Used car dealer sells woman car they never paid off

(WSVN) - A South Florida woman saved up, bought a car, but was shocked when it was towed from her driveway. And the problem traces back to the used car dealership.
7’s Brian Entin investigates.

We showed up to this Miami Gardens used car lot…

Brian Entin: “Hi, my name is Brian Entin. I’m from 7News.”

Trying to figure out why they sold someone a car they didn’t even own.

Marie Martin, car repossessed: “I feel manipulated.”

That “someone” is Marie Martin.

And she has to walk everywhere after her car was towed from her driveway.

Marie Martin: “I lost my job because I don’t have a car. I can’t even get to work. I can’t do nothing. I don’t have no money because I put all my money basically in this car.”

When most cars are repossessed — it’s because the owner didn’t pay the bill.

But Marie’s car was taken because the car lot she bought it from, 441 Motors in Miami Gardens, didn’t pay its bill.

Marie Martin: “I see the tow truck pulled in and I’m running. I’m like, ‘What are you doing, sir? Why are you taking my car?’ He’s like, ‘Oh, your dealership is not paying their bills.'”

The Nissan Sentra Marie bought was a trade-in … and the finance company says 441 Motors did not pay the car off within 30 days of selling the car to Marie.

Brian Entin: “We’re doing a story about a car that you sold to a woman named Marie.”

We went looking for the salesman who sold Marie the car.

He didn’t have answers, but the manager of 441 Motors agreed to meet with us.

Al Guerra, 441 Motors manager: “It was a mistake on our part, but we’re trying to make it a positive situation for her.”

Brian Entin: “Does this happen, has this happened before?”

Al Guerra: “No, this has never happened here before. This is a first time thing. So, we’re putting things in place now to make sure that this doesn’t happen again.”

Brian Entin: “Marie filed a complaint with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. They say dealers are required by law to pay off cars within 30 days of selling them.”

Marie bought the car at 441 Motors — but all her paperwork says Imperial Capital Cars on it.

That’s a car lot in Miramar owned by the same family.

According to the state, Imperial Capital Cars has been in violation of Florida law three times over the last three years for not applying for a title within 30 days.

Marie Martin: “I just wanted a car. I just wanted to get around. I just wanted to be able to live like everybody else.”

441 Motors did eventually pay off the car and tried returning it to Marie, but she chose to receive a refund instead.

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