Anna Miner was in nursing school and low on cash.
So when her old car broke down, she had no choice but to buy another used car. Miner had found one in her budget at a used car lot in Addison, purchasing a 2002 Chevrolet Impala with just over 100,000 miles.
“I thought this was so nice, they took care of everything,” Miner said.
Months later, she graduated from nursing school and found a job in Wisconsin. She thought it was a perfect opportunity to upgrade the car.
It was then that she realized the dealer had never given her the title to her Impala, as is required under state law.
At first, the dealer preached patience. As time passed however, Miner’s patience wore thin as she was unable to sell or scrap the car.
At her request, WGN Investigates began looking into the matter.
The Illinois Secretary of State’s office deals with title issues and revealed they field between 200 and 300 complaints of this nature each year.
Most of these complaints involve dealerships that went out of business. Others are similar to Miner’s situation, in which the dealer may not have ever had the title.
“They usually sell the car, they don’t have title for the car,” Secretary of State Police Captain Elmer Garza said.
The Secretary of State’s office cited the dealership for failing to transfer Miner’s title.
“They have 20 days from the point of sale to transfer that title to our office. So, we cited them but in return they promised they would get the title transferred,” Garza said.
WGN Investigates spoke to the dealership’s owner by phone. He had different reasons for the delay, blaming the COVID-19 pandemic and the Secretary of State’s office.
“Long story short, a lot of this stuff was out of my control,” the owner said.
Miner finally received the title after WGN Investigates intervened. The car has since been sold.
“If she didn’t come to us, it probably never would have happened,” Garza said.