Ask him for the vin and have your local PD run it. If it's not stolen... good. You're halfway there. Sadly, you still have to take the guy's word that he is going to pay off the loan with the money you give him. If he takes the money and runs, then you still don't get the title. Then you have to sue him, and hope he comes to court. Then he still has to pay the bank. All this time, you're still waiting for the title to your new baby. After a year of court cases waiting and bullshit. He finally pays. And you get your title. But, you just wasted 1800 dollars in court costs. Yipee. This, of course, is the worst case scenerio. Hopefully, you get the bill of sale, and 2 days later, the title. Best of luck either way.