Forced by PO to return a car I owned for 4 months!

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I previously mentioned the rusty old Saab I aquired from my 17 y/o cousin. I sorta liked it, ran and drove fine after some tweaking. Long story. My lil cousin graduated from HS this summer and at his party, the neighbour's son, who is 30-ish gave him the keys to the Saab that had been sitting (not running) in their backyard for YEARS. It was partly a gag gift, to be able to say "yeah, I gave you a car". My cousin was gratefull, but already had a new truck and was on his 4th vehicle in a year, his parents were tired of registering and selling cars, etc, so the Saab sat in HIS backyard for a month or two. My lil cousin is a wheeler-dealer, he wanted some cash and I worked him good on a deal. Got him down to $200...franky the car was not worth much more. I took the car home months ago and they (my lil cousin and his mom) had the title, blank waiting for a signature. No big deal, I did not really know if I wanted to sell it or keep it, likely I was going to offer it f/s $500, BitOG Members have first crack. I did a lil work, mostly cleaning the 2in of pine needles, scraping some rust, fluids and filters, cleaning snot off the windows. I was about 1/2 way done with it. The PO were wierd about the whole thing, badgering my older cousin who takes care of her Alzhimers Mom and stroke-ridden Dad in a paranoid way....psycho. They have been neighbours for 30 years and I have been around them for a long time too. Not a real friendship, but politeness and I've been over to their messy house, etc. So, I came down to get the title transfered yesterday. The Dad cancelled on me because of their "confusion" as to whose name was on the title. So, I went to the Notary and asked if they could just have the guy come in and sign. I was told to just put my name on the title, give it to the PO and let them come get it notarized. Ok, I went to their house with my older cousin and gave the title to the 30 y/o son "owner"/driver for his dad to sign. I remarked I liked the car, we ALL laughed, the son now has a new Mazda-3....no problem. Later, my older cousin (lil cousin's dear mom) gets a call from the psyco PO "mom"..."we want the car back"(!) Citing "conditons" and that they gave it to my lil cousin, not me. My lil cousin later produced his graduation card from them "Enjoy the Saab"!!! I called the PO/neighbour/mom/son today and explained that ok, I would make the car available (1st step) but I had done a lot of work (polished paint and all the other things I mentioned) and basicly wanted $100 for my work and $200 I gave my lil cousin for it. They said no, it was "my problem" that I worked on the car and they were "going to (come) get it". They were abusive and would not follow a logical explaination of events. So, my older cousin begged me to return the car and SHE paid me the $300! I was pizzed, rightly. The neighbours bullied her into something they could not get away with in the Real World nor in dealing with me. I am still mad, but am glad it's over. My cousin was supportive and really needs to have no problems with them, her "friends". Can you believe neighbours of 30 years would make a crazy scene and stink over a car that has one foot in the junkyard? The mom there is crazy. After me telling my older cousin everything was ok last night, I thought about it and called the neighbours today to sorta explain that I had worked on the car and was under no (legal) obligation to "give it back". Well, I did not like that they bullied my cousin and wanted to deter than from doing ________ like that to my family again and set and example for my lil cousin how to NOT give-in to psychos and bullies. So, yeah, the 5ft tall PO/son told me he would "kick my arse". Ten of his friend would not be able to do that, I'm 6ft, solid 220 construction worker from the city who can take a punch. lol. I did not make it easy for the PO and still kept my cousin from over-stressing, she's a Cathloic School teacher for gods sake! I walked a fine line. Did I do ok?
 
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I'm just sad for you you live in a state that requires a notary for a private party auto sale. Otherwise, the title is much more of a bearer instrument.
 
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There are couple of lessons there for you. 1. A significant minority of people in this world are Richard Craniums. 2. Always have clear, binding legal chain of ownership on anything you buy. The POs were dikheads, but you didn't do you due diligence. You can't change them, but you can learn from the experience. Don't waste your time being upset about the trash living next door to your cuz. Take a moment to process what you have learned, and be very appreciative that you have the cuz you do. She sounds like good people. Unless you are really strapped for cash, it would be nice of you to get her something in appreciation of her doing the right thing.
 
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I'm just sad for you you live in a state that requires a notary for a private party auto sale. Otherwise, the title is much more of a bearer instrument.
It sounds like the title wasn't signed by the previous owner. Which state allows an unsigned title to be used as a bearer instrument?
 
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You know, sugar is still cheaper than Chevron Techron. If it were me, I'd give it some "gas treatment"...about a pound's worth.
 

JHZR2

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let me get this straight... you made your older cousin comfortable, but did not give the car back to the PO, due to their bullying? Seems like the right thing to do until some rational explanation and reasonable settlement is made to you. That said, say one was to buy a car from one of these places that had a 7-day return policy... say ou washed, waxed, detailed the car, changed the oil with syn or with a bottle of auto-rx, and then in 5 days, decided that there was some issue and that you were going to return it. You wouldnt be privy to a refund for what you did to it. Granted, this is not your situation, because the 'seller' is recalling it, but un-contracted work performed is probably done at the prospective buyer's risk, with no guarantee of repayment unless it was previously contracted in writing. Words and talk, even you holdinga title without finalization is likely nothing more than 'lipservice'. Unfortunately you, IMO, are absolutely right, and are being 'harmed' by this, which really stnks, but I don't think you have any real recourse in this. I hope Im wrong, but Im no holding my breath. Good luck! JMH
 
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Here is what you do, Auto-Union. Write up a bill for storage charges. Make it $100/month. Mail it to the PO, registered, return receipt requested. Then go to the DMV and file a Mechanics Lien against the title. Ask the DMV how long you have to wait to file for title. This may not work in your state, but most states have a process for this sort of thing. Once you have established a monitory interest, you can then sue in small claims court. If you win, the court can award you ownership of the car. North Carolina requires a Notorized title and the above process does work here. Good luck.
 
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Quote:
Quote:
I'm just sad for you you live in a state that requires a notary for a private party auto sale. Otherwise, the title is much more of a bearer instrument.
It sounds like the title wasn't signed by the previous owner. Which state allows an unsigned title to be used as a bearer instrument?
One that doesn't check signatures very well when a title is turned in. J/K, nothing I condone. Note I said "much more" and not "completely".
 
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well isnt that a verbal contract between the guy and your lil cousin? if he handed him the keys and said its yours. he has witnesses to this. then its your lil cousins car no matter whos name is on the title. because the owner gave it away to your cousin. but in the end sugar or bleach and end the cars life. after all they cant say you damaged the engine because it was known that it didnt run. just sounds liek they found out you got it running and they can make some money of it by selling a running car. now you know why neighbors put up fences
 
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What does "PO" mean? Never do business with friends or family!
Previous Owner. Actually, his family treated hem very well in this episode. The real lesson here is to not engage in poorly defined business dealings.
 

JHZR2

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Quote:
Here is what you do, Auto-Union. Write up a bill for storage charges. Make it $100/month. Mail it to the PO, registered, return receipt requested. Then go to the DMV and file a Mechanics Lien against the title. Ask the DMV how long you have to wait to file for title. This may not work in your state, but most states have a process for this sort of thing. Once you have established a monitory interest, you can then sue in small claims court. If you win, the court can award you ownership of the car.
every mechanic Ive ever gone to has made me sign a waiver of one sort or another, authorizing work done in good faith for analysis, diagnosis and basic efforts at the minimum. No signature, no nothing. Auto-Union is in the right here, and it is shady dealing, but I dont see how one can put on a mechanics' lien without some degree of prior work authorization in writing... Hopefully Im wrong! JMH
 
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Fifty bucks worth of cockroach eggs left under the back seat, under carpet in trunk, etc. Have millions of roaches crawling out of the car. Across the lawn, into cracks and crevices, into the house. Great fun. Or, buy a fish from the store. A whole fish. Place under car's carpet. Oh so many things an evil mind can concoct.
 
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I would give the car back and not do anything to it. It’s Karma. What goes round comes round. chock it up to the school of hard knocks.
 
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