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help .. new to it .. buy .. sell .. a car

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by InGearX, Sep 15, 2016.

  1. InGearX

    InGearX Android Enthusiast
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    please give me a reality check ..
    in short i never bough / sold a car before ..
    a friend of mutual friends from Taiwan is leaving the country and is asking me to try and sell his 1998 Honda Odessy .. for $2000.. he purchased it a month ago .. and did not transfer the title or registration ..
    in return - in a mutual agreement - I can drive it around for moment being .. good for me .. as i am visiting LA from NYC and without a car ..
    but what should i check for?
    * title - it is still in previous owners name and he has not transfered it over to him self ... is this a concern when reselling?
    * registration - he is in an agreement with the previous owner to let him use it for moment being (it expires in few months)
    * papers of sale - do i need them as proof for new owner? not sure if they paid any taxes or how did this work .. I assume not .. so what should i expect when selling it to a new owner ..
    * insurance - I assume i will be able to call up Geico and have it insured to drive around mm
    * what else? i imagine there are a dozen other things to consider ..
    like i should get AAA .. as it is prone to a possible break down ..
    please advise ..
    thank you ..
    ==================
    PS in details:
    this new friend of a friend i met at Burning Man .. is from Taiwan ..
    he bought a 1998 Honda Odessy .. for $2000 .. works OK he went from Reno to LA ..
    he planned to sell it .. but he ran out of time ..
    he want to park it some place around LA toll free as he will be back for short period from South America to go back to Taiwan ..
    or in a mutual exchange he can let me use it while i try to sell it for him and MoneyGram him the money ..
    this i great as I am from NYC out in West coast and need a car ..
    OK now I just want to make sure i have all aspects covered
    as i see it .. it is a no real risk situation for me .. i will honestly try my best to sell it and give him all the money .. but if for what ever reason i can not .. i park it some place for him?
     

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  2. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    I really don't want to get into all the details, but I'd run from that guy. By not registering the vehicle the "owner" has violated California law. And if you're caught driving it around and can't demonstrate that you're lawfully doing so, you're headed to jail. If you can so demonstrate, you'll instead be ticketed for driving an unlawfully registered vehicle.

    I don't even want to think of the difficulty of trying to actually transfer it to someone else.

    That's assuming the story told by this friend-of-a-friend is the truth, of course.

    And I'd feel the same way even if I didn't formerly practice law. ;)

    Good luck.
     
    #2 rootabaga, Sep 15, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2016
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  3. Fox Mulder

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    Agreed I think he should find another "friend" to dump his questionably legal car onto. You don't want any part of this.
     
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  4. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven OK Google
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    That sounds very sketchy :( o_O
     
  5. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations!
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    I agree with everyone else here... RUN!
     
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好
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    Is buying a used car from Chinese as bad in the US as it is here(China)?
     
  7. rootabaga

    rootabaga Android Expert
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    Considering that this thread isn't even about actually buying a car, but rather trying to sell one that may or may not be owned (to one degree or another) by someone from Taiwan, um... ;) :D

    Seriously, though, I think it all depends on the person. And if you're on a used-car lot, I don't care the nationality of the agent since they're all liars! :)
     
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  8. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    RUN !!!

    you are holding the bag...........
    you are not the owner,
    you don't carry the insurance,
    you don't have a permission slip from the titled owner,

    you are Jail Bait in all 50 states in the USA
     
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  9. The_Chief

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    FACT!
     
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  10. svim

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    Prior bills of sale are irrelevant in your situation and registration corresponds to the license plate(s). The title however is the most important thing, that is always tied directly to the car itself. With the title still under the original owner's name you have no claim to actually do anything with this car, unless the original owner has given written permission for you to continue using it. At any time he can report it missing and you'll have in your possession a 'stolen' vehicle. The title is what gets transferred from one owner to the next, things like registration and insurance do not as they're conditionally related to the vehicle through its current owner.
    Contact a lawyer and document as much as you can about how this car ended up in your possession. Since it involves crossing state borders there are federal issues involved.
     
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  11. HeavensSentSword

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    I would honestly talk to the police about this. Say your friend dumped this car on you and told you to sell it. And under further inspection, you found that the title was not in his name. So you suspect this car to be stolen. If you report it to the police you should be free and clear. And then things won't get unpleasant for you.
     
  12. rootabaga

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    ^^^I don't think I'd go that far just yet. Unless I'm missing something in the OP, s/he hasn't actually taken possession of the car, so all that's needed is a "thanks, but no thanks" and a nice walk in the pleasant LA fall weather. ;)

    If OTOH the OP has possession of the car and the putative owner has fled the scene, then that might be one way to proceed. Another might be to find the guy whose name is on the title and see if it's on the up and up...

    But in any case I sure wouldn't be driving it around waiting for the other shoe to fall (or the timing belt to break!). :p
     
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  13. AZgl1500

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    If the owner has signed the title off to release it,
    the OP should just go to DMV and title the car in his own name.
    that will require new insurance of course, but at least then it will be legal for him to sell it off.

    there may be a penalty for not registering the car within XYZ days, but that will be less than driving it w/o a clear title/insurance.
     
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  14. Guggy

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    Basically: Dump the car in an alley somewhere and hope you won't get caught.
     
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  15. InGearX

    InGearX Android Enthusiast
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    hi everyone ..

    I did not commit to help yet .. he is still driving it in LA .. i am looking into the legal aspect .. thank you so much for all the info and advice ..

    I included much unnecessary info .. like friend of a friend .. Taiwan .. burning man .. MoneyGram ..

    its simple ..

    as Corehhi put it:

    > I can see it happening as: Thanks for the money here's the title signed over and use the plate until it expires.

    i trust this guy from Taiwan .. he is in this spot as his sale to other friends from China fell through ... they had some love triangle fight ..

    he doesn't want any money from me .. just if i can help him sell it .. but i get to drive around ..

    BUT as i see now

    problem

    #1 original owner can wake up .. have a change of hear and cancel registration at any time .. (report to DMV he sold the car and forgot to take the plates of ...... or worse ...... who the heck knows .. report it stolen) if cops pull me over I think it would be ~$200

    #2 looks like my friend from Taiwan got the signed title AND SIGNED on it!
    without going on to DMV to register it all to get a new title ... properly ... ahhhhhh .. so i can not sell it easily ..

    #3 this friend from Taiwan has no insurance card .. he is clueless!! i must call Geico and ask if I can insure it in such a case ..

    IF I can insure it ... I can just drive it around and then park it someplace in LA

    if cops pull me over i have
    1. registration paper
    2. insurance
    3. DL

    hmmmm what if cops ask me who owns the car and how i got it .... hmmmmm i could show them the title and say I am driving it for a friend who purchased it ..... hmmmm i better get a signed statment from him .. w same signature as on the title ..

    BUT selling it is an issue if he signed the title ... and and who knows what kind of other trouble the car can be in ... would not want to be involved ..

    problem #4 do you see any possible issues / problems?

    thank you ..
     
  16. svim

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    As the title has only been exchanged on a personal level it's not valid. Legally the car still belongs to its original owner. The title must be transferred through the proper channels -- the DMV of both states, where the owner resides and California. Also, applying for a new registration in Los Angeles and getting insured for that vehicle will be contingent on ownership, which again you do not have.
    This car is hot potato, you shouldn't even be considering getting involved in its saga. If you need a car, there are countless sources that will be legal and without the dodgy hassles that will be required to overcome. A densely populated area like L.A. will have dozens and dozens of used car lots. Check local papers for want ads. Online sites for used cars number in the hundreds. While you're looking for a car of your own, public transportation is an option, also there are services like Zipcar:
    http://www.zipcar.com/los-angeles?zipfleet_id=202670692
    along with Uber or Lyft
    https://www.uber.com
    https://www.lyft.com/cities/los-angeles
     
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  17. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    with this additional info, what you have is a one way ticket to jail.
    do NOT get involved period..... just say "no thanks, I not able to do that"

    a $2000 loss for your friend is small potatoes compared to his airfare home. he needs to take it to a cosigner resale lot, and IF they won't touch it, then he knows he might just as well park it and walk away.
     
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  18. The_Chief

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    @InGearX looks like the consensus here is that there is no way the car is anything except trouble for you. BIG trouble. I know it would be convenient to drive. I know you would feel like you're doing this guy a favor. I know you just want to help, and be rewarded with some cheap transportation for awhile.

    But ask yourself: is it worth JAIL TIME and a criminal record for the rest of your life? Court costs? Legal fees?

    Please, please, please: do not walk away from this car. RUN from it as fast as you can.
     
  19. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Android Expert
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    he paid $2000 for the car, more or less...

    that is a lot cheaper than a rental, the car owes him nothing, and you darn sure don't need to get involved....

    he needs to drive it to the Airport and leave it there, and forget all about it.....
    it owes him nothing, and he gets a free taxi ride to the airport ( if he don't get stopped by the gendarmes )


    I did this once, when I was TDY on a company job that lasted for 3 months, or a tad bit more....

    I just bought the cheapest clunker I could find, and the cheapest insurance I could get.....
    and left it on the streets when I went home, then reported it stolen and canceled the insurance.
     

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