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Old 02-05-2019, 05:06 PM
24 posts, read 28,507 times
Reputation: 90


Here's a funny situation that I can't verify is real or an odd delay tactic:

I'm in the process of buying a certified used mercedes from a major MB dealer in PA. I negotiated everything over email/phone and had been planning on making the 300 mile drive to go pick it up. I wired them a deposit and had everything ready to go 3 weeks ago when I received an email the day before I was planning on leaving stating that they had failed to obtain the title when the car was traded in and would have to wait for a physical copy to be sent from the PA DMV. They stated that if I were a PA resident, they could sell the car and mail me the title after the fact, but because I'm out of state that they have to have the physical title in hand.

They submitted the request to the PA DMV about 17 days ago and are still waiting for it to be mailed to them. My most recent contact (today) suggested that it won't happen by this weekend and may not even happen by next weekend. They've removed the car from their website and have told me they'll hold onto it as long as I'm willing to wait. They've assured me that this was a paperwork mixup on their end and they failure to retrieve the title when they purchased back (or received the lease back) was a mistake.

So here's my question: It's a semi desirable model with decent options and a decent price. I haven't been able to use my google-fu enough to find out if this could be a legitimate issue or not, or if perhaps they may be using this as an excuse to sell to (or have already sold) a purchaser who's willing to pay more.

So I'm hoping someone here has enough experience to know if this sounds legit or if I'm just getting the runaround.

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Old 02-05-2019, 05:14 PM
5,208 posts, read 5,387,954 times
Reputation: 5349
A lien on the title may be causing the problems.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:28 PM
Location: Philadelphia
2,540 posts, read 1,921,782 times
Reputation: 2657
What dealer is it?
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:44 PM
600 posts, read 407,030 times
Reputation: 2190
My guess is that there is more to the story that they are failing to disclose. I just did a fairly complex transaction involving re-titling a car that was moving from a family member's estate to another member. The original title was lost. This process required generating two new PA titles on the same car. Both arrived within a week of leaving the title agent's office. My guess is that they needed to clean up an issue with the original owner, and they somehow screwed something up. Might be a lien as Wells5 suggested, or something more nefarious. Make sure the new title is clean before you sign, check it for any branding like a rebuild, or previous taxi, or rental use. At this point I wouldn't trust much without a believable explanation and proof. I once put up with weeks of lies after I bought a used car from a licensed PA dealer. When I finally got sick of the stories, and told him that I was contacting the state, he admitted that he bought the thing with a lien on it, was having cash flow problems, spent my money to keep the business afloat, and took a few weeks to come up with the cash to clear the title. I doubt an MB dealer is suffering from cash issues, but I've seen too many deals where the dealer is lying and blaming Harrisburg for something they are either lying about, or screwed up.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:58 AM
24 posts, read 28,507 times
Reputation: 90
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I admit this has been frustrating, but it's a hard to find car so I've been waiting it out (while looking for alternatives). Right now they only have a $500 deposit , so I doubt that money is being used to keep them afloat. The car is being sold as a Certified pre-owned, which extends the warranty through mercedes and can only be done via a real MB dealer. The dealer in question is MB of Pittsburgh. Since I have no insight into the car selling process or access to the status of the title, I'm having to take everything at face value.
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