If I sold a car and allowed the buyer to take the car but not the registration or any paperwork, what legal action can i take since he has not paid what was still owed?

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If I sold a car and allowed the buyer to take the car but not the registration or any paperwork, what legal action can i take since he has not paid what was still owed?

Asked on January 6, 2013 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You would sue him--having possession of the registration for a vehicle does not, by itself, allow you to repossess it without going through the courts. You would sue him for breach of contract (not paying the amount he agreed to pay) and possibly also for fraud (if he lied about his intention to pay). You  could seek monetary damages  (e.g. the money he should have paid you) or a court  order rescinding the sale (you return any amounts you received; he returns car). It's easier, by the way, to sue for money than for rescission, and you could--if the amount is underneath the court's limit--bring a lawsuit for money in small claims court, where you could act as your own attorney.


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