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Auto Insurance Claims/theft and recovery


David Clark wrote at 2014-10-13 19:58:16
I'm not aware of a state having sovereign immunity when selling anything.  It is the seller which has to have a valid certificate of ownership.  Even if this were a casual sale, say buying it from a coworker or neighbor they warranty they own it (other then liens). The burden is on the seller, you just can't sell something you do not have title to,LOL.  

Now add to that this vehicle had been in the possession of law enforcement, and had they used "reasonable" effort BEFORE the sale they would have known then, and not sold it.  You, in good faith, purchased the vehicle with the legitimate expectation that if nothing else, they would be transferring a clear title.

To be honest this whole thing sounds very suspicious.  At this point I wonder where this vehicle will end up.  Wouldn't be the first time government workers pulled a scam. I would recommend contacting the agency who ran the auction, then the DA for that jurisdiction, and a letter to your state representative and state Senator.  

Personally I think you have a better then average chance to get your money back.  

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Rob Painter, Ase, CFEI, CAFATE


Please remember. I am not an attorney and cannot legal advice. My answers are based on my experience due to litigation I have been involved in as an expert, for both insurance companies and while oposing them opposing them. I deal with only comprehensive claims on autos related to fire and theft. I have even had the opportunity to rewrite policy coverage language as it relates to vehicle theft and forced entry for insurance defense attorneys.


Experience in the area: Working with insurance companies and attorneys on these issues for over 20 years. It is very common to have a reported stolen car with a so-called factory anti-theft system to have the theft claim denied. I have served successfully as an expert witness in the courts across the US representing the insured and their attorney revealing that the insurance expert did not take all known theories into consideration before rendering their "Forensic" conclusion. Many insurance carriers us independent "Forensic" experts to examine reported stolen vehicles commonly using flawed methodology implicating the innocent insured with the theft. My job is to determine if the insurance expert reached his conclusions based on accepted scientific principals or just net opinion with no basis other than opinion. My case record against such experts is very compelling.My resume can be seen at the catagory "Auto Theft and Prevention." In "Forensics" the scientific method must be employed. In the forensic locksmith field determining how a reported stolen vehicle was last operated, many processes cannot be duplicated and are conveniently not addressed. If they were, juries would have the opportunity to make a fair and impartial opinion at least about what the expert could or could not prove. There is a purported process determining the last key used. The chances of determining such is very rare uless the key is found in the ignition lock. Experts commonly destroy evidence as well and are rarely questioned on this event. I reveal the weakness in their testimony on such instances.

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