How to get a tiltle for my(paid off) Ford van

I have a Windstar van that I bought from Price Auto Outlet in Ft. Lauderdale in 1997. I am trying to sell the car now, but I don't know of any way to get
a title showing I own the car "free and clear". It was financed by a co. called Centrex Capital of Florida, and the loan was paid off in full, probably in 1999. Maybe they sent me a release of lien then, maybe not...I don't remember. I have only a "dupicate copy" of title in which Centrex capital is shown as the lienholder. I called the local office of the D.O.T, and they still show Centrex as the lienholder, and they can't give me a tile to the car until they get a "release of lien" from Centrex. However, Centrex capital is defunct....don't know for how long, or who bought them out. So I thought, I will call Price Auto Outlet...maybe they will know who bought out Centrex. Well, Price Auto Outlet is apparenty defunct, also, their website is shut down and the ph. number is disconnected. There was absolutely nothing on the internet to help me run down what happened to either of these companies. So there appears to be no way to get a "release of lien" to the D.O.T., so no way to get a title. Is there nothing else I can try?
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Not unusual for a company or bank to not send you a release of lien. You usually have to request them, although that is not supposed to be how it works. Go to your Motor Vehicle Department and ask to speak to a supervisor. Obviously, this company does not have a lien still on your vehicle because they are no longer in business. There is usually a method in place to request DMV to remove the lien. Ask.
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Jim Caldwell wrote:

Have you tried contacting your states attorney generals office and ask them if they can help or give you a referral?
BOB
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On Fri, 7 Nov 2003 12:35:12 -0600, "Jim Caldwell"

Contact the bankruptcy court where these companies were and see if either of them filed for bankruptcy. See if they have any info on who may have obtained their assets and records, especially Centrex. The court may even have copies of the records you need.
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You are better off asking a lawyer.

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I would try AAA. They often have people who are knowledgeable in these sorts of thing, especially if you are a member.
Also, go to a auto dealer, look at the cars (like you are going to buy). Say you have a used car to sell and explain the situation to the car salesman. They might have experience in this sort problem.
If these things do not work, try a lawyer.
Jeff
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The other thing you can do is call Ford. Chances are that someone took over the dealership. The dealership might still have records that could help. And if any saleswomen or office workers are still around from those days, they might be able to tell you what happened to the finance company and who owns them. They might even be still in business, but with a different name.
Jeff
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Hi Jim, I've got an idea for you to try and maybe find your title.
I purchase cars out of state all the time. I pay no taxes in the state of the purchase. What happens is the title gets sent to your main branch of the clerk of courts (auto title dept.) for the county or borough in which you reside. That will be listed on your duplicate title. What may have happened ..when the lien was paid, is the company forwarded the title to the main office for your county jurisdiction. The original title will be stamped lien paid. They sometimes don't send you a letter but they really should have, and then send the title to you ~unless~ you made an out of state purchase at the time of the deal. There they will keep it on file until you call, or come in for the state transfer, pay your required taxes etc. The title dept. will not call you because no phone number is on the title they receive. The finance Co.s usually sells off their loans (assets) to other companies for a reduced price in case of bankrupcy. Try a few phone calls in this direction. If you have moved(look at the title) for the county/borough. G.L. BeeVee

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I called the auto licensing dept at the county courthouse and gave a clerk there the license # of the van, she said that they still show a lienholder (Centrex) on the title. So apparently the blue title stamped "paid" was never forwarded to the buyers' county office. She said I would have to take a "release of lien" document to the local Texas Dept. of Transportation office, and then they could issue a title. But there is no way to get a "release of lien" with Centrex defunct. I would imagine then that whatever co. took over Centrex still has my title filed away....unless perhaps this local DOT office has the title? (will check with them Monday) I posted another message here asking about Centrex, as they were a very big finance co., and someone in the NG might know what happenend to them. Thanks, Jim

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Centrex also had a business in the state of NY. They "dissolved the business". Which means, no one took them over. They may have asked their current customers to switch to a different finance company, but no other company took over the legal responsibilities of the complete business. That means that no bank would be responsible for keeping track of older released liens. You have to go to another place in your state. Start with your local government office that issues finance company licensing (call your local SBA to find this out). When you find out who that licensing office is, talk to them about how you can find out what happened to Centrex in your state.
Take Care, Sharon
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Hi Sharon, either some company buy their notes or they are due and payable to the court that did the bankrupcy. It would be great if it would just dissappear, I'd buy everything from and unstable company just to see if I can get lucky and get it for free. If in bankrupcy they owe the money, and the court settles it. Everything they have is on the chopping block. BeeVee

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Spent hours on the internet, and finally figured it out. Centrex was a division of Oxford Finance Corp (of NY state), which was taken over by Barnett Bank of Florida, which was then taken over by NationsBank in 1998, which then became Bank of America. I think I remember now that it was NationsBank that I paid the loan off to early. If Bank of America doesn't have records for my loan, and the title office knows nothing of a blue title that should go to me, then I am just out of luck. Thanks all.

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I hope you retain you canceled checks.
mike hunt
Jim Caldwell wrote:

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