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Old 05-06-2020, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, AR
181 posts, read 38,320 times
Reputation: 277

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I'm from Arkansas. I put a $500 deposit on an SUV in Fort Worth Texas (internet ad). Buying from a dealer. Talked to the guy several times on the phone, he sent me extra pics, etc. Everything sounded good. Made the 6 hour drive down yesterday morning to get the SUV. The only surprise was AC did not work as advertised, but I was willing to proceed anyway. As we were walking to his "office", inside an office building he mentioned that he has got to "go back to the auction" to get the title and would be mailing it to me in a week or so. WHAT?! I stopped there and we discussed the issue for a few mins while standing in the parking lot. He kept saying it was "normal" and this is the way he does all his business, and went on to say the "auction" never gives him the title right away. I told him I have nothing protecting me (I was paying cash), and I said further more you don't even own the vehicle if you don't have a title. We argued a little more and I told him I was walking away from the deal. He said I would lose my deposit, but I reminded him I paid through Paypal and I would file a dispute. He finally said he would refund me the deposit and did so from his phone before I left.

I would think it would be illegal to sell a car without a title? Tell me this is not normal?

BTW.. this dealer did not have a traditional used car lot. He had maybe 10 or so cars parked out in the parking lot of an office building. Says he uses that office and sells only online.

Also, when I got back home (after the 6 hour drive back, total of 12 hour drive time), I went to the Texas Dept. of motor vehicles website and searched for his business. He is in fact a used car dealer, verified by his DBA (business name) and personal name. Researching further, I found where the state of Texas had logged 4 incidents under his license (in a section called "case history"). The allegation types where "ML - Allowing use of GDN", "TG - No Inspection Sticker when using Buyer's Tag", "FT - Failed to timely transfer title", "RD - Failed to keep records as required Dealer Auction"

Thanks in advance for the comments.
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Old 05-06-2020, 09:23 PM
 
4,030 posts, read 2,359,509 times
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I'll let more knowledgeable people correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's not completely out of the ordinary for a dealer to not have a title on the premises. Titles sometimes take a while to move between the various entities. I would always insist on a bill of sale, though.

Again, I could be wrong. I've never bought a car without the title, but I normally do private party sales. I have had friends have to wait on a title from a dealer, though.
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Old 05-07-2020, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, AR
181 posts, read 38,320 times
Reputation: 277
He said he would give me a bill of sale. I think that would have given me a little protection, however I still would not have legally owned the vehicle, and my thought process was 'whomever' had the title could legally take it back from me. I'm thinking worse case scenario, I know. BTW, the seller claimed when advertising the vehicle.. "clear Texas title". He should have said "title pending". He knew he didn't have the title in hand before I took the 6 hour (12 hour round trip) drive.

I am thinking of reporting the dealer Texas DMV. But trying to get feedback first before I do so. I'm I overreacting or is this dealer conducting unethical business practices?
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Old 05-07-2020, 10:05 AM
 
4,030 posts, read 2,359,509 times
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Like I said, I think this is actually a common practice, and I don't think it's unethical. It is common for a title to take a bit of time to move between the various parties, and that doesn't constitute "title pending."

No one could come and take the car from you if you have been given a bill of sale. That would be outright fraud on the part of the dealer.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:27 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
2,287 posts, read 6,620,765 times
Reputation: 3878
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wittgenstein's Ghost View Post
Like I said, I think this is actually a common practice, and I don't think it's unethical. It is common for a title to take a bit of time to move between the various parties, and that doesn't constitute "title pending."

No one could come and take the car from you if you have been given a bill of sale. That would be outright fraud on the part of the dealer.

Fraud on the part of a dealer does not prevent a rightful owner from taking their rightfully owned property.
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Old 05-10-2020, 07:32 AM
 
Location: Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX
2,287 posts, read 6,620,765 times
Reputation: 3878
Quote:
Originally Posted by vcvs View Post
He said he would give me a bill of sale. I think that would have given me a little protection, however I still would not have legally owned the vehicle, and my thought process was 'whomever' had the title could legally take it back from me. I'm thinking worse case scenario, I know. BTW, the seller claimed when advertising the vehicle.. "clear Texas title". He should have said "title pending". He knew he didn't have the title in hand before I took the 6 hour (12 hour round trip) drive.

I am thinking of reporting the dealer Texas DMV. But trying to get feedback first before I do so. I'm I overreacting or is this dealer conducting unethical business practices?

This is a good starting point for what can happen and what the dealer is required to do to protect you and your rights to title. A bill of sale by itself does little to protect you unless they are also filing the appropriate paperwork with the Texas DMV and providing you proof of doing so.


https://www.txdmv.gov/motorists/buyi...ling-a-vehicle



If this dealer did not perform as they are required then by all means I would file a complaint with the Texas DMV and Department of Public Safety (DPS State LE) for fraud.
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Old 05-10-2020, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Huntsville Area
1,956 posts, read 601,121 times
Reputation: 2998
I worked in automobile financing for 24 years. Anytime you find a dealer that's not in possession of his titles or Manufacturers Statement of Origins you've got a problem. It means his finance source or floorplanning finance company cannot trust him to submit payoffs promptly for their financed inventories.

Walk don't run from that kind of dealer--new or used.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, AR
181 posts, read 38,320 times
Reputation: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by escanlan View Post
Fraud on the part of a dealer does not prevent a rightful owner from taking their rightfully owned property.
This was my thought exactly. If I pay him cash and drive away without the title, I do NOT own the vehicle. A bill of sale would help me prove I am not a criminal, but would not prevent the title holder from prepossessing. If the dealer for whatever reason failed to get the title, then the fact is someone else, not the dealer owns my car.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, AR
181 posts, read 38,320 times
Reputation: 277
Thanks for the link.
I am still thinking about reporting him. I'm still waiting to hear from an honest used car dealer to see if there was any potential fraud or anything unethical with taking money and not handing over the title.
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Old 05-13-2020, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, AR
181 posts, read 38,320 times
Reputation: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bamaman1 View Post
I worked in automobile financing for 24 years. Anytime you find a dealer that's not in possession of his titles or Manufacturers Statement of Origins you've got a problem. It means his finance source or floorplanning finance company cannot trust him to submit payoffs promptly for their financed inventories.

Walk don't run from that kind of dealer--new or used.
Exactly... I'm thinking he has some shady financing set-up and somehow surrenders the titles until he has cash to release them (my cash, in my case).
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