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securing title in texas for unpaid repairs


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We have a vehicle that was diagnosed as needing a head job. Customer does not want to do the work and has promised several times over 3 months to have vehicle towed. No attempt to pick up vehicle has been made and customer has stopped answering and returning calls. I am new to managing in the auto repair industry and would like to know if anyone knows to secure a title or get a mechanics lien in Texas. Everything I have read online is very confusing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

As far as I can recall, you must first send the customer 3 certified letters to prove that you have attempted to contact them. If for any reason you do not have their address go to the tax office and pay the fee to obtain it. After that, it's just a matter of paper work, title transfers, payment, and you can sell/keep the vehicle once it's all finalized.

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I do not know about Texas but In AZ. you must have a signed work order to place a lien on a vehicle. Even then you can not legally hold the vehicle and must go to court. I was instructed by a DMV officer to place storage fees on no shows, then file for an abandoned title. They cannot remove the vehicle until storage fees are paid. My posted sign shows $25 a day storage starting 3 days after work is completed. This is for my protection. I will store vehicles under special circumstances but it give me a legal foot hold.

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http://txdmv.gov/reports-and.../1013-vtr-265-m-mechanic-s-lien-foreclosure

 

This is the form with instructions issued by the State. Not too big of a deal if you have a signature authorizing repairs. If not, you will most likely need to seek legal advice. Hope this helps!

 

The form is # VTR-265-M

 

Bradley

Edited by Bradley
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I bet the car is owned by a finance company. If you wait, they might come looking for it and it will be easier to recover some of you bill from them. See if you can find out if there is a lien on the car and contact the finance company. If there is a GPS on the car, they will come find you. Make sure you have an invoice for the amount you hope to recover.

 

The signature on the work request is paramount. In VA, that's the first thing the judge wants to see. We got burned a couple of times before we made that part of our process.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         5 comments
      I recently spoke with a friend of mine who owns a large general repair shop in the Midwest. His father founded the business in 1975. He was telling me that although he’s busy, he’s also very frustrated. When I probed him more about his frustrations, he said that it’s hard to find qualified technicians. My friend employs four technicians and is looking to hire two more. I then asked him, “How long does a technician last working for you.” He looked puzzled and replied, “I never really thought about that, but I can tell that except for one tech, most technicians don’t last working for me longer than a few years.”
      Judging from personal experience as a shop owner and from what I know about the auto repair industry, I can tell you that other than a few exceptions, the turnover rate for technicians in our industry is too high. This makes me think, do we have a technician shortage or a retention problem? Have we done the best we can over the decades to provide great pay plans, benefits packages, great work environments, and the right culture to ensure that the techs we have stay with us?
      Finding and hiring qualified automotive technicians is not a new phenomenon. This problem has been around for as long as I can remember. While we do need to attract people to our industry and provide the necessary training and mentorship, we also need to focus on retention. Having a revolving door and needing to hire techs every few years or so costs your company money. Big money! And that revolving door may be a sign of an even bigger issue: poor leadership, and poor employee management skills.
      Here’s one more thing to consider, for the most part, technicians don’t leave one job to start a new career, they leave one shop as a technician to become a technician at another shop. The reasons why they leave can be debated, but there is one fact that we cannot deny, people don’t quit the company they work for, they usually leave because of the boss or manager they work for.
      Put yourselves in the shoes of your employees. Do you have a workplace that communicates, “We appreciate you and want you to stay!”
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