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Whammy68

No title received from dealership for three months

4 posts in this topic

I purchased a car from a used car dealership in Mississippi, at the beginning of August. Multiple times I have inquired with the MS DMV as to the status of my title. They have repeatedly told me that there is no record of a title for my vehicle in MS.

I then called the used car dealership. Long story short - the dealership had purchased the car from an auction. The auction did not have the title, so the dealership was waiting to receive it from them. Today (three months after my purchase) the dealership tells me they have the title and have to mail it to the state in order for it to be put into my name and sent to my lienholder. This will take 4-6 weeks.

The lienholder has sent me a letter stating that if they do not have the title within 30 days, they will change my low interest vehicle loan to a high interest signature loan. So, I asked the dealership to "fast track" the title, which takes two weeks instead of 4-6 weeks. The dealership said I would have to pay the fee. I told them the situation and that they should have to pay the fee since they sold me a vehicle without proper title in the first place and have taken such a long time acquiring one.

My questions are:

1. Can a dealership legally sell a vehicle if they do not have possession of the title?

2. Is there a legal remedy for me if the bank charges me a higher interst rate because of the dealership's delay in providing the title? Would it be a probable positive outcome to sue the dealership to recoup the additional loan fees (damages?) ?

To make matters worse: the vehicle was involved in a flood and was totalled. The insurance company will not pay off the loan until the lienholder hands the title over to them. I am having to continue to pay the loan payment monthly, until this situation is resolved. I no longer have possession of the car. The insurance company towed it away.

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1. Can a dealership legally sell a vehicle if they do not have possession of the title?

Yes. That the dealership doesn't have possession of the piece of paper doesn't mean that the dealership can't sell it.

2. Is there a legal remedy for me if the bank charges me a higher interst rate because of the dealership's delay in providing the title? Would it be a probable positive outcome to sue the dealership to recoup the additional loan fees (damages?) ?

Impossible to predict. You certainly have a potential cause of action for recission of the deal and the return of your money since the dealer hasn't provided good title. Consequential damages are possible but not guaranteed.

To make matters worse: the vehicle was involved in a flood and was totalled. The insurance company will not pay off the loan until the lienholder hands the title over to them. I am having to continue to pay the loan payment monthly, until this situation is resolved. I no longer have possession of the car. The insurance company towed it away.

Yes, that does make things worse.

I think it's time to get a lawyer.

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UPDATE: I called the Mississippi State Title Office. They informed me that the dealership originally had 30 days to file the proper paperwork regarding the vehicle. Since they did not and so much time has lapsed, the title office is sending the dealership a letter giving them 14 days to submit the proper paperwork. If they do not comply, the dealership's business license will be revoked. Hopefully the notice will compel the dealership to mail in the title paperwork so I can move on.

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