Bowie, MD asked in Civil Litigation for Maryland

Q: If someone stole my car and sold it to someone else, am I still the rightful owner of the car?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Ronald V. Miller Jr.
Ronald V. Miller Jr.
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Baltimore, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Yes!

Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
Answered
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: The person who bought a stolen car does not gain legal ownership because the person they bought it from did not have legal wnershup of it in order to sell it. Therefore, you as the legal owner who did not know of or acquiesce in the transaction remains the legal owner. If your signature was forged in the title, you will need to file criminal charges against the thief as well as pursue a civil case against the buyer to reclaim legal title if they do not voluntarily transfer it back. As for the money they paid to buy it, they have to look to the seller/thief to recover their money.

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