Spouses in Montreal North find themselves stuck with a vehicle that paid for $8,500 that they can't even drive because their seller didn't have the papers in order, causing it to be impossible to register it.
“We've been putting money aside for three years and all of our savings are suddenly gone. We thought we were doing business with honest people, but no,” laments Juan Carlos Berreondo Urizar.
The misadventure of the latter and his wife began during the holiday season, when they spotted a 2016 Dodge Caravan displayed on Marketplace, Facebook's sales platform.
Interested, they immediately contacted the seller to request a meeting to inquire about the condition of the vehicle, which was in Saint-Hubert, on the South Shore of Montreal.
After a conclusive test drive, the couple gave a deposit of $500 so that the car could be reserved for them and had a mechanical inspection done to ensure that everything was in order, which was confirmed by a mechanic.
But things got tough for them after the transaction, which they unfortunately made before the ownership plate was transferred to their name.
With a power of attorney from the seller in hand, they were surprised to be refused by the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
Not the right seller< /p>
The reason given: the owner of the vehicle registered in the file is not the same as the name of the seller on the power of attorney, making the whole thing invalid.
According to the information that they have provided, the vehicle is registered to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI), a sort of equivalent to the SAAQ.
“We tried several times to speak with the seller to try to correct the situation and get us a refund, but at some point he stopped responding to us. We don't know what to do anymore,” laments the father of three, adding that the police are not taking the situation seriously. go to court against the seller, his spouse Evelyn Domingo contacted Le Journal to denounce the situation.
“We definitely regret our purchase. With hindsight, of course we would do things differently, but it's proof that you can't trust everyone,” says the 59-year-old man, originally from Guatemala and arrived in Quebec in 1982.
Accident 9 times
The history of the 2016 Dodge Caravan has revealed disturbing findings.
< p>Between January 2018 and February 2021, the vehicle was involved in an accident no less than nine times, for damage evaluated each time between $4,000 and $8,100. At the last accident, it was declared a total loss.
SGI has confirmed that it no longer owns the Dodge in question, adding that it was sold to a Quebec buyer in an auction for the sum $1576 in May.
“The new owner may not have registered the vehicle in Quebec after purchasing it, and that is why it is still listed as registered in Quebec. SGI,” said a spokesperson for the state-owned company.
Refusal to pay taxes
This information was corroborated by one of the two sellers, Charalambos Bitzanis, who told the Journal that his brother Adam bought the Caravan, but that it was he who had made all the necessary repairs.
“I passed all the inspections. […] I do not understand why he should put the vehicle in his name. We bought a car in Ottawa last summer, I did not put it in my name and I managed to sell it, ”he said on the phone, lamenting having to “pay a tax”.  ;
“All Quebec wants is to 'collect' the money from this tax. It's ridiculous […] I wish I could help them, but I don't know what to do,” Charalambos Bitzanis said.
This is not the first time that the latter has made a sale of a vehicle that is doubtful to say the least. A judge ordered him in 2017 to reimburse a buyer for “false representations”, voiding the contract.
– With Philippe Langlois
A time bomb time bomb
The situation in which finds this couple from Montreal North is a “ticking time bomb,” says Option Consommateur lawyer Sylvie De Bellefeuille, who implores future buyers to be more careful.
The situation can lead to a lot of costs, considering that the vehicle can start racking up tickets since it is not registered and its transit has expired.
“They are really stuck with a vehicle. […] They will find themselves in illegality at one time or another, ”says Me De Bellefeuille, believing that the buyers will probably have to initiate legal proceedings, which can prove to be a long process. < /p>
- Consult the register of personal and movable real rights to check if the automobile is paid for.  ;
- Obtain the vehicle file to know its history
- Do not write a check to the seller or make an online transfer before to actually own the vehicle
- Do a pre-purchase inspection
- Ensure the name of the vehicle owner   ;
- Report an abnormal situation to the local police