Local News

Some dealerships not delivering on titles

Posted December 7, 2009

— The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says that within the past two years, 62 auto dealerships statewide have not delivered titles on vehicles paid in full within the time required by law.

By law, the lien holder has 30 days to deliver.

Some dealerships not delivering on titles Some dealerships not delivering on titles

"This is a problem, and it's gotten worse since the economy went down," DMV Commissioner Mike Robertson said Monday.

The reasons why vary, Robert said. One reason, he said, is that the economic downturn has caused dealerships to make bad decisions to keep businesses afloat.

In these "out-of-trust" situations, dealers borrow money for vehicle inventory on a vehicle-by-vehicle basis, also known as floor-plan financing. The dealers, however, do not repay the lender.

"It's sort of like a Ponzi scheme," he said. "You're taking proceeds from one sale to pay off another sale. Eventually is catches up to you."

Robertson said that 11 of the 62 dealers investigated were large franchises backed by manufacturers. Locally, that includes:

  • Olde Raleigh Motors on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh
  • 919 Motorsports on Capital Boulevard in Raleigh
  • Security Auto on N.C. Highway 50 in Benson
  • Neil Ward Boulevard Auto Sales, Capital Boulevard in Raleigh
  • Auto Brokers in Goldsboro
  • Paragon Pre-owned, U.S. Highway 401 in Raleigh
  • AutoX in Zebulon

Robertson said out of the 861 reported cases of consumers not receiving their titles, 520 are still unresolved because the state agency can't locate the title.

Mike Karaman is one of those cases.

Having bought the car of his dreams earlier this year, he paid it in full nine months ago but still hasn't received the title.

"It became a surprise, because with a dealership, you trust them to do the paperwork," he said.

He says he is hopeful for a positive outcome but admits that every time he parks his car, he's concerned it might not be there when he gets back.

"They have right-of-ownership of the car until the lien has been paid of, so, if they come with a court order, then I have to surrender the car," he said.


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  • ambidextrous cat Dec 8, 2009

    Or you could buy a used car from a private individual and avoid the mess. I'm not sure why everyone thinks that a new car is needed. A used car can still be luxurious (if need be) safe and decent!

  • donnied1952 Dec 8, 2009

    I noticed that none of the ones listed were Durham dealers.
    I think maybe they should check the ones along 15-501, and that's not all they do either.

  • Phrostbite Dec 8, 2009

    Buyer beware!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 8, 2009

    You are all correct. I forgot about that one item. My bad. It is possible, and likely, for a dealer to buy a used car from an individual and never pay off the loan from the previous lender. Then resell that car and not have the Title. My bad.

  • TheAdmiral Dec 8, 2009

    And these dealerships should be fined, and they should have to pay three times as much for the transition of the title.

    After fighting with the DMV over a title they had locked up for almost a year - I had to go down to enforcement and tell them that I wasn't leaving unless I have the title.

    It was a Friday, and I told them that I would curl up on a bench in the corner until I got it that next Monday.

  • djcgriffin Dec 8, 2009

    Yeah I dont think that's true DeathRow. Even so, they quoted someone who paid his car off in 9 months.

  • 2cents Dec 8, 2009

    Not true DeathRow!!! It was a ponzi scheme. One of the people paid CASH for the car. Now he has no title, yet he paid cash because the dealer used the money to keep the business afloat.

  • wbearp Dec 7, 2009

    State Statute is very clear on this. I hope that DMV charges violators and or revokes dealership licenses!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 7, 2009

    Probably people with bad credit that have to finance their vehicles with the dealership. If you have decent credit, and finance with an outside lender, you probably would have a problem.