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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  I am a civil litigation attorney representing individuals and businesses.
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I live in maryland and i recentky purchased a used vehicle

Customer Question

I live in maryland and i recentky purchased a used vehicle in houston texas, I purchased the car in march with financing. It has been 3 months and I have not received a title or my plates for my state. l called the dmv in maryland and they have no record yet about my car, I called the dealership and they keep giving me time lines with no result. Is there a timeline for dealerships to have paperwork processed in a timely manor.I think 3 months is more than enough time to process paperwork for title and tags.I already had the temp tags replaced already so they can get this process finished and made 3 car payments since i purchased the vehicle. What or who can call to find out facts and what rights do i have concerning this problem ?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer, thank you for using our service. I would like to assist you today. Responses may have a short delay for review and research.
Under Texas law, the dealership has 20 days to convey title to the vehicle.
As it has been over 3 months, you have a couple of options available to you to try to help motivate them to do the right thing prior to filing a small claims action against them (which would require you to travel to Texas at least once in order to appear at a hearing).
You can file a dispute with the BBB - the BBB is fast, free, and while the BBB doesn't have any enforcement authority, filing a claim with the BBB does not compromise your rights in any way, so you don't lose anything by trying them first. You can file a BBB complaint online here: bbb.org/consumer-complaints/file-a-complaint/get-started.
You can file a complaint with the Texas Attorney General. The AG's office investigates bad business practices, and takes administrative and criminal enforcement action. While their job isn't to enforce individual consumer rights, it often will have that effect. You can locate the Texas Attorney General's site here: https://www.texasattorneygeneral.gov/cpd/buying-a-car-used-or-new.
If this doesn't work, you can file a small claims suit in Texas. Most of this can be done via a process server (they can physically file the documents for you, and serve the defendant), but you will have to make any necessary appearances in court - in most cases this will only be once or twice, but if possible you will want to keep this as little as possible when it is a dispute in another state from where you reside. You can find information on small claims court in Texas here: https://www.depts.ttu.edu/sls/forms/How-to-Sue-in-Small-Claims-Court.pdf.
Short of filing a lawsuit, you can try to mediate the dispute with them - contact the local bar association (local to the dealership) and request referrals to mediators, a third party neutral can often help you reach a mutually agreeable resolution. Use the bar association's referrals to contact a mediator or two, the mediator will then contact the other party to set up a mediation session, and you can go from there - hopefully resulting in a formal or written settlement agreement, and save yourself the time and expense of litigation.

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