Q: I need help with a very complicated situation. Please read the details for more information. You havent seen this before
I walked outside of my home this morning to find my car had gone missing. I called the police department to report it had been stolen. The police department stated the car hadn’t been stolen but was rather repossessed. I purchased the vehicle cash from a private owner in 2018. I called the company that issued the repossession and was told the car is listed under a different owner who has had a loan since 2017 for the vehicle and stopped making payments in June of 2020. A police officer came and indeed found me to be the owner of the vehicle by searching the Florida database and seeing the title I have in hand. The loan company refuses to contact the listed owner to investigate if a mistake has been made. The towing company refuses to tell us where the car is and won’t release it without the loan owner being present. The police said they are not able to do anything even though they can see I am the sole owner of the vehicle and that I should contact a lawyer. I need help & guidance.
A: If you really believe that your legal situation is "unique" and the experienced lawyers answering legal questions here on Justia "have not seen this situation before" you are badly mistaken.
This situation is called "stealing." However, as you recently learned, it is not a "crime" because the other "owner" has a superior claim to the the car and the lender will ALWAYS side with him--because they now want the car.
There are two solutions here, the easiest of which is to pay off the title loan and then sue the seller for fraud. The other option--probably the cheapest--is to forget about retrieving the car and purchase another one--this time checking to see who really owns it.
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