Title Washing Scam. How To Deal With It?
Title washing scam results from the lack of a unified law regulating vehicle documentation in all the states. Title washing is used by car owners to “erase” the vehicle’s bad history in order to conceal from the buyer that it had a salvage title because of flood, severe accident or other damage. Title washing incidents increased after hurricane Katrina when many car dealers got stuck with excess of flood-damaged vehicles. Title washing is also frequently applied to “clipped” vehicles with the back and front coming from different cars, or rather of what was left of them after a crash.
The process of title washing is very simple. Here is how it is done. A car that is totalled by the insurance company is given a salvage title, which is often called “branding”. Then it can be repaired and resold with a low resale value. So, the car is transferred to states that don’t recognize the current title and assign it a new, clean title. Title washing erases the branding and the car’s sale value rises again. Remember that title-washed vehicles are sold not only by dealers but by individuals as well.
To avoid becoming a dealer scam victim perform VIN number check and get vehicle history report to reveal the truth about the car’s title. Once a car is assigned a salvage title this information is added to the computer database of services that provide vehicle history reports. These records remain in the database even when the car is transferred to other states.
VIN number check will protect you not just from title washing but from many other used car flaws, for example odometer rollback, salvage title or a flood damaged car.