(KDVR) — Matthew Jamison purchased a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado at an impound lot in order to find a good deal.
“The car was inoperable. So it had engine problems and I am a mechanic, so I installed the engine,” he said.
Jamison registered the truck and the title but got a surprise several months later. A tow company repossessed the truck late at night. Jamison contacted the police.
“I thought, is my truck stolen?” he said.
The repossession was ordered by an Indiana-based finance company that had paperwork showing the truck had a lien from a previous owner, but it was a mistake.
“They weren’t going to notify me, you know. My name wasn’t on the lien,” Jamison said.
Who can sell an impounded vehicle with a lien on it?
So how did Jamison get the title?
The Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating the case but told the FOX31 Problem Solvers their records are updated to show any active liens. When a finance company lien isn’t filed or processed in time, there can be problems for the new owner.
The DMV told FOX31 that finance companies are required to file liens within 30 days at county motor vehicle offices, which will process and file the liens in the county where the owner resides.
When purchasing from an impound lot, consider that when it comes to abandoned vehicles, the impound lot or tow carrier must request a record search for the vehicle. The company in possession of the vehicle must notify, by certified mail, any owner or lienholder of the intent to sell.
If there is no response, the possessor may sell the vehicle.
Before purchasing any vehicle, check the Motor Vehicle Verification System to confirm whether it has been reported as stolen. The National Motor Vehicle Title Information System will provide the vehicle’s history.
Customers should also check the National Insurance Crime Bureau to reveal whether the vehicle has been declared a total loss.