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If you buy a car in Missouri and don’t get title, you do not have to pay for the car.

The Missouri Supreme Court denied transfer in Peel v. Credit Acceptance Corp., leaving intact the decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the trial court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiff consumer. The plaintiff, Ms. Peel, bought a car at a used car dealer, but the dealer failed to provide Ms. Peel the title. The dealer then went out of business. But the finance company, Credit Acceptance Corp., pursued Ms. Peel for monthly payments and told her that she had to continue paying even though she did not receive the title. The Court of Appeals affirmed the application of Mo. Rev. Stat. 301.210, which provides that a sale of a car without title is “fraudulent” and “void.” The Appeals Court also affirmed the law that a finance company stands in the shoes of the dealer from whom the finance company bought the credit contract, and cannot collect on a debt that is void for failure of title. The case was tried to a jury in Kansas City, Missouri.