GREENSBORO, NC -- More than five dozen families who bought cars at a Greensboro dealership have been left without tags, titles and registrations for their vehicles.
Auto Choices dealership went out of business without a notice to the customers who had already paid for the DMV paperwork.
Some of the customers found out when they stopped by the Battleground location and saw an empty lot with a sign posted at the door telling them the business went bankrupt.
DMV officials are now working to help the victims, while the Guilford County attorney general looks into possible criminal changes.
DMV Inspector John York says he hasn't seen a case quite like this in a while.
“This particular issue, luckily is pretty rare for us,” he said. “We did have a small rash of them in 2009 when the economy crashed so it's pretty rare. That being said, this is fairly significant.”
York has already counted at least 60 Auto Choices victims but suspects there could be more.
“Right now our main focus is identifying any potential victims of the crimes,” York explained. “We're trying to find consumers that bought cars from Auto Choices and have not received their permanent registration yet.”
Kristie Scott is one of them.
“I bought my son a car for a 16th birthday from Auto Choices,” she said.
The 2011 Honda Accord is still sitting in her driveway.
“We were really excited because it was his first car. The experience was actually great until we didn't get the tags,” she said.
Every 10 days, Scott, like the other customers affected by the Auto Choices closure, has to go to the DMV and pay $15 for a temporary tag until the case is resolved.
“I was really mad. I was really upset because I paid cash for the car, and expected a tag and everything that goes along with it and I got none of the above,” Scott said. “I was lied to and taken advantage of because they knew when I bought the car, you don't file bankruptcy overnight.”
The DMV is urging anyone who is affected by the dealership closure to come forward.
York says his department will figure out a solution once all the victims have filed their formal complaints against Auto Choices.
“They were apparently deceitful that's why there are so many victims unfortunately,” York added.
According to the DMV, dealers are required to have a $50,000 surety bond to protect customers in cases like this.
The problem is, with such a large number of victims, the money goes fast.
The DMV is now trying to figure out a way to increase the required bond amount, while working with the attorney general about any possible criminal charges.
You can call the DMV’s Fraud Lab to file a complaint: 919-861-3143
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