Selling my car and avoiding fraud/legal exposure

i have my car posted on craigslist. I have a buyer who test drove yesterday and will pay what i am asking for my vehicle. He wants to pay with a cashiers check funds from which will be coming from his sisters account. Not sure how to handle this buyer. Since I am selling the car to him and title will be in his name wondering if i should be concerned that the money is coming from his sister and not himself. Should i be demanding cash due to the situation? Can the sister cause me issues since she is actually the one providing funds but will not be on the title. Do i need to sell it to her instead of her brother? Just a little concerned about my legal responsibility.

There have been some fraud issues with “certified” checks. I would not accept a certified check from anyone anymore.

A cashiers check is a check from the issuing bank. Where the buyer gets the funds isn’t your concern, in this case he needs to provide the funds to the bank, and the bank issues the check. The cashiers check should be made out to you, and come from the bank. I don’t think the name of the buyer is on the cashiers check anywhere.

You sign over your title and the buyer takes it to DMV in his state to show the car was bought and to get a new title and register the car. If the sister wants a lien on the title, that is between sis and her brother to figure out.

Really in this case cash might be best as long as the amount isn’t mega thousands of dollars.

Only if the cashiers check is from a bank that has a local branch in your area. Go with him to the bank branch and cash the check. The local branch will know if the check is good, since it is from their institution. Otherwise it can take 2 weeks for the check to “really clear”. Don’t be fooled by your bank crediting your account within a couple of days of depositing the check. The bank will come after you if the check bounces 2 weeks down the line!

Also be sure the buyer signs a bill of sale and you retain a copy. Sometimes people don’t retitle the car and you end up with a bunch of tickets or worse!

I don’t know why he would be telling you where the money is originating. As was said before, he buys the certified check. His sisters account doesn’t come into play. So you are right to be cautious.

The origin of the funds for the cashier’s check doesn’t matter just like if he gave you cash, it doesn’t matter where he got the cash. What matters is if the check is valid. You can always excuse yourself and call the issuing bank to verify if the check is real (assuming it’s during business hours). Valid checks have lots of clues (watermarks and so on) you can verify as well. Plus, you give me a check, I want to see your DL.

Some cashier’s checks have been known to be fraudulent and I would make sure cash in hand before handing over the title or keys.

I have no idea how they do things in your state but here in OK both buyer and seller can go to the DMV or any licensed notary pubic where the title is then signed off and notarized.
Typing up an informal bill of sale and having both parties sign off in front of a notary also adds a bit of protection to the transaction.

For what it’s worth, in OK not too many years ago a number of people were being defrauded by what appeared to be legitimate U.S. Postal Service money orders.
The MOs are available in amounts up to 600 dollars and in one case someone bought a car with 4 grand worth of fake USPS money orders.
There was never a followup on the news about whatever happened with that deal.

It takes a couple weeks for a fake cashiers or certified check to come back to you as fake. During that time, your car is long gone as well as your money. You can go down to bank where he converts it to cash and then you can go to the DMV where you transfer the title. Craigslist is where a lot of these folks troll to make a quick buck.

I’d ask for cash if I could get it. if his sister is providing the money, it shouldn’t make any difference whether he gives you a “check” or cash.

I learned, the hard way years ago to never let a car go until the buyer and I both go to the DMV office and switch it before I give them the keys. Don’t trust ANYONE, not even a relative, to make sure the title gets switched. My wife works for the state office that handles car titles, and she has a LOT of horror stories to tell.

Bottom line for me: Don’t give the keys over until the title has been switched and processed.

if they insist on paying with a check, insist on waiting for the check to clear before you hand anything over to the guy

Craigslist + ‘sister’s account’ = CASH ONLY

Offer to take it to the issuing bank, you get the cash then sign over the title.

" He wants to pay with a cashiers check funds from which will be coming from his sisters account."

Have you talked to the “sister”? This transaction should be cash only unless the check is drawn on a local bank that is open at the time of the transaction and you both can go to the bank and cash it…If it’s an out of town, or out of state bank or if the bank is closed at the time of the transaction, I would refuse the check as payment…

Something to keep in mind.

A couple of people in OK were arrested not too long ago for producing counterfeit currency with a high end PC and printer. They must have been thinking small while printing out ones and fives…

“He wants to pay with a cashiers check funds from which will be coming from his sisters account.”

The red flags are flying everywhere with that comment. My bogus meter has also maxed out.

@ok4450 Reminded me of Lee Child’s first Jack Reacher book. The guy wasn’t making one dollar bills though. In fact around here a few years ago a guy was bleaching out the dollar bills and re-printing them just like in the book.

I would personally walk away from any check of any kind drawn on or claimed to be drawn on the account of a third party. Something simply doesn’t feel right. Usually, my gut has good instincts. The very fact that you asked suggests that you agree.

When I sell something over 2-3 grand, I insist that its either done via bank transfer at my bank, or cash at my bank.

There are some really good counterfeits these days, and if you get one then your stuck.

Last year, my son wanted a second car. He found a really great one on Craigslist, at a good price, a few miles away. Send the money and the car will be transported to your house immediately. Ahem.

He called the man who told him, well, I just moved to NY State, but I can have it shipped back by Friday as soon as I get the money.

I explained to him that was a standard rip-off. He was totally shocked, it never occurred to him it might be bogus.

I recently sold a car on craigslist. Both the buyer and I went to the bank and he transferred the money to my account. I got the printout of my balance, signed the title and exchanged the keys.
In this case we both had accounts in the same bank.