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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Penny Redwine's car sits in the Grand Rapids Police impound lot. She can't get it out because she doesn't really own it, even though she said she paid $1100 for it last August.
At the time, she told Target 8 investigators, a salesman at Discount Auto Center, 3415 S. Division, said he'd take care of all the paper work.
Apparently that never happened.
"When we got in touch with him in October...he said he would give us a sticker because they were trying to get the title together," she said.
The dealer never did get the title together and kept giving her new transfer stickers every two weeks when the previous one expired. That went on for months.
Then, last week, police impounded the car, a 1998 Dodge Stratus, after a traffic stop.
"They said they couldn't release it to me...because none of our names was on the title," she said. In fact, the car remains registered to the previous owner, a Muskegon woman.
A finance company has a lien on the car because the previous car loan has not been paid off.
Michigan law requires car dealers to make sure all liens are off a vehicle and they have a clear title in hand before they offer it for sale.
That's why, when Target 8 Investigators began asking questions, the Michigan Secretary of State's office launched its own investigation. The agency licenses car dealers and can sometimes can help negotiate a title transfer in such cases, or even suspend a dealer's license if it finds a serious infraction.
The Secretary of State's investigation just started.
When Target 8 investigators went to the car lot, workers hid behind a locked office door and refused to come out and talk. Through the locked door the mysterious muffled voice told Target 8, "I don't know what you're talking about" when we explained why we were there.
"Something has to be done," said Redwine."We're just out of money and no car."
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