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You May Have a Fraud Claim Against a Car Dealership Which Did Not Provide a Title At the Time of Sale in Missouri, and a Fraud Claim Against a Financing Company Which Collects Payment on a Void No-Title Vehicle Sale

April 25th, 2020 by admin

It is fraudulent as a matter of law if a car dealership in Missouri fails to provide you with a title at the time of sale. A no-title vehicle sale is void. And it is fraudulent for a finance company to collect payment on such a void sale.  The lender even “stands in the shoes” of the dealer, subject to the same claims. Such fraudulent no-title sales and financing may also rise to claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (“MMPA”), entitling claimants to potential recovery of attorney fees. Contact Reams Law to know your rights: (405) 285-6878.

The sale of a vehicle fails and is considered fraudulent and void if a title is not provided to the buyer at the time of the proposed sale in Missouri. VAMS § 301.210; Peel v. Credit Acceptance Corp., 408 S.W.3d 191, 203 (Mo. App. 2013). “Not providing a title is fraudulent. Peel at 205. The statute “is essentially a police regulation of the highest type and absolute technical compliance is necessary. Such provisions are rigidly enforced and there are no exceptions to conform to intentions.”  Public Fin. Corp. of Kansas City, Mo. No. 1 v. Shemwell, 345 S.W.2d 494, 498 (Mo.App. W.D. 1961), citing Section 301.210.

Under the MMPA the use of fraud in connection with the sale of any merchandise is an unlawful practice, and is actionable under that Act. VAMS § 407.020.1. The MMPA applies to sales of automobiles, including abuses that occur before, during or after the sale. Peel, supra, 407 S.W.3d at 205-208. Section 301.210(4) of the Missouri Revised Statutes broadly applies to make it fraudulent for anyone to sell a vehicle without delivering a proper title at the time of delivery of the vehicle. Such fraud is an “unlawful practice” and violates the MMPA. VAMS § 407.020.1.

Collecting payment on a void contract to purchase a vehicle is also fraudulent.” Peel at 205 (emphasis added). In other words, a financing company which collects payments on such void vehicle sale should also be subject to independent claims for fraud and MMPA violations. Additionally, the financing company “stands in the shoes” of the seller under the “FTC Holder” Rule, which in effect provides that the financing company is subject to all the same claims to which the dealer/seller is subject. Peel, supra.

Contact Reams Law if you’ve been sold a vehicle without a title. Possibly you left a dealership only to learn that you were not provided a title when you attempted to register the vehicle with the department of motor vehicles. Don’t let the dealership attempt to put you off with promises of a title later, while fees and fines stack up. The dealership should have provided the title at the point of sale. Every circumstances is different effecting whether you have a claim. Don’t wait. Contact Reams Law (405) 285-6878.

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