Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Why Dealers Don’t Give Car Titles

Car dealerships operate under a finance agreement called a floor plan or a floor line. This means that all the cars on a dealer’s lot are usually financed with a line of credit arranged by the dealer to hold their inventory.

Why Title Ownership Matters
When you purchase a vehicle from a car dealer, receiving the title is crucial. However, sometimes dealerships don’t have the title to transfer to you immediately because it’s held by a finance company until the car is paid off.

Potential Issues with Title Transfer
If a dealer doesn’t promptly pay off the car’s financing after selling it to you, the finance company retains the title. This situation can lead to complications, leaving you with a vehicle you paid for but can’t legally own.

Case Study: Dealer’s Default
A recent case illustrates this problem. A dealership sold cars without paying off its line of credit with the lender. As a result, several customers couldn’t obtain titles for their purchased vehicles.

Legal Remedies for Consumers
Consumers facing this dilemma have options. They can negotiate with the finance company, file complaints with the dealer licensing board, or seek a court-ordered title.

Court-Ordered Title
In some cases, courts can intervene to ensure consumers receive titles for vehicles they’ve paid for. By demonstrating proof of purchase and dealer licensing, consumers can compel lenders to release titles.

Case Study: CarMax as a Lender
CarMax, a significant player in the used car market, also serves as a lender for dealers. Dealers can finance cars purchased from CarMax auctions, expanding their inventory without immediate payment.

Dealer Default on CarMax Loans
However, some dealers fail to fulfill their financial obligations to CarMax, resulting in legal disputes and complications for both CarMax and consumers.

Risk of Multiple Floor Plans
Some dealers exacerbate the issue by obtaining financing from multiple sources, further complicating the title transfer process.

Navigating Title Transfer Issues
Consumers facing title transfer issues should seek assistance from local authorities, such as magistrates, courts, or the DMV licensing board. Legal intervention can help resolve these complexities.

Seeking legal guidance
For consumers grappling with title transfer problems, legal consultation can provide guidance on navigating these challenging situations effectively.

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Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

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Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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