KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's not too useful to own a car that you can't drive, but that's what happened to an elderly Kansas City woman who called FOX 4 Problem Solver Linda Wagar for help.
All Ujuania Russell can legally do with her Ford Taurus is sit inside it. She can't drive it because the man who sold her the car never gave her a legal title, which she only discovered after she tried to get it tagged at the DMV.
"They told me the title wasn't right and I had to have the title in the owner's name and the then in turn the owner had to put it in my name," said Ms. Russell.
She returned the title to the man who sold her the car, George Briscoe, who she said promised her he would take care of the problem. But he never did.
"We waited and waited," said Ms. Russell. "I'm so frustrated."
After FOX 4 Problem Solvers heard Ms. Russell's story, we tried to track down Mr. Briscoe at his work place at KC Cars and Trucks. But we couldn't find him. Since Ms. Russell, no longer had the title in her possession, we contacted the Missouri Department of Revenue to find out who the car is actually registered to. It tracked back to a nice woman in Oak Grove, Missouri, who told us she had donated the car two years ago to a children's charity.
So we called Mike Lane, who runs the Kansas City chapter of that charity. He remembered selling the car to Briscoe and said Briscoe should have titled the car in his own name before selling it to Ms. Russell. Lane promised to help us solve this problem. The next day, Lane contacted Briscoe who agreed to fix the title mess, including paying all late fees. Ms. Russelll should have a valid title as early as next week.
This story underscores the importance knowing whether a car title is legal before you buy a car. The Missouri Department of Revenue has a sample title on its website showing a proper title. View it here.