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Dealer Advice Needed -- Fraud

Hello everybody.

Expert dealer help needed. Not too long ago I started an auto loan financing company and one of my first deals, with one of the worst dealers I met, went south.

Long story short. In Florida, paid cash for 2015 Ford Focus. Got a lien on the title (ELT) same day and the dealer said that he will prep the car and will deliver it next day with all the paperwork. Never got a car or any of the paperwork. Tried to call the dealer but he skipped. Found out that the flooring company repossessed all his feet and I cannot find the dealer. Even if I find him, I’m sure he is not going to pay me back nor give me my car. Tried to check if the car is registered and it is not. It just vanished. Question: what are my options? What can I do to either get the car or recover my money?


Not even sure what you are asking. A lien on a vehicle you paid cash for ? And this is a forum to talk about vehicles. This is not ( We be Lawyers ).

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What happened to “Dewey, Cheetham & Howe” ?


Hire a lawyer familiar with Florida law.


Does Florida actually have effective Consumer Protection laws, as progressive states do?
If so, the OP needs to contact the FL AG’s office, rather than asking for legal advice from people who are likely not familiar with FL statutes, and who have not passed the FL Bar Exam.


Yes, Florida does.

I am a lawyer, but not in Florida, and this person needs Florida legal advice ASAP. And this is not the place for it.


What does this have to do with the rest of your story? I assume you don’t even have proof that you purchased a car


File a police report and kiss your money goodby. Maybe someday they will catch him and you can testify against him in court but that will probably be all the satisfaction you will get.


Agree you need legal help, not mechanic help, but everyone can be found. No place to hide unless they went to Venezuela or someplace. But even if you found him, how to collect is the next issue. He could go to jail but that still doesn’t give you your money back. Normally you give them $500 down and pay the rest when you pick it up. Tough lesson.

I didn’t purchase the car. I purchased a note and have a lien on the car. I assume you didn’t even know what I was talking about. But thanks for the reply. Great help

Thank you everyone for your reply. I wasn’t asking for a legal advice. I was asking for dealer’s, if there are any here, advice. For some of the tricks a dealer might use to hide a car, i.e. issue a temp tag, sell for parts, put it on a floor plan and hide it etc. Those few I already checked. Is there anything else?

Going legal is not an option. I think those who dealt with it before will probably understand me. Legal expenses will run up more than the car is worth. After I win I will never collect.

Thank you for your reply. I was thinking the same thing. I just thought may be there is something else I can try…

This won’t be of any help for this one, but don’t auto finance companies have access to some type of technology to keep track of where the car is located at all time, or at least have the option to program it remotely so it won’t start if the monthly payment isn’t made?

yes. we usually install GPS on the cars we finance, however on this one i didn’t have a chance to install it.

If you paid for this car and this dealer took it, doesn’t that make it officially a stolen car? If so, have you contacted the police?


You said you filed an electronic lien notice, I guess with the DMV. That gives you some leverage against the flooring company that seized all the assets. How much, I don’t know. But I’d try to find out what lawyer represents the floor company and then go there and show them a copy of your lien notice and demand the car. There’s probably a way to go to court and wrangle the car out of the hands of the flooring company, but for that you need a lawyer. Maybe the DMV can help? There are some choices here.

I guess I’m getting a little confused but why do you get the car? You bought the paper on a customer car? Or maybe it was still a dealer floor plan car and not sold? Still if you filed a lien on it, the car can’t be sold again without approval or a lien release from you, no? Then there must have been some terms agreed to when you bought the paper, such as payments or a deadline to pay it back, such as in a note? So the car is gone, but why do you need the car?

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If this problem should go to court the OP better make more concise and understandable statements then his posts here.


My insurance automatically insures cars I purchase, I have to update within 30 days. Report the car as stolen and collect the insurance? Did you start a loan company, or did I misunderstand.