7 Investigates: Title Trouble

A New Hampshire woman thought she had found the perfect used car but, there was one problem that left her with a vehicle she could not drive.

So, she turned to 7 Investigates for help.

Lisa Itzkowitz was excited when she found the all-wheel-drive SUV of her dreams.

“It may sound silly,” she said, “but one of the things I really had to have was a moonroof.”

She saw the deal posted online by a used car dealer in Massachusetts.

“I figured I’d take a ride down there, and take a look at it, and I fell in love with it,” Itzkowitz said.

After she bought it, the dealer told her they did not have the title for her car.

“I said, Where’s the title?’ They said, ‘We have to send off for the payoff.’ and I thought – oh,” she said.

Itzkowitz’s concerns were soothed for a time when her bank gave her a $12,000 loan without the title.

“I checked with the bank, even the next day, and they said, ‘Yeah, sometimes they have to do that Lisa” she explained.

Because she lives in the Granite State, drivers are allowed to get temporary plated for up to 20 days without a title.

“So now, my 20 day plates are about to expire and I give him another call,” she said. “I’m going to have to take this car off the road.”

Instead of getting the title, the dealer gave Itzkowitz a rental car to use until she can get the title.

But, so far, two months have gone by, and still nothing.

“I can’t sleep. I don’t know when they’re going to take the rental away from me. I don’t know if I’m going to wake up in the morning and have a car to go to work, and I don’t know if, after work, I’ll have a car to go home,” she said.

Through all of this, Itzkowitz has been making car payments for a vehicle that cannot legally leave her driveway.

7NEWS contacted the dealer who issued a statement reading:

“We don’t have bad intentions. We pushed the former owner of the vehicle to pay off the debt. We are paying for the rental SUV for her which was hard to find when she needed it.”

Now, after a lot of waiting and some help from 7Investigates, Itzkowitz has the necessary documents in hand.

The dealer said the bank finally released the title after the previous car owner paid off his loan.

With her new license plates, she is ready to roll.

“I will finally be at peace now,” she said.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles said no car dealer should make a sale without a clear title in hand.

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