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anyone have to give an abandoned car back to the owner? advice please

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Revhead, May 3, 2007.

  1. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    from Dallas, TX

    Here' s the story..

    My friend calls me and says their company has rented a new building and there was a car left behind. He says let's wait a couple weeks and if no one shows up then We'll sell it to ya. So we wait and after 2 1/2 weeks the landlord comes by and says "oh that car is still here? I'll have it towed off." My buddy says "no sweat we have it taken care of" and the landlord says "ok, no problem" and leaves. Well I bought the car ( no title of course) and 2 months later the "owner " comes to my buddys shop looking for it. My friend calls me and I tell him to give the guy my number. SO I talk to the guy and he give me a bunch of attitude about how it's not his fault and so on, and I ask if he can pay me the $100 towing bill. He says no and he'll report it stolen if I don't give it to him.

    I don't like screwing the guy out of his car and would have worked something out with him if it wasn't for his attitude. I am tempted to haul the thing out to the side of the highway and let him get it out of impound since that's where it was headed, before I got it anyway.

    Do I have any say in this or am I just screwed out of my $100 and car? I am pretty sure I can get my money back for the car, but what about the time money and labor spent on the car since I got it?

    I have a feeling I am just out some money and time, but if any of you have had this happen, let me know how it turned out for you guys.
  2. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,727


    Sounds to me like you knowingly "bought" a car from a guy who didn't own it. Your lucky he didn't show up with the police and have you arrested for stealing it.
  3. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    from Tulsa, OK

    That's a touchy one. I'd tell Homer that he can pony up the $100 or no car, and I'd also have your buddy tally up a storage bill for the time it sat at his place. Check the local impound lots to find out their rates, and match them.

    The other thing is - does he have a title to the car? If not, it is very doubtful he can prove ownership anyway.

    Personally, I'd tell him to call the cops. Filing a false police report is a felony. The car isn't stolen - you bought it legitimately.

    How long did it sit prior to your buddy taking over the shop?
  4. john56h
    Joined: Jan 28, 2007
    Posts: 1,767


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  5. Aman
    Joined: Dec 28, 2005
    Posts: 2,522

    from Texas

    I'm afraid you're right. :( If he has title to it, he can bring the cops and take it. Funny how cars can sit forever, rusting to the ground until someone else wants it. Then, it becomes the most important thing in his life. He'll probably take it to another lot to rust and never touch it. Wonder how long this guy has owned it? I think I'd hold out for the $100 just to fuck with him and make him prove it belongs to him. What about a mechanics lean? If it's not titled that won't help though. Hum...might be better to give it up now before you put anymore money in it.
  6. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    from Dallas, TX

    Yes I did "knowingly" buy a car from a guy that didn't own it, but I've bought many abandoned cars where the guy owns the land not the car technically. In this case he is renting it and the landlord was going to have it removed, just like the rest of the trash that was cleaned up before they moved in.

    I don't see how he could have me arrested at all, He did leave his crap on someone else's property without permission...
  7. TrannyMan
    Joined: Dec 3, 2005
    Posts: 473


    I would strip it and tell him that's the way you got it.:)

    Actually I would get my money back from the guy who sold it to you.
    Unless you got some connections, I really don't think there is anything you can do. I believe it's illegal in Texas to charge storage fees unless you have a storage license, even then you are limited to charging ten days without notification to the owner.

    If you owned a shop, you could charge an administration fee against the car, billable to the guy who had you tow it off. The owner would then have to go against the "seller" or he could report it stolen and just wipe it clean.

    It sux, cut your losses and run.
  8. have you buddy start a lein sale on it, if he wants it back he needs to pay for storage (3 months @ $300 month). may cost about $80........
  9. Dirty2
    Joined: Jun 13, 2004
    Posts: 8,903


    I agree BUT he still should at least pay storage .
  10. Goztrider
    Joined: Feb 17, 2007
    Posts: 3,066

    from Tulsa, OK

    I say contact the landlord. The car was abandoned on the landlord's property, and the landlord was going to have it removed and either scrapped or impounded, as I'm sure the guy moved out and left his stuff there, thereby making it the landlord's trash/car/property. If the landlord gave the car to your buddy, then I'll bet he had a legal right to sell it.
  11. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    from Dallas, TX

    If he agrees to pay for the towing I'm just gonna give it back and be done with it. What really pissed me off though was his attitude on the phone. He acted like I did steal it. I don't steal anything, but if I left my car on someones property for half a year or more, I wouldn't just expect to come back and pick it up and say "well thanks for looking after it for me". Crap I have enough storage problems for my cars I wish that is how it worked, I'd unload some of my junk down the street and get it later:D

    He's lucky it wasn't REALLY stolen, It wasn't behind any fence or anything, just in back lot and in the Royal/Harry Hines area.. if your not familiar with Dallas, that's not the best of neighborhoods.
  12. -Brent-
    Joined: Nov 20, 2006
    Posts: 5,160


    I remember there being a law around here that stated something like a vehicle abandoned more than three months can be claimed by the land- owner. There was some paperwork that went along with the process but it made sense... You abondon it someone it becomes someone elses problem. Trouble is, most times it's not a "cool" vehicle.
  13. asher
    Joined: Oct 13, 2003
    Posts: 258


    If the guy was kicked out of his place or even moved out and left the car, then the car becomes property of the land lord. So all you need is a bill of sale from the land lord and info on when the guy left and that he left the car there from the land lord. You have the car in your possession. He left it behind. So he cant report it stolen if he knowingly abandoned the car.
  14. Junkyard Jan
    Joined: Jan 7, 2005
    Posts: 739

    Junkyard Jan
    Member Emeritus

    Won't help now, but next time don't give the property power your number nor let your bud. If by the grapevive you hear that the "owner" is looking for the car, it'll give you time to part it and dispose of the remains. I know that it isn't "right", but you won't believe how many dealer financed (same basic deal) cars I've taken to the crusher.

  15. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,987

    Member Emeritus

    I agree that giving it back is probably the easiest thing to do to save further hassle. However, the engine, transmission, stereo,etc weren't in the car when you got it;) ;) ;) AND don't let him have the car until you see a valid title in his name.

  16. chaddilac
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 13,855


    I'd put a lein on it anyway to get that $100 back... then you can also put a storage lein on it!!
  17. FoMoCoPower
    Joined: Feb 2, 2007
    Posts: 2,490


    what kinda car?
  18. EarPunch
    Joined: Jan 16, 2007
    Posts: 60

    from Conroe, Tx

    Thats what I was thinking, I just didnt want to pour salt in the wound :D .
  19. Same here in Michigan. Years ago a girl I dated bought a house, and the sellers sister and husband had a mobil home stored on the property. Long story short, she found out through a lawyer that after 90 days, it would become hers. I think she had to send a certified letter to the owners informing them of her intent.
  20. kustombuilder
    Joined: Sep 18, 2002
    Posts: 7,745

    from Novi, MI

    you should go to your secretary of state or DMV and ask them what the laws are in regaurds to this situation. or better yet a lawyer that is familiar with those types of laws. don't bother asking a cop. in my experience cops know very little about the actual details of most laws other than the ones they may enforce on a adaily basis. such as traffic laws and what not. it is a lawyers job to know the details (or "letter") of the law.
  21. Shoebomber
    Joined: Jan 17, 2007
    Posts: 78

    from Bangor, ME

    i'm sure that somewhere in the landlords lease it says any property left behind after abandoning the domicile becomes the sole property of the landlord. there fore it's legally yours and he has to suck it up and realize that he coan buy the car off you or forget about it entirely.
  22. Revhead
    Joined: Mar 19, 2001
    Posts: 3,027

    from Dallas, TX

    Well it's not traditional that's why I didn't mention it, but it is a '68 Camaro RS
  23. Fabricator
    Joined: Jan 1, 2007
    Posts: 23


    ask him, ..........What car?
  24. 68 RS Camaro??? I,d sure as hell be finding any way of keeping it! i had a 68 RS convertible when I was a kid.......
  25. hatch
    Joined: Nov 20, 2001
    Posts: 3,667

    from house

    Stash it........then wait and see what the owner does. NO visible problem.
  26. mechanics storage lein, problem solved. he may have title to it, but you can yank it from his pocket with an ink pen and proper paperwork filed with the county.
  27. Lobucrod
    Joined: Mar 22, 2006
    Posts: 4,117

    Alliance Vendor
    from Texas

    If your gonna let him have it I'd at least tell him to bring the title when he comes so you can make sure it's his to start with.
  28. I agree totally with going thru the landlord. was the po a tenant, I know in OK, if a tenant abandons property it becomes the landlord responsibility to dispose of it. I'm not sure that it necessarily belongs to the landlord, but he can dispose of it and be compensated by proceeds for his labors.
  29. Godzilla
    Joined: Jul 26, 2005
    Posts: 999


    Contact a lawyer. It is only thru the legal system that you are going to end up with this car. Also, the police will not get involved in it if it is a civil criminal charges.

    An attorney can file this "right of ownership" in district court and the only way that this guy has a chance at the car is to hire an attorney and go to court...all the time the car has to stay in your possession (more storage).

    Make it too hard a fight and he might just shine it on. Have your buddy get you a bill of sale for abandoned property. Next time, run an ad in the daily newspaper with the serial number stating if anyone has a financial interest in this vehicle please call......... It will cover you down the road and a judge will award you the car. Good luck.
  30. wz56km
    Joined: Oct 6, 2005
    Posts: 127


    What would Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law do? :D

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