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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Take Care, Sharon
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.
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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