Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Valentine's Day Eve and the Jeep Title

Well, hope you had a good Valentine’s Day! I did: Chinese food, a rose and a red VELVET heart-shaped candybox. I love heart-shaped things and love velvet, too, so what a great combo that was. I brought the candy to SLA’s apartment next door. Her relatives were visiting and they ate most of the candy, which was good. One of her teenaged nieces was going to take the box but that’s when I snatched it back and went home! My box, My Precious….

I had just had two Monday night dinners over there with those same relatives. They’re a fun bunch. The first time I was invited it was very last minute so I didn’t bring anything. This time I made deviled eggs and brought candy hearts and a jug of sangria. It was a fun pre-Valentine’s Day party. Valentine’s Day Eve, as we called it.

Now we are planning a wine and cheese-head party, as we have decided that we need the proper headgear to live in this town. I’ll have the party at my apartment, when my Mom gets moved in and we get it arranged and cleaned up. So--the party won’t be anytime soon! Maybe by the next football season.

Oh, the jeep title story. Oh dear, where do I start? Perhaps back a couple of years ago when I bought the vehicle. I wondered why I didn’t receive a car title and was told by the dealer that the lender was holding it until I paid it off. That sounded rather strange to me, as I’ve bought several vehicles and have always received the title, but it has a lien on it until the loan is paid off. So I called the lender and was told the same thing. It was a new policy they had just started. I figured that was that and since I never had any problems in getting new tabs for the Jeep, I didn’t even think about it again….

Until I was at the lender’s office with the check from the sale of my house in my hand, ready to pay off the loan. I did pay it off and received a receipt, but they couldn’t seem to find the car title. It was late in the day and the person in charge of such things was gone so they promised to call me the next day. They didn’t call, but I called them to ask about my title. They said that “something was funny about the title” but won't tell me exactly what and promised to mail out the lien release form and check into the title situation.

When I received the form, I called again about the title. The loan person suggested I take the lien release to the Motor Vehicle Department to get my title. This sounded even stranger to me, but I did, hurrying after work to reach the DMV before they closed. The woman at the counter was puzzled, “But the title isn’t in your name.” she said, “I’ll need a lien release from ___ ___ (name of total stranger) as well as this one from the lender.”

I stared at her, “But the title was never cleared after I bought the vehicle?”

She shook her head, “No, apparently not. They never cleared the title when they sold the car to you.”

“But I wouldn’t have paid it off had I known that!” I cried. “What do you recommend that I do?”

The woman at the counter was wise and helpful, unlike many. She said, “Yep, isn’t that the darnest thing? Take this blank lien release, go back to your lender and have them fill this out and notarize it. Then bring it back to me and I’ll see what I can do.”

I grabbed the blank form and bolted out the door. I had gotten off work at 4:00, arrived at the DMV around 4:30 and both the DMV and the lender’s office closed at 5:00! Lucky for me the normal Friday night banking crowds had thinned and I was at the counter presenting my blank form. The teller was puzzled but quickly understood my problem, apologized and made some notes in my loan file. She filled out the blank form and notarized it too! The wonderful thing about this is that she really wasn't supposed to do that, the form required the Jeep's original owner to sign. But she bypassed that bit for me (as the wise DMV woman had intended she do) and notarized the form which made it legal.

I raced back (across town) in rush-hour traffic to the DMV office. It was mere minutes until they closed. The original woman at the counter saw me and waved me forward, “Hey, you made it back!” she said.

“And without even speeding!” I cried, but that wasn’t totally true. I just didn’t WANT her to think I had been speeding. Another DMV woman came over to watch the transaction.

“This is the strangest thing.” The original one said to her, while processing my title request “The dealer and the lender never cleared the title for her at point of sale.”

The DMV didn’t charge me for the duplicate title (which normally costs a bit) and even took down my new address to be sure to mail the title to the right place. It was sure nice to have such competant people work to fix my title fiasco! Unlike the people I had bought it from, who had messed it up. All the time I had been driving with the jeep in somebody else’s name (the guy who had traded it in to the dealership) so good thing there had been no accidents! Geez. I don't know what the moral or lesson would be to this story! Maybe don't trust lenders or car dealerships, even ones you've ben with for a long time. But I thought I already knew that. Or maybe that there are some helpful and competant people even at the lender's office and the DMV!


Blogger Michelle said...

Oh thankgoodness....i thought you were going to say the jeep was a stolen vehicle and you'd paid it off now they have to repossess it!

5:56 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Oh I would've been SO TICKED OFF! You'd think those people would know what they're doing, wouldn't you??? Criminy!

Well, at least it's all straightened out now!

Sangria....yum! ;)

6:43 AM  
Blogger dan said...

pllleeeeeeeeeeeeaasseee tell us about the light.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Magpie said...

wow glad you got it sorted in the end, sounds like you got people who knew what they were doing luckily...

and i had chinese food last night too...yum


7:42 AM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Glad you had a fun Valentines Day.
The jeep thing is really strange.Glad it worked out ok..

8:23 AM  
Blogger Grant said...

I'm glad everything worked out with the Jeep.

8:40 AM  
Blogger dan said...

i've no diea what i'm talking about.

8:43 AM  
Blogger fugusashi said...

Your gut instints told you there was something fishy about the title.

11:24 AM  
Blogger katie said...

Anything involving car dealers usually involves a headache for me. Glad that you've gotten it taken care of. In missouri we have personal property tax, so the poor guy would have still been paying taxes on it!

2:15 PM  
Blogger sumo said...

I think my blood pressure was going up with the suspense of reaching the end of the story. Whew! Thank goodness it worked out your way...those were women who could think fast.

3:24 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

What was truly amazing was how quickly each of the two women grasped the situation and come up with a solution. They were awesome!

The only part that never was explained to my satisfaction was: if the title was in someone else's name, then why did I get (and pay for) the tabs for the vehicle?

5:34 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

I have never heard of a lender holding the ownership papers before. They don't need them if there is a lien on a car but you are in the States and I am in Canada it must be different.
I am glad it wasnt a stolen car that you bought and paid it off onky to have it taken away

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes, what an ordeal... Glad everything worked out with the title.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Michael Manning said...

In recent years I've resorted to online Car Search services. At $20 it was worth it. Theytell you if the car was ever stolen, used in a crime, totalled, flooded etc. Your story tells me there are some very nice people left in the world too. Glad it worked out.

2:43 AM  
Blogger dulciana said...

Wow, glad your jeep situation is resolved. Happy belated v-day!

6:00 AM  
Blogger deni said...

I never held a title on a vehicle that I still had a lien on, that is a new one on me. Even my last Jeep, the lender held the title until I paid it off, then it took 30 days to get it.

Well, glad you got everything resolved.

5:52 PM  

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