Lesson Learned

Back in March 2017, I posted two cars for sale on one of those social media buy, sell, trade sites. I had just purchased a new car and did not need the two I had. Boy did this turn out to be a total nightmare.

One of the vehicles, a 1999 Ford Taurus, was in good working order. Lots of rust and stuff but a good beater vehicle for someone to tool around in. I had replaced a lot of the parts on this car in the last year I had it. So I was confident it would be a fairly reliable vehicle for someone despite the rust. Of course, the Disney movie Cars made rust almost acceptable again with the loveable character Matter.

The second car was a headache and I put two little minion characters on the hood to prove it. It was a 1992 Honda Accord. The heater was stuck in the on position all the time as the knob was broken. Imagine driving down the road in the dead of summer and having the heat blow at you while not being able to roll the driver’s window down. It was so rusted I had to use that weaved patio chair stuff and bolt the front and rear fenders to the car because of the rust that overtook their connectors. The hood latch was broken so I drilled a hole and bolted that down as well. It was this bolt sticking out of the front of the hood that I put those cute little minions on.  I later found out that the hinges of the hood were broken too. All the windows leaked and the car was just a mess. I was selling this car as scrap and clearly stated that in the add I posted. I only asked $75. I know I could have gotten more, but well I just wanted it gone and did not want to have to deal with it to scrap out myself.

The same man purchased both vehicles. He made plans with me to come look at the Taurus first. On the scheduled day and time, I sat and waited for hours as he did not show as agreed. I tried several times to contact him without response. Finally flustered and giving up, I headed out to another appointment I had. Upon returning home I notice he was there waiting for me.  He was upset and mad that I was not there, claiming he had waited over an hour. I found this quite humorous because I was gone less than 45 minutes.

I rolled my eyes at him stating, “Really dude? That is funny since I was only gone for 45 minutes. Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration?” snickering to lighten the mood then adding, “What about our agreed meeting time of 1 p.m. I waited for four hours and you did not show, I then tried to contact you and received no response.”

Diverting the question, he does one of those up and down motions with his eyes as if to ‘check me out’ then nodding his head as if agreeing with himself states, “Damn girl, you are fine especially when you are upset. I love redheads. I bet you have a temper too.”

In shock at this moment not knowing what to do or how to respond, I remained silent as if the cat had my tongue. I stared blankly at him as I thought to myself what a jerk he was. Eventually grabbing my tongue back from the cat, “So you’re here, you mise well look at the car.”

Continuing with some small talk about the details of the car and what parts I had replaced as he looked at the Taurus, things seemed to have smoothed out a bit (or so I thought). He nodded his head again and agreed to purchase it for the listed price I asked.

Then pointed to the other vehicle and asked what the deal was with it. I told him it was for sale as well as scrap and was not to be driven. I gave him the price and he agreed to purchase that one as well. He gave me $100 down for both vehicles then made plans to come and pick both vehicles up the following day.

I should have known well enough to use the previous day as an example and assume he would not be on time. Sure enough, even after I canceled my plans for that day in order to be home for him to pick the vehicles up, he could not show up AT ALL. Finally getting ahold of him well into the night, he claimed his current vehicle had broken down on him and he was stuck on the side of the road. Not knowing if I should believe him or not, I just let it go and made yet another date and time for him to come finish paying for the vehicles and pick them up on the following day.

I informed him I was going to have to cancel my plans for the third day in a row in order to be home if that was truly the only time he had. He assured me he would be there and be on time. Taking him for his word I held up my end of the bargain. Next day came and yet again he was 3 hours late. He did pay me for both vehicles but said he could only take the Taurus on that day. Stating he would need to get his car dolly from a friend to pick the Honda up and his friend was out of town.

Coming into the house to make him sign a bill of sale and so I could sign the both of the titles, he continued to flirt with me as he had that first day. I did not give it much attention and continued doing what I was doing. After all of the paperwork was done as he was going to leave, he grabbed me by the back of the neck and bent down and kissed me. Again, I was shocked and overwhelmed at the audacity of this man who was here only to buy two vehicles off of me. I had not flirted back and certainly gave him no indication that I was even close to interested in him. I could not get him out of my house quick enough.

I dreaded having to see him again in order for him to pick the Honda up. But he had paid for it so what could I do. Several days passed with him making plans to come get it then not showing up. At my whits end with this man, I told him I thought he was very unreliable. I clearly stated to him that he had one more day to pick the vehicle up or I would go to the cops and tell them he had abandoned it here after paying for it and taking the title. He finally got the hint and showed up to get the car.

Unfortunately, this was not to be the last I heard from him. Somewhere around mid-June, I received a weird facebook message from some lady I did not know asking about the car and wanting to talk to me. I ignored it at first. She persisted so I finally responded. Come to find out this man had never put the Honda into his name after purchasing it from me.

Not only did he not put it in my name, he advertised it for sale on a different site for $1000. This lady that contacted me said she gave him $500 down on the car agreeing to give him the rest when she picked the car up. She had to wait to pick it up because he claimed he had to put an alternator in it for it to run. He gave her the title to hold so she would feel some comfort after putting so much money down on it.

She drove away and later on when at home noticed the car was not even in his name. After going around and around with this guy, not receiving the car and being out $500 as well as having a bogus title she contacted me to tell me this story and ask me questions about the car. She, of course, got my name and address off of the title that was still in my name.

I told her the issues I had had with this man when selling him the car, that he had only paid $75 for it and it was on the condition he knew it was for scrap only and was not safe to drive.  To say that both she and I were angry would be a major understatement. I had sold the car 4 months prior. He had taken her for $500 knowing the car was not drivable and it was still not in his name. I mean how stupid can some people be?

Here we are another month into this for a total of 5 months and finally. Yes, FINALLY today, I was able to meet the woman at the Secretary of State and transfer the title to her name. She now has the clear title to the car, but no car and out $500 for a car that once she does get is not drivable and can never scrap to recover the money. I have agreed to stand up in court and testify for her as a witness if she wants to sue him. I am not sure what she will do. I do know I have some measure of relief knowing the car is no longer in my name.

In closing up this story, I want to give a word to the wise here. If you ever sell a vehicle on your own instead of using it as a trade-in on a new one. Please keep in mind a few things first.

  • You need to make the purchaser/buyer meet you at the Secretary of State office and pay for a title transfer right away.
  • Make the purchaser/buyer sign and date a bill of sale.
  • Take pictures of them signing it and the signed document after it is done. (I did have a signed and dated bill of sale, however, in this case, it did me no good)
  • If the purchaser/buyer does not transfer the title within 15 days, they only have 15 more days in which they can pay a fine and still transfer the title.
  • After 30 days if the title has not been transferred over to the purchaser/buyer, the title reverts back to the original owner.
  • YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for anything that happens during the entire time the title stays in your name. Including that first 15 days even with a bill of sale. If someone is driving illegally and gets stopped, if they are driving and have an accident or if the car is used in a crime…. IT IS YOUR ASS on the line.

So please learn from my mistake. Do not ignore this advice and let what happened to me, happen to you. Take the time to go to the Secretary of State Office with the purchaser/buyer right away or do not give them the car.

 

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2 thoughts on “Lesson Learned

    • I agree, the gentleman, and I use the term loosely. Was less than professional. But like every experience I have, I am not looking at it as some horrible event that happened to me in life. Instead, I choose to use it as a learning experience. A chance to hopefully use it for good so that other’s do not find themselves in that same place. If I am successful in the ladder, it was worth the entire experience.

      Liked by 1 person

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