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Sketchy dealership sold me car that was on lien by previous owner?

A small Florida dealership sold me a car for cash in December 2019 and told me that I would get the title later. After the sale I found out that the car needed a transmission replacement (4000 dollar repair) and that the car was on lien on Capital One by the previous owner, and it looks like I won't be getting the title anytime soon. I know I can't do anything about transmission, but what can I do about the lien and title situation? Thanks

13 Answers

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  • 4 months ago
    Favourite answer

    Get a lawyer and sue the dealer. 

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    Contact the dealer and ask when they expect to receive the lien release from Capital One.  They should have had it before selling the car to you - unless they were unaware the original owner had done that.  But in any event, now that they know, they must get it so they can title and register your car WITHOUT the lien reflected on your new title.

    If they don't comply or act in a timely manner, contact an Inspector with the Dept. of Motor Vehicles - they can lose their dealers licensIe if they don't quickly resolve this.  

    If you don't get satisfaction... You might also contact your Attorney General in your state and ask for their assistance.  

    If they can't get this done - I'd return the car and ask for a refund.  Good luck.

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    NOTHING.  Lien is meant so the vehicle cannot be SOLD to ANYBODY.  Somebody owes money on this car.  That bill has to be paid first for the lein to be removed.

    . In other words, you did not buy anything.  You gave your cash away...and got nothing for it.

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  • 4 months ago

    Sue the dealer. His misrepresentation on ownership is material.

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  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    "On lien" is incorrect terminology but it means it was in the process of being paid. Happens all the time. (The prior owner had a lien, when they traded it, the dealer agreed to pay the lien and when they did, the lien was released)

    The dealer owe you the title eventually and they have dealer bonds for this purpose. (claims are very, very rare)

    The 2 issues have nothing to do with one another. You can demand the title and you will get it in time.

    Now, if the dealer can never get you a title, you can sue for a full refund and you would win. But, it would be settled long before it got to court as you will get the title.

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  • 4 months ago

    The dealership might put a different tranny in the car if they have a shop on site and connections with a junkyard. Most trannys don't need replaced or overhauled until they have like 500K miles on them or it was never serviced. The lien has to be satisfied before they release the title.

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  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    If you want legal advice, go talk to a lawyer.

    • funnel
      Lv 4
      4 months agoReport

      Well thank u capt. obvious. What a great help ur

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  • Andy C
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    What a bad deal! Are you sure that the transmission needs replacement? For many cars and trucks, errant electrical errors can cause transmission dysfunction (but nothing is physically wrong with the transmissions

    Get a 2nd opinion. Did the problem start during a temperature drop? That's a sign of a bad electrical problem and a new transmission wouldn't fix the problem.

    If your vehicle is a Chevy Colorado, Equinox or GMC variant, the problem could very well be a bad voltage regulator, contained in the ECM wiring harness.

    Do some research on your vehicle b4 spending $kkkk.

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  • 4 months ago

    If it were me, I would wait 30 days for the dealer to provide you with a clear and open title (free of liens).  If the dealer fails to do so, I would complain to the Bureau of Dealer Services of Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  They're the licensing agency for dealer licenses.  I would then complain that the dealer violated Title XXIII (Motor Vehicles), Chapter 319 (Title Certificates), Section 23 (Application for, and Issuance of, Certificate of Title), Subsection 6, which clearly gives the dealer 30 days, from the date of purchase, to file for the title.

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  • 4 months ago

    You are an idiot making that deal. Period.

    • Your answer is so helpful, thanks for the productive response!

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