Secure Yourself from Title Fraud

Secure Yourself from Title Fraud

Sellers are supposed to disclose if a vehicle has a salvage title, however this is not always the case. When a dealership fails to disclose a car’s title, it automatically practices title fraud.

Carfax reports that yearly thousands of salvage cars are sold to unsuspecting buyers. Altered title documents and cheap cosmetic repairs make the cars look sound.

When purchasing a vehicle, always check the title for any “remarks” on the title that will denote any discrepancies such as:

  • Reconditioned
  • Salvage
  • Flood
  • Theft recovery
  • Stolen
  • True miles unknown
  • Out of state title
  • Exceeds mechanical limitations

Remarks such as the above mentioned are causes for alarm. Besides, be aware of the limitations of a CARFAX vehicle title report to be able to avoid being a victim of title fraud.

A vehicle with a “Salvage” or “Recondition” title has been rebuilt from the junk yard. These vehicles have been declared a total loss and not repairable. These vehicles should be sold to salvage yards for parts. Nonetheless, many totaled vehicles are never given a “Recondition” or Salvage” title. Curbstoners, unethical dealers and repair shops buy these totaled vehicles and cosmetically repair the damage.

Other remarks such on a title such as Flood, Theft recovery, True miles unknown, Stolen, Exceeds mechanical limitations, or Out of state titles can be types of “Reconditioned” or “Salvage” vehicles. While cars with these titles may look good, many are mechanically and structurally unsound and worth only a fraction of book value.

Note: Titles containing the above discrepancies may be “washed” or “cleaned” by simply transferring the title to another state that does not include discrepancies on the title. A professional inspection will surely detect these discrepancies even if the title has been “cleaned.”