3OYS INVESTIGATES: Taken for a ride - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3OYS INVESTIGATES: Taken for a ride

Sioutce: WLBT Sioutce: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
BRANDON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Buying a used car can be risky business. Making sure the car is in good working order is enough to cause stress, but when the dealer doesn't provide you with a title it can create more problems.  

Sharon Hohenadel of Brandon said, "I heard about this place, went there cause my friend bought cars from him and also my son so I thought everything was fine."

Hohenadel bought her Toyota Avalon from Heritage Auto Group in Brandon in 2014.  

After recently losing her husband, it was her first solo car purchase in over 50 years.   

"I paid it off, traded in the car I had, paid off the difference and waited for a title and never got a title. Never got a title for months, and months and months."

While still waiting to get her title, she said the dealership closed it's doors. She and several other customers were still missing vital paperwork.

Hohenadel said it took 18 months to finally get her hands on the title.

She eventually went to the police, and then to court. She was finally able to get her title with the help of a judge, along with dozens of other customers from the same dealership who were sold cars and never got titles.

The Better Business Bureau of Mississippi says they get almost two complaints of this nature every month.

John O'Hara, President and C.E.O. of the Better Business Bureau of Mississippi said, "I did speak to two individuals yesterday who did eventually get their titles but they did get it from the dealer. But it took 8 to 9 months. The other one had to go through the state."

O'Hara says there can be several reasons why a titles not readily available.  

In Hohenadel's case the dealer still owed money on the car.

O'Hara said, "A lot of these vehicles have been marked for salvage on the title and sometimes people go out to these auctions buy them and they're supposed to be for parts but they fix them up and they start selling them, and those vehicles could have electrical problems."

Not having a title, leads to all sorts of other problems.  

First of all, you won't be able to get a tag for your vehicle, so every time you drive it you could get pulled over and given a ticket. Essentially, the cars not really even yours.

"We tell people to really look at the reputation of the lots. How long they have been in business. Did they just get there a few months ago?" said O'Hara.

Before shopping for a used car, you can research dealers on the Better Business Bureau website. There you can find if any have complaints against them, before you hand them your hard earned money.  

Experts recommend always getting a CarFax and never signing any paperwork until you know exactly what your monthly payments will be and have laid eyes on the cars title.

Hohenadal says she learned her lesson and will never look at car buying the same.

Here's how she sums up her car buying experience:

"You did the right thing as a person paying for a vehicle, and just hoping the vehicle is going to be something you can count on. But the person who sells it to you should also have that respect for the person buying it."

Want to research a used car dealership before you hand down your hard earned money?  

Click HERE to see if any in your area have outstanding complaints against them and which ones have good standing with the B.B.B.

Copyright 2016 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

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