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SMART MONEY

Salvage car was marked as such on title

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - 12:01 am

Q.: I traded my car in for a used one nine weeks ago. I purchased that car four years ago from a private owner. The car was salvaged, and it was noted that way on the title.

When I traded the car in, the dealer didn't ask me any questions concerning the history of the car. Now he is saying the trade-in value he gave me was too high. Is there any recourse he can take against me? – F.B., via email

A.: When you traded your car in nine weeks ago, I assume you gave the dealer the title. If the title was properly done four years ago and marked salvaged as you say, the dealer certainly should have read it.

I don't believe the dealer has a legitimate claim against you for not disclosing this at the time of sale.

In short, the person who did the salvaging did it properly and the title was correctly annotated. I don't think you have any responsibility.

Q.: I would like to know what a limited liability corporation (LLC) is. What are the advantages and disadvantages of it with respect to taxes and liability? Who do I talk to – a lawyer, an accountant or both? – Bob, via email

A.: You have essentially three choices. One, you can operate unincorporated. Second, you can incorporate as a Subchapter S corporation, or third, as a limited liability company.

On balance, the advantages of an LLC for the single proprietor are reasonably attractive in terms of taxes and liability limitations. You should talk to a lawyer as to the distinction between the LLC and the S corporation.

Generally speaking, a single-proprietor company, in my opinion, would be better served to operate as an LLC. The least-attractive choice is to operate as an individual.

Send questions to bruce@brucewilliams.com. Questions of general interest will be answered in future columns. Owing to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.