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 The biter got bit - Car Purchase
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New York
813 Posts

Posted - 02/19/2012 :  4:43:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit edelske's Homepage  Reply with Quote
The call is to notarize a car title as part of a car purchase. It's on a Saturday, with the location about 22 miles north; 2 counties away. The buyer is hiring me; and gives me the sellers phone number to get the exact meeting location. To my surprise the seller does not want to give me the "transaction location"; stating that a notary might not be needed as the buyer has not yet seen the car! I call back the buyer and inform her that my fee is "for the trip"; whether there is something to notarize or not and that PREPAYMENT is required to my PayPal account. To my surprise the payment arrives 3 minutes later. OK, time to pack up and head north to notarize (perhaps?) the certificate of title. When I arrive and meet the buyer, the seller is "on the way" with the gold Ford in question. The buyer has a set of license plates with her, "they are from my former car". I don't think that is how it is done, but that part is none of my business. Finally, after 10 minutes; the seller arrives and they proceed to have a discussion. Bottom line: the seller did not want to accept a personal check for $4,500 from a stranger (whatta surprise). The buyer keeps insisting how dangerous it would be to carry "that much" in cash. (The buyer was a group of 3 that looked quite able to take care of themselves). Finally the seller drove off, totally unwilling to transfer the title; without a personal check in his pocket. The buyer (to be) asked if they would receive a refund. I reminded them that they agreed that my fee was for the trip, however the transaction went - and they seemed satisfied; if not a bit "unhappy". If it had not been paid in advance I doubt if I would have even received a "gas money" payment.

If the buyer had been unwilling to PayPal, I certainly would not have made the trip. Also, I am certain I would not have been paid.

Protect yourselves from "wild goose chases" - anything that has even a slightly "fishy" sound - OR as significant investment on your part, (time, gas, tolls) - must be paid in advance. The flip side is that you must make crystal clear that they are buying your "appearance" and are not guaranteed a notarization.

Kenneth A Edelstein
Mobile Notary, Apostille / Legalization Processing & Fingerprinting
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