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Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
2/6/13 2:56 p.m.

Good afternoon Gents. I recently sold my sister-in-law's car for her, and have run into some wierdness and wanted to hear what the collective had to say.

The car in question is a '98 328i, with 240k kms, the sport package (such as it is), fresh shocks and brakes, and some visible rust. It was listed for $2800 with emissions test complete, and safety inspection to be negotiated with price.

A viewer came on Saturday, and very quickly came to the conclusion that she would buy it. We discussed price, and she agreed to purchase it for $2300 as-is with emissions test. She was going to the bank to get the money, and asked for the title to put it in her name and save one trip. I foolishly said ok to this, she left and came back with the car now in her name, $500 cash and a cheque for $1700. "The bank was closed, and $500 is my daily limit", she said. Then she said "I'm having second thoughts about buying it as-is, and would like to get the car inspected locally before I decide to buy it". (@#$@#$#) I asked what she planned to do if the results came back negative, and she declared that she'd get the car put back in my name. Strange. I asked about the cheque, and she assured me that there was no issue with a bouncing cheque. At this point, my spidey-sense is going nutty, but I told her she should bring it to the local Canadian Tire (the only local shop that was open on a Saturday afternoon). As she headed out, I called her bank and found that it was open and that her account had insufficient funds to clear the cheque. I tried calling - no answer. I drove to Canadian Tire, she wasn't there. I headed home and waited in the driveway, pondering my own stupidity.

1/2 hr later, she came by and declared that there was a problem - Canadian Tire had declared that the car needed $800 worth of work to pass the safety. The paper was hand written, which is unusual for this shop. I told her I had a problem with the cheque and her story about the bank - and mentioned that the cheque was $100 short. We agreed to adjust the price down to $2200, and that we'd drive to the bank to get the appropriate amount of cash. Done, finally, and it was a crappy Saturday as a result.

Or so I thought. She called on Monday and had the car inspected again, but this mechanic had declared that she over paid for the car, and that it needed way more work than mechanic one (third party) had declared. She insists that she's taking me to small claims court and that she should have only paid $1500 for the car. I said that I had already gone way beyond the norm in accomodating her after buying the car as-is, putting it in her name, and trying to change the terms. I also reminded her that she agreed to buy it as-is. I, frankly, was unaware of any issues with the car - as noted there is visible rust, but the car has been the epitome of reliablity for my sister-in-law, brakes shifts and drives great.

What say you? If she hadn't put the car in her name, I wouldn't have hesitated to give a full refund on the car - it's not hard to get $2200 for it in these parts, and the car had received a ton of attention in the one week it was on the market. Sorry for the tome, but this has been weighing on me....

foxtrapper PowerDork
2/6/13 2:59 p.m.

Bluntly, you screwed up, placing her name on the title. You're going to have to pull title copy to start selling again.

Not until all the cash is in your hand do you place pen to the title.

Oh, and let her go.

DILYSI Dave MegaDork
2/6/13 3:00 p.m.

You got your cash, right? And the bill of sale said "as-is, no warranty express or implied", right?

If so, ignore her.

93EXCivic MegaDork
2/6/13 3:01 p.m.

She has already paid for the car right? Tell her to berkeley off.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
2/6/13 3:03 p.m.

She has the car, I have the cash, just to be clear.

DuctTape&Bondo HalfDork
2/6/13 3:05 p.m.

As everyone else stated, you're done. Nothing more to do, tell her to enjoy the car and best of luck with the courts.

JohnInKansas Dork
2/6/13 3:06 p.m.

She has the car, you have the cash, title's in her name, no warranty expressed or implied, you're good to go. At that point, if she overpaid for the car, she's a dumbass.

Cotton SuperDork
2/6/13 3:08 p.m.
Nathan JansenvanDoorn wrote: She has the car, I have the cash, just to be clear.

yeah, tell her to berkeley off. I dated a girl like that once and she was a real pain in the ass. Sounds like she may have moved to Canada.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
2/6/13 3:11 p.m.

That's how I feel, she feels differently - while I've considered doing what she calls the 'right thing', it would cost me a few hundred dollars to re-title it in my name. She's insisting that I intentionally scammed her - I believe I was completely straight with her. At the end of the day, it's a 16 year old car that's lived its life in the salt belt. And it's an old BMW to boot.

DrBoost PowerDork
2/6/13 3:15 p.m.

Here in Michigan, all sales are final unless otherwise stated. I expect most places are like that.
You did something kinds stoopid, but you already know that. The only thing you can do now is let her try to talk you into giving it to her even cheaper.
The only car sale I've not had go perfectly was one of the first I sold. The new owner calls a year later (almost to the day) threatening to take me to court because the engine blew. I expressed my concern for his misfortune and asked that he be sure to spell my name correctly on court docs.
Never heard from him again.

93EXCivic MegaDork
2/6/13 3:16 p.m.
Nathan JansenvanDoorn wrote: That's how I feel, she feels differently - while I've considered doing what she calls the 'right thing', it would cost me a few hundred dollars to re-title it in my name. She's insisting that I intentionally scammed her - I believe I was completely straight with her. At the end of the day, it's a 16 year old car that's lived its life in the salt belt. And it's an old BMW to boot.

Does she know where you live? If not just block her number and move on.

BoxheadTim GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
2/6/13 3:17 p.m.

So she's given you a rubber check and is threatening to take you to small claims court because someone told her she overpaid for a car that she bought as-is and had inspected twice?

I would tell her to get lost and take my chances that she won't go to court to get laughed at.

yamaha SuperDork
2/6/13 3:17 p.m.

berkeley them, seriously......just don't bother returning calls. The broad is attempting to scam you, and it could have ended much worse. NEVER allow title to leave your custody until a vehicle is paid in full. Never make any promises about anything......something could go wrong on their way home(hence no warranty expressed or implied), etc.

spitfirebill UltraDork
2/6/13 3:24 p.m.

Keep the money. But she is probably going to take you to court. I hope you wrote as-is on the bill of sale.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
2/6/13 3:39 p.m.

You have all the money, as in the check has been cashed?

If so, tell her politely to bug off. Let her try to take you to small claims court, she doesn't have squat.

Check hasn't been cashed? You are in trouble. She has probably stopped payment on it and since the title's in her name there's not a lot you can do except take HER to court. You have a better chance if there was a signed bill of sale.

I personally NEVER take a check for a car unless there's an understanding that I hold both car and title till it clears. I will change that for someone I know, though. If they aren't willing to do that, well sorry we don't have a deal.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
2/6/13 3:53 p.m.

No - at the end of the day I drove with her to the bank that she had claimed was closed, she gave me the cash and I returned her cheque. I learned a LOT over this. I've had a number of used car transactions in the past: all have been trouble free, sign the ownership, get cash or cert. cheque, and never think about it again - occasionally I get a call or email later to hear that the car was great, but I've never had any problems.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
2/6/13 3:54 p.m.

Then you are in the clear. Block her number and sleep well.

HappyAndy Dork
2/6/13 3:54 p.m.

She was/is scamming you. Anyone who offers to buy a beater car with a check (in a private party sale) is a scammer. Close relatives & trusted friends are the only exceptions. BTW, all the cars and bikes that I've purchased from friends were cash transactions.

mtn PowerDork
2/6/13 3:57 p.m.

I've only sold 1 car in my life, but I've learned that there are only 2 ways to do it: First is a cash deal (with one of those counterfeit detector pens).
Second is at the bank, so that you can see the money being put into your account either by wire or by check. Make it instant.

jimbob_racing Dork
2/6/13 4:17 p.m.

Checks are a no go on any cheap car. If they have the money to write a check, then they have the money to withdraw it and give to me in cash. Simple.

I sold a cheap car (under $2k) to a friend a while back. The title agency and his bank are almost next door to each other in a shopping mall. The SOB gives me a check AFTER I sign over the title and he registers the car and right before he drives away in it. Fortunately I simply walked over to his bank to cash it. Surprise! Not enough funds in the checking account! The nice lady at the bank solved that by transferring funds from his savings account into the checking account and giving me all the cash on the spot. Two days later, the knucklehead calls me all pissed off wondering how I got the money out of his savings account. I hung up and have not spoken to him since.

Even friends will try to screw you if you give them the chance.

I sold several inexpensive cars after that. Cash only, due in my hand before we sign anything over. All bills checked with a counterfeit pen from the office supply store before I'm satisfied. No troubles at all with this set up.

fanfoy Reader
2/6/13 4:18 p.m.

I have to ask what did the garages find that needed to get fixed? In Canada, you have to be careful because you can be taken to court even if you write "as-is" on the bill of sale. If the problem with the car is something big, and that you try to hide it maliciously, she may have a cause. But the burden of the proof is with her. The APA has a few cases of people successfully taking someone to court over a used car sale.

Curmudgeon MegaDork
2/6/13 4:50 p.m.

Around here in the Great Satan, private car sales are 'as is', 'buyer beware', etc. I think there are a couple of states which do have laws covering private sales to some extent.

Nathan JansenvanDoorn
Nathan JansenvanDoorn Dork
2/6/13 4:59 p.m.

The original mechanic found: tie-rods, rear brake flex lines, and "maybe rear hardlines" Total estimate was $800.

The second mechanic found "rust holes under the car" (no other details than that), plus the above.

There was no intent to hide anything, and in the past I've never had any issue with people understanding the definition of "as-is". I myself have bought both some real lemons and some great cars - as-is, and never felt the need to go back to the owner, since I understood the risk of as-is sales.

Edit: she know's where I live, and just tried to connect to me through Linked-in. Sigh. Perhaps time to start trading-in cars.

fanfoy Reader
2/6/13 5:09 p.m.

That's all small potatoes... no case here (in my opinion). Just ignore her. But don't you guys in Ontario have safety inspection to pass? These should have been noted in your last inspection. If not, then you have further proof that you didn't know about those problems before you sold it to her.

aussiesmg UltimaDork
2/6/13 5:09 p.m.

Send her your correct spelling for the court papers, she wont go ahead, its a used car sold in good faith, end all discussion with her now

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