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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70209
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I bought a camper van from a dealer who went bust two weeks

Resolved Question:

I bought a camper van from a dealer who went bust two weeks after I took delivery of it , unknowed to us he was actually selling it on behalf of a customer who wanted their money back from him after some issuses they had with him.
I paid in full for it but he never paid the customer who owned it any money at all .
I have a sales receipt for it with all the details on and the amount I paid, am I the rightfull owner of it as I have the vehicle registration document in my name and bought the vehicle in good faith.
the dealer is now going to court charged with fraud as well as other things , the people he owed the money to has claimed the camper as being stolen and has had an insurance pay out for it. Now the insurance company are saying the camper belongs to them as they have paid the customer for it.
how do I stand with all this, I am the inocent party in all this.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Have the police seized it?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

No

they are saying it was bought by an innocent party that had no idea of the situation between the previous owner and the selling dealer

As far as they see it the camper should rightfully be mine as I have all the paperwork for it.

They cant beleive the insurance company has paid out on it as its not on file as a stolen vehicle

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks.
It isn't as simple as you having the papers I'm afraid. If the dealer did not have good title to the van then he cannot give it to you. Therefore there is a claim against you to recover the van.
However, you could rely on the innocent purchaser defence where you basically have to show that you bought the vehicle in good faith with no indication that it may not have been lawfully yours to buy.
Whether they will sue or not depends on the value of the van. It may not be worth the cost of doing so.
If the police haven't seized it then it cannot be returned to them so they would have to sue to recover.
It is rather odd that the insurers paid out. It would seem that they should recover from their client.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Jo
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I paid 20k for it in total

10k in money plus traded in my motorcycle Worth 10k

so does that mean he has stolen my money and motorcycle

Or am I liable to loose the lot through trusting an outright criminal

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I thought you had the camper van?
Where is it now?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes I do have possesion of the camper, its in storage for the winter

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
In that case I don't think you can argue he has stolen your money or motorcycle. He has completed the contract with you. He may well otherwise be a thorough rogue but he hasn't lapsed upon your contract.
If the insurers do sue then you can defend on the basis you were an honest purchaser.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Does this mean I cant do anything with the camper ie sell it , this has been ongoing since July last year .

if I have completed a contract surely its my property, I even did a hpi check on it that come out as being all clear.

what more could I do.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
1 I wouldn't suggest selling it. I would give them a reasonable period of time to resolve this.
2 If the dealer did not have good title to the van then he cannot give it to you. Therefore there is a claim against you to recover the van.
However, you could rely on the innocent purchaser defence where you basically have to show that you bought the vehicle in good faith with no indication that it may not have been lawfully yours to buy.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I understand the innocent purchase bit ,but he had the van back with the owners concent to sell it on their behalf to enable him to refund the money back to them.

They have been paid by the insurance company , so how can they make claim it had been stolen from them knowing he was selling it with their consent.

Surely they have made a false claim against the insurers , they are the ones to be sued not me as they were aware it had been sold as it was put on the advert vehicle has now been sold , thats when they tried to get the money re funded.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I wouldn't know what they are saying. They may be alleging that they asked for it to be returned and then the sale would be unlawful because it would be theft by retention.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

It looks like the bigger the rogue the better it is with the answers I have got from you , these people have been paid 40k between them and now I may loose 20k for being the inocent party , where is the justice in that ??.

Thanks.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No problem and all the best.
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