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Kid left his car with me 4+ years ago, Dad just contacted me


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Odd ball X-Mas Eve question.

 

Kid dropped off a 1998 528 4+ years ago. Came by a few times to check up on the car (wanted some electrical work done) then dropped off the face of the earth. Car had an engine swap and wasn't starting due to harness/computer issues. Tried contacting the customer didn't respond for months. After about 2 years, we decided enough was enough (I know i have patience!). Never got a dime from kid. Ended up sending it to the scrapper. Fast forward another 2+ years, got a call from the kid's dad apparently asking about the car. Told him his son left the car for 2 years and we had no contact from him so we junked it. Asked for paper work which I don't even think I have anymore (moved locations).

 

How would you guys have handled this situation? Not sure if I am liable for anything but I was pretty shocked and annoyed someone would call and ask for the car and then give attitude and demand paperwork. I even told him what if I left my car in his driveway for 4 years, what would he end up doing. I could careless at this point, he can take me to court if he wants. Just wanted to hear some of your thoughts.

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HAHA, I knew this was gonna be a good one before I even opened it.

 

As far as actually contributing to this thread or offering any good advice, I'm not sure I'll be any help. I'm interested to see what others have to say. Surely someone here knows the legality of the situation, but it may be on of those things where it is different from state to state.

 

If nothing else, you could just play dumb. "What car are you talking about? I don't remember any of that!"... Might sound rude, but like you said, how would he like it if you left your car at his place for 4 years...

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He called up and said, "Hi my son brought in my 1998 528 for some engine replacement... or some harness engine work. Is the car ready?" LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

 

Lets just glaze over the fact your son DROPPED OFF THE CAR 4+ YEARS AGO AND NEVER CAME BACK! East Indian from the sound of his accent. I really wanted to say, "Really??? REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"

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Here would be my understanding of this situation here in Indiana:

 

1)I could jump through the required hoops and get a mechanics lien title. This would take me about 2 months and costs about $125 plus my time. If you can do 2-3 of these at a time it spreads out the cost. As the big expense is the newspaper ad.

2)I could call the tow company that removes vehicles for the city and have them tow it off. It would go to their impound yard where the owner would receive notice and would eventually be sold or scrapped. I might have to pay for the tow.

3)I could push it out onto the street and let the city remove it as an abandoned vehicle.

4)I do know some scrappers who will take cars without a title. I could call them.

 

Number 1 and number 2 are perfectly legal. Number 3 & 4?????????????? I would not dispose of a car without giving legal notice (certified mail) to the last know legal address.

In NC there is some wording that basically says once the vehicle has been premises for X amount of time the propert owner do what they want. However according to license and theft that does not apply to a situation where you worked on the vehicle.

Also from my understanding that because it could be considered a theft which may be classified as a felony the statute of limitations could be from 7 years to no limit. Hopefully in your situation if they take you to court the judge will use some common sense and side with you. For future refrence I think I would contact a lawyer or just have it towed and cut the losses.

 

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2

 

Edited by ncautoshop
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I seriously wouldn't sweat the whole thing. Based on the fact that these people left the car for 4 years, I doubt they will really pursue it... IT TOOK THEM 4 YEARS TO FOLLOW UP WITH YOU ON THE CAR!!!!! Now all of the sudden, they are going to get serious about it???

 

I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.

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Just had this happen to us also. After multiple calls from me and them never returning them I called from a blocked number and got them. She said she'd call me the next day and a month later I called again and the number was dead. I disposed of the car after 6 months and the same week their father called...

 

I told him we had it towed away and he wanted to know where. I informed him I would see if I had records after he paid the bill. Around here impounds will tow a car for free so there is no paperwork on my end. Eitherway, the father wasn't going to pay so I didn't help him at all.

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More than likely you have nothing to worry about. However, it really depends on how hard the customer wants to push it. Any time I have a vehicle that I think the owner has abandoned, I call a local lien company. This is what they do, and it shifts the responsibility on to them to make sure everything is done properly. The reason I say that ultimately it depends on the customer, is because you can be sued for just about anything. We did a repair on a vehicle that was under $300.00 for a local used car dealer. We tried to contact him and left numerous messages for about 90 days. After that, we went through the lien process. At the end of the process, he filed a lawsuit against us (to challenge the validity of the lien process), we then filed one against him. He asked for $10,000.00 in punitive damages to take it out of small claims court just so I would have to incur significant legal fees from my lawyer. We prevailed because we had done everything correctly (had all our records of the work that was done, when the calls were made, the lien filing, etc.) and had a good attorney. We prevailed in both cases and we were even awarded attorney's fees which is rather unusual. The total award was around $4200.00. It was a nice victory, except we were now up to about $8000.00 in legal fees. Now he is appealing the decisions. We go to court next month and we have already spent another $3000.00 defending the appeal. I'm expecting another $3000.00 before the hearing is over and who knows from there. I'm hoping the judge will find the whole situation as insane as it truly is and this craziness will end.

 

So like so many of the issues all of us deal with everyday, the customers mental state has so much to do with it. I don't know how much he has spent in attorney's fees, I do know he is out at least $4200.00 and his time. I can't image any sane person that would that much money, time, and energy over a $300.00 repair.

 

Scott

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More than likely you have nothing to worry about. However, it really depends on how hard the customer wants to push it. Any time I have a vehicle that I think the owner has abandoned, I call a local lien company. This is what they do, and it shifts the responsibility on to them to make sure everything is done properly. The reason I say that ultimately it depends on the customer, is because you can be sued for just about anything. We did a repair on a vehicle that was under $300.00 for a local used car dealer. We tried to contact him and left numerous messages for about 90 days. After that, we went through the lien process. At the end of the process, he filed a lawsuit against us (to challenge the validity of the lien process), we then filed one against him. He asked for $10,000.00 in punitive damages to take it out of small claims court just so I would have to incur significant legal fees from my lawyer. We prevailed because we had done everything correctly (had all our records of the work that was done, when the calls were made, the lien filing, etc.) and had a good attorney. We prevailed in both cases and we were even awarded attorney's fees which is rather unusual. The total award was around $4200.00. It was a nice victory, except we were now up to about $8000.00 in legal fees. Now he is appealing the decisions. We go to court next month and we have already spent another $3000.00 defending the appeal. I'm expecting another $3000.00 before the hearing is over and who knows from there. I'm hoping the judge will find the whole situation as insane as it truly is and this craziness will end.

 

So like so many of the issues all of us deal with everyday, the customers mental state has so much to do with it. I don't know how much he has spent in attorney's fees, I do know he is out at least $4200.00 and his time. I can't image any sane person that would that much money, time, and energy over a $300.00 repair.

 

Scott

 

 

wowww that sounds terrible Scott.

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