Is it illegal for a private party to sell a car under false pretenses?

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Is it illegal for a private party to sell a car under false pretenses?

I bought a car from a private party who told me that the title was clear and the tags were current. I brought the car to the DMV to register it, and was informed that it has a totaled title, no tags, and the wrong plates. Is this sale illegal?

Asked on November 15, 2010 under General Practice, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Any sale based on intentional, knowingly made material misrepresentations or lies--where material means something important, such as whether a car has clear title--is one that the buyer could potentially void, which means essentially rescind or cancel. To do so, the buyer would have to bring a legal action--sue to reverse the sale. The buyer could also--either in addition to or in lieu of--sue for monetary damages or compensation, such as the difference in value between the car as is and what he thought he was getting. And if the buyer feels sufficiently ill-treated and that this was actually criminal fraud, the buyer could also report the matter to the police, which, if htey took it separately, wouldn't help get money back, but might get justice. To pursue civil remedies, such as damages or rescinding the contract, a lawyer would be invaluable.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption