Car Title

WSVN — Whenever you see a Help Me Howard about a car, it starts with the owner talking about how much they once liked their car, that's Youvonda.

Youvonda Dancy: "I fell in love with it, it's loaded it's got everything I wanted on it."

But Youvonda is different. She still likes her leased car, so much she decided to buy it with the help of a bank loan.

Youvonda Dancy: "So I went ahead and filled the paperwork with state farm and they bought the lease from Wells Fargo."

Each month she made the loan payments to State Farm Bank and then came the day ever person who has a loan waits for.

Youvonda Dancy: "I just paid it off in November and I got the lien satisfaction from State Farm. It was fantastic, fantastic."

The only thing Youvonda needed was the title to her car to confirm she owned it free and clear. So she contacted State Farm Bank.

Youvonda Dancy: "They keep telling me it's in Wells Fargo's name so we have to contact them and get them to release the title."

The bank that financed the lease said the bank that financed the sale had the title. The bank that financed the sale said the bank that financed the lease was responsible. Back and forth Youvonda went.

Youvonda Dancy: "I think my husband calculated we contacted them 16 times. It's very frustrating. I'm so aggravated."

Now of course you can drive your car without the title in your possession, but Youvonda has decided to sell her car and get a new one and guess what? She can't.

Youvonda Dancy: "I need the title so I can give this car to somebody else. No one else is going to want this car if I don't have the title, so I lose a sale and that's not fair."

One bank says the other bank has the title and vice versa. The only certainty who does not have the title to the car.

Youvonda Dancy: "They are putting the burden of proof on my because they screwed up."

Well Howard, you pay off a car, you have the letter saying you satisfied the lien, so what can you do?

Howard Finkelstein: "When you buy a car, the title should be put in your name and the lender holds the title until you pay off the loan. Then the title is turned over to you. It's that simple. In this case, clearly the paperwork got messed up."

We first spoke to Wells Fargo who said they sent the car title to State Farm Bank. State Farm told us they could not talk about it. They said there was nothing that they could do, meaning they did not have possession of the title. They either lost it or never got it. Wells Fargo then stepped in. They are helping Youvonda get a clear title for the car in her name.

Howard Finkelstein: "When you borrow money from a bank to buy a vehicle, to make sure the title is in your name, contact the division of motor vehicles. If it's not in your name, contact the lender to get it straightened out, that way you know the paperwork is all correct in case you pay off the loan."

With the title trouble now being cleared up, Youvanda can sell her car, and the next one for the South Dade woman, a car that gets great gas mileage.

Youvonda Dancy: "I spend about $40 a week, with a hybrid I would spend $40 every two weeks."

Now if you never pay off a car, and just keep trading them in when you still owe money, you don't have to worry about the title. The banks and car dealers have to sort it out if there is a paperwork foul-up. And if there is a problem, they will fix it, to get your business.

Possessing paperwork problems that are piling up? Ready to trade them in for a solution? Let us get to work. Cause everyone is entitled to a solution. With this Help Me Howard, I'm Patrick Fraser 7news.

Contact Help Me Howard:

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com (please include your contact phone number when e-mailing)

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com

Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN

Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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