of a difference, I'm just curious.

Doesn't the standard loan-liner agreement most CUs use include power of attorney for the CU to interact with the DMV as owner on your (his) behalf?

barbcole said:
Doesn't the standard loan-liner agreement most CUs use include power of attorney for the CU to interact with the DMV as owner on your (his) behalf?


Not in my experience.

Just curious, would it be reasonable to claim that as of now, OP has
actual damages that he can sue for? Or does that only apply if the
sales agreement specifically allowed for it?

wordgirl said: The Florida Legislature just legalized red-light cameras. The OP could find a town that's using them and blow through a bunch of lights (only when safe, of course.)

Use this database to find a city near you ...

(edited to add: This is actually an abysmally stupid idea, as I'm sure the OP is aware. It was made in jest. I just had a thought that "oh, no, someone might actually take you seriously.")
Then the seller signs the title with the actual sale date, and now you're liable for the infractions. But hey, atleast you'd get the car...

Some red light cameras can only write you a ticket if they have a picture of your face to confirm the driver of the vehicle, is that true?

Without the old plate, there's not much you can do to screw the old owner over in his name. The danger in most states is that if the title is never transferred and the new owner is running tolls or is in a hit and run then guess who it falls back on and who is trying to come up with an alibi and proof of sale...

You're learning a lesson, I guess. I've been through a lot of vehicle of different types and title issues are something I run from. I've also learned from others to assume that if it's not in your hand when you buy, it never will be. You need to talk to the owner, and if he can't find the title he should be able to apply for a duplicate and sign it over to you. If they don't want the hassle and you can't grease the wheels, then maybe he'll assist you in filing for a bonded title. All that should take is an answered phone call or two on his part.

I bet he's dead. How's he supposed to sign it now?

donthurtme said: Some red light cameras can only write you a ticket if they have a picture of your face to confirm the driver of the vehicle, is that true?Depends on the state. The legality of the cameras is disputed in nearly every state. The Courts just turned off our cameras because they were illegal.

Sold a vehicle to CarMax recently, they had us sign a power-of-attorney for the car's dispotion as part of the sales process. Seemed like a good idea and I asked for a blank copy for me to use in the future (just re-typed it without their letterhead). Glad to hear others do the same.

jkimcpa said: dcg9381 said: That would be the immediate thing to do.

There are loopholes like this in almost every state that I know about.. Well, it may be more about the bank than the state laws.

I take it you've confirmed with the bank that the title was sent to the owner? Now it's time to confirm with the owner.

Suggested way to handle this next time.. And I do this on every single private party vehicle I buy: Get a power of Attorney on the vehicle.
The power of attorney allows you to sign "as" the owner. So you can recover a lost title, then get it signed off, and an owner that doesn't want to participate is taken out of the picture completely.


If the owner "won't" sign - the only thing left to do is small claims. It's not a criminal issue in most jurisdictions.


When I bought and/or sold my car, my credit union, the then lienholder, made me sign power of attorney I think to prevent situations like this.

jarfykk said: Sold a vehicle to CarMax recently, they had us sign a power-of-attorney for the car's dispotion as part of the sales process. Seemed like a good idea and I asked for a blank copy for me to use in the future (just re-typed it without their letterhead). Glad to hear others do the same.



Can you post the POA for the rest of us?

dcg9381 said: caterpillar123 said: monopolymoney said: I have a car that I'm paying $300 a month on and insurance and I can't legally drive the car because I can't register the car without a title and I can't more than two temp tags.Why would you give someone money for a car without making them sign the title?

Because in some circumstances it's simply not possible for the title to change hands at the same time the lien is paid...


Don't buy it then. You have no leverage once you give him the money.

dcg9381 said: caterpillar123 said: monopolymoney said: I have a car that I'm paying $300 a month on and insurance and I can't legally drive the car because I can't register the car without a title and I can't more than two temp tags.Why would you give someone money for a car without making them sign the title?

Because in some circumstances it's simply not possible for the title to change hands at the same time the lien is paid...


Never heard such a thing. In NY the title with affidavit of correct odometer reading MUST be signed before any transaction takes place. No one would fork over a nickle without getting the title with the vehicle. The seller probably doesn't have the title and now he left you holding the bag. I'd get a lawyer and sue his ass for the amount paid, attorney costs and any financing fees. The car might as well be a stolen vehicle if there is no title.

Skipping 23 Messages...
go to small claim court and sue the seller.



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