Complaint with Carl Gregory of Columbus
When trading in a vehicle, most people trade in vehicles that are in their own name, but there are cases where vehicles that are in someone else's name may get traded in.
In the cases where someone attempts to trade in a vehicle that is in someone else's name, the car dealership must check with the person who's name is on the title BEFORE accepting the trade. The dealership must have the person on the title sign the title away before taking the trade.
But, that is not how it always works.
The first time I heard of a dealership taking a vehicle from someone not on the title, it was a husband and wife. The husband took the car in for servicing, but was instructed by his wife to not purchase anything. A salesman talked the husban into trading in the old car for a new one. The dealership took the car even though it was not in the husband's name and gave him a new car. The wife was highly upset, and took at least a week or two of the dealership's begging to sign off the title.
Well, it happened to me.
Last year, I purchased a 2006 silver Doge Ram 1500 for my boyfriend to drive. My name, and only my name, was on the title.
A few months ago, he broke up with me. He took the truck to Carl Gregory in Columbus, Georgia, to trade in for a new, 2011 Dodge Ram.
I was not aware he was doing this. I only told him to get the truck out of my name, which to me meant, get a loan and pay it off. I do not know the details, but a week after he traded the truck in, I received a call about signing off the title.
I was highly upset.
The salesman that was calling me was rude. I asked questions, and he was very short with me. I still had no clue that the truck had been traded in. I was just being asked to sign a paper to release the title out of my name without any further explanation. The more questions I asked, the more frustrated the salesman became.
I was getting text messages with exclamation marks in them. Carl Gregory dropped the ball when it came to getting the title signed out of my name before trading in my truck for my ex to get a new one. And, I was getting the backlashing, or so it felt.
How did I find out the truck was traded in? Not by anyone at the dealership. My ex dropped by my work to give me something he owed me, and I saw the new truck then. I found out not 20 minutes before I signed the title over that my truck had been traded in. I was in such a shock and was still quite upset about seeing my ex and the overall breakup, that I just signed it off.
Thinking back on the past two weeks after signing that paper, I wish that I hadn't. I never agreed to trading the truck in, and I was not informed of the actions.
My slim understanding of the law, is that a dealership MUST have the title released from the title owner before making the trade. Otherwise, Joe Blow down the street can steal your car, trade it in, and then the dealership decides to come after you to sign the title away.