Where Hath My Title Gone
Did you recently purchase a new or used automobile, trailer or mobile home?
If you never receive title what are your options?
Many consumers are surprised to hear that a motor vehicle dealer is permitted to sell motor vehicles that are not owned or titled in the name of the dealer at the time of sale. This is actually a common practice amongst Ohio dealers.
Despite not being obligated to have any given motor vehicle titled in the dealers name at the time of sale, a Dealer has an unconditional obligation to transfer the Motor Vehicle’s title to the end consumer within forty days of the motor vehicle’s sale.
If a Dealer does not have a motor vehicle titled in its name and fails to have the same titled in the name of the consumer within forty days of the date of sale then the consumer has an UNCONDITIONAL RIGHT TO RESCIND THE TRANSACTION. If title is provided after the 40th day, then the consumer must notify the dealer within sixty days if the consumer elects to rescind the transaction with the dealer.
Specifically, Ohio Revised Code 4505.181 states in part:
- If a retail purchaser purchases a used motor vehicle, used manufactured home, or used mobile home for which the dealer, pursuant to and in accordance with division (A) of this section, does not have a certificate of title issued in the name of the dealer at the time of the sale, the retail purchaser has an unconditional right to demand the dealer rescind the transaction if one of the following applies:
- The dealer fails, on or before the fortieth day following the date of the sale, to obtain a title in the name of the retail purchaser.
- The title for the vehicle indicates that it is a rebuilt salvage vehicle, and the fact that it is a rebuilt salvage vehicle was not disclosed to the retail purchaser in writing prior to the execution of the purchase agreement.
- The title for the vehicle indicates that the dealer has made an inaccurate odometer disclosure to the retail purchaser.
- The title for the vehicle indicates that it is a “buyback” vehicle as defined in section 1345.71 of the Revised Code, and the fact that it is a “buyback” vehicle was not disclosed to the retail purchaser in the written purchase agreement.
- The motor vehicle is a used manufactured home or used mobile home, as defined by section 4781.01 of the Revised Code, that has been repossessed under Chapter 1309. or 1317. of the Revised Code, but a certificate of title for the repossessed home has not yet been transferred by the repossessing party to the dealer on the date the retail purchaser purchases the used manufactured home or used mobile home from the dealer, and the dealer fails to obtain a certificate of title on or before the fortieth day after the dealer obtains the certificate of title for the home from the repossessing party or the date on which an occupancy permit for the home is delivered to the purchaser by the appropriate legal authority, whichever occurs later.
- (C)(1) If the circumstance described in division (B)(1) of this section applies, a retail purchaser or the retail purchaser’s representative shall provide the dealer notice of the request for rescision. Such notification shall occur not later than sixty days from the date the motor vehicle is titled in the name of the retail purchaser. The dealer shall have the opportunity to comply with the dealer’s obligation to refund the full purchase price of the motor vehicle. Reimbursement shall be only in such a manner as to reimburse the retail purchaser any money the retail purchaser actually paid and, in the case of a lender of the retail purchaser, the amount paid by the lender to purchase the contract or finance the sale of the vehicle. If a vehicle was taken in trade as a down payment, the dealer shall return the vehicle to the consumer, unless the dealer remitted payment to a third party to satisfy any security interest. If the dealer remitted payment, the dealer shall reimburse the purchaser the value of the vehicle, as evidenced by the bill of sale.
If you are attempting to rescind your contract then it is important you include the Ohio Attorney General in all your correspondence because in the event the dealer refuses to rescind the transaction it will be upon the Attorney General of Ohio to use funds from the Ohio Title Defect Rescission fund to reimburse the consumer after which the OAG will seek reimbursement directly from the dealer.