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Is a bill of sale for an automobile binding without the title?

Redondo Beach, CA |
Filed under: Used cars Vehicle title

I want to buy a used car from a seller who owes money on his car. He cannot get the title until he pays it off (it would take a few days) and he can't pay it off until I pay him for the car. So I would have to wait for the title up to four days after giving him the money for the car. Is a bill of sale sufficient to protect me?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. It would protect you to a point. The biggest issue here is that you are going to give money to a person and, in turn, rely on that person to pay off the loan on the car. What if that person does not pay the loan? You are out the money and title still rests with the financing entity. Be careful in this transaction. Good luck.

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  2. I agree with counsel. You do not have any guarantees...just the seller's assurances

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