Total loss - Insurance and lienholder standoff

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:03 pm   Post subject: Total loss - Insurance and lienholder standoff  

Both my cars were deemed a total due to a flood. The insurance company won't send the lienholder payment until they receive a copy of the actual title. The lienholder refuses to send them a copy of the actual title until the payment is received. Neither party will budge on this issue. What can I do?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:45 pm   Post subject:   

God, this is awful for you, somebody has got to give, the insurance company should pay it off so that the title can be given up, that would make the most sense to me, I feel for you, this is just crazy.



Hang out, I am sure that someone will come along and help you out with more detail here, hopefully you can get the right advice to get things moving here for you. Hang in there.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:02 am   Post subject:   

The insurance company needs two things from the lienholder, they need a letter of guarantee (this is from the lienholder and it states that they will release a lien free title once they have payment from the insurance company) and a copy of the title. The insurance company needs to know what names are on the title and that it's a "good" title. That is they need to confirm who is listed as owning the vehicle and that just the lien holder is listed as the lien holder and no other party. Does it not only make sense that the carrier needs to confirm that they are going to get a "good" title and not one that they can't use? For example... and let me ask... is the lien holder a buy here/pay here place? I'm betting yes, as they are notorious for doing things illegally and this is the only reason why I can see a lien holder would have an issue with something as _simple_ as faxing a copy of the title (I'd think you'd agree... why _won't_ they simply do this?). I'm willing to bet that the lien holder may have never paid to have the name on the title changed. That is, they bought/got the vehicle from someone. They then have to have the proper paper work from this person in order to pay the DMV to change the name on the title. Some lien holders can/won't do this and they just leave the title as they got it (that is illegal!). I'm betting this is the case and is why they won't send a copy of the title. I've been handling claims for about 15 years now and have never been told my a lien holder that they won't fax a copy of the title. Carriers ask for this to be done all the time and every time. So lien holders know the routine. Again, I really think the lien holder is hiding something.



My recommendation is to call the lien holder and ask them why they won't do an _extremely_ simple thing like fax a copy of the title. I can't think of any good reason thy could give you. Then ask them if they want to be paid the money they are owed... because you are not longer going to make payments. When they remind you about your contract and your legal obligation to pay the loan, point out that they can be paid in full, they just have to get off their fat butts and fax the title. You can be as pig headed about this as they are and in the end, they _won't_ get their money until they act like a business and do what needs to be done. They are not being asked to build the Windsor Castle... they are just being asked to fax a copy of the title (I have no idea where I got that from Smile ).



Perhaps the lien holder misunderstood and thinks that they are being asked to mail the actual title before payment will be made, which is incorrect.



(About the worst large lienholder I've every dealt with is 5th 3rd bank. Their name is just as bad... are they the 15th bank or what?)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:02 am   Post subject:   

What a rat race huh and you are stuck in the middle. I think that tscope has given you some really good advice and if you follow it you should be ok, great job tscope, I am sure that your advice will help ncornutt get this resolved.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:08 am   Post subject:   

Tcope, the lienholder is NMAC, which is a large bank and have not done anything illegally. They sent the insurance co a letter of guarantee stating there may or may not be another lienholder (which there isn't) and a copy of a computer screen with an electronic title, and blacked out some of our info. The insurance company insists that this is not good enough for them and they want a copy of the paper title. The lienholder absolutely refuses to get the paper title so they can give the insurance co a copy. The lienholder states this is the only insurance co that has had a problem with their letter and electronic title copy and the insurance co says this is the only lienholder who has refused to send them a copy of the paper title.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:28 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
They are not being asked to build the Windsor Castle... they are just being asked to fax a copy of the title (I have no idea where I got that from ).
Laughing Closet 'Brit' are ya' tcope? ha ha

Great advise tcope by the way...



OP, I'm sorry but I agree with tcope, between he and I there is over 35 years of adjusting experience, your lein holder is in the wrong here! What kind of idiot insurance company would accept a copy of a title that is blacked out? ANY PART OF IT! or a statement that their ''may'' be other lein holders....? That's silly of them really it is....
Quote:
The lienholder absolutely refuses to get the paper title so they can give the insurance co a copy
WHY? What is their reasoning behind this?



Quote:
The lienholder states this is the only insurance co that has had a problem with their letter and electronic title copy and the insurance co says this is the only lienholder who has refused to send them a copy of the paper title
I've never worked for a leinholder, but I agree with the adjuster....I would never (nor would it be allowed) settle/pay a total loss without a copy of the actual title with NOTHING BLACKED OUT...and the GOT (guarantee of title release). Bad part is YOU NOT EITHER ONE OF THEM are stuck in the middle....



I think you should contact your states Dept of Insurance, for advise/assistance, and is there a governing body for financial institutions? Or maybe even your states DMV could help with this...yeah, I bet they can, you should be able to contact them (DMV) and request (for a small fee) a copy of the title yourself! Then you can give that to your carrier...



I'm so sorry about this for you...I've had some hard headed and lazy leinholders I've had to deal with in my day, but this is nuts!


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:34 pm   Post subject:   

We tried asking the DMV for a copy of the title and they said they can only do that if the lienholder requests it, even if it is just a copy and not the actual title.



The lienholder refuses to get a copy of the paper title and/or change the wording on the letter of guarantee because its their "standard practice" to do it this way and won't do anything differently. Unfortunately, all of the people in their total loss dept. are located in India. We tried asking if we could deal with someone in the U.S. and they said they are all in India. We've tried going higher and higher up, talking to each person's supervisor, but they all say the same thing. They won't even type up a letter stating they are the only lienholder.



It's been over a month since our cars were totaled. We now have no vehicles and this isn't getting settled.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:34 pm   Post subject: TItle  

At this point it is clear to me that you need a third party involved. I would contact the Department of Insurance and explain to them what is going on - they will likely contact the insurance company. The insurance company will certainly not want scrutiny over something such as a copy of a title and will "play" nice with the leinholder. After all their duty is to resolve your claim in a quick and fair manner. I wish you luck as you certainly should not be stuck in the middle of this.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:17 pm   Post subject:   

Thanks, if we don't get this figured out by the end of the day we'll have to contact the state's department of insurance. This whole thing has just been completely ridiculous.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:26 pm   Post subject:   

Sorry, I did not realize it was Nissan, not GMAC.



Lori, I think what NMAC is stating is not that they can't say their might be another lien holder on the title, I think they are saying they can't guarantee that there is not another lien on the title. I think a person could place a lien on the title (with the DMV) and not be listed as a "lien holder" on the title (such would happen if the OP owed money and someone placed a lien on the vehicle after NMAC stored the title away in a deep dark vault that no one has access to).



OP, I undestand NMAC's point of view. The title is in an office somewhere in the US and the people in India only have access to what is in a book sitting in front of them. They are not told anything else (not their fault, it's NMACs). But what they are refusing to do is to call the people in charge (in the US) and ask them about making a copy of the title. They _could_ do this if they wanted to. I think you understand this as well.



I have to agree with the insurance company on this one... here is why; it seems like NMAC's Letter of Guarantee (LOG) mentioned something about them not knowing if there was another lien on the vehicle (not lien holder?). I've not seen this mentioned before nor is it really needed on the letter. The LOG simply is a written acknowledgement from the lien holder that they will send the title to the carrier... as they sometimes forget to mail it out or accidentally mail it to the person who obtained the loan. If I'm going to pay $xxxxx.xx, I'm going to want to make sure I'm going to be getting the title so I can dispose of the vehicle.



The title would be completely worthless if their is another lien holder on the title or if it's not in your name (I don't know about your state but I'm betting you filled out a Power of Attorney so that the carrier could change the name on the title). If anything else is on the title, it's worthless to the carrier and they then have to try to correct the situation (but everyone has their money so they tend to care less).



I'm betting that the blacked out areas rose suspicions, this along with the odd comment on the LOG and the fact that NMAC won't send a copy of the title would have me suspicious also. I'm been screw a few times by lien holders and once they have their money, it's game over. I once had 5th 3rd Bank not send me the title after paying off the vehicle (I think they sent it to the person who had the loan) and then tell me their LOG did not state they would do this (I checked and it left a _little_ room for interpretation this way). They knew they screwed up and just did not want to correct their mistake. But here I paid them good money simply to have then release their lien and send me the title.



What about calling some of the numbers listed on this website:

http://www.nissanusa.com/apps/contactus

make sure you tell them you _do not_ want to be connected to their office in India or overseas. It looked like there were some good numbers there and perhaps you can ruffle the correct feathers.



Personally, I think an insurance company has every right to see a copy of the title before paying for the vehicle. I don't think it's too big of a request. If you were buying a vehicle from a person, it would only make sense that you would want to see the title to make sure it was legit and no one else was listed on the title. NMAC could also simply fax a copy... it's just that they are trying to save a buck and set up a system that cannot respond correctly to their customers.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:36 pm   Post subject:   

Yes, we have tried calling the numbers listed on that website. We got an operator who was in the US, explained the situation to them and told them we wanted to deal with someone in the US, not India. They said only the people in India could help us and transferred us to a supervisor in the total loss dept. in India. He claimed they absolutely could not get the paper title or change the wording in the letter of guaranttee or unblack out the info on the electronic title. They will not work with us or the insurance co. at all.



We finally got him to agree to a three-way call between us, him, and the insurance co. and then told our insurance agent the same thing. He finally agreed to talk to his supervisor and "review our file". Our insurance agent asked him to mark the file urgent and get this taken care of as soon as possible. This was yesterday morning, and we haven't heard back from him.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2008 6:02 pm   Post subject:   

I'm betting the insurance company will "take a chance" on this one claim and issue the payment but I still think it's NMAC's fault. Obviously they have access to the title and therefore could fax out a copy... they just don't have a system set up that is capable of any exceptions and the clearly don't want to go a simple extra step.



I can certainly see why they would not change the wording of the LOG and don't disagree with not changing it.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:42 am   Post subject:   

What a hassle, I would never do business with these guys again, I feel for you. Hope they get off their rumps and settle this mess soon for you.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:18 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
He claimed they absolutely could not get the paper title
What are/were they gonna do when you either would pay this off or sell/trade it? They HAVE to get to you/buyer then......so you understand this is a bald faced lie !



I personally still think the DOI is your best bet...I am totally with your carrier on this and wouldn't pay this claim either....But perhaps the DOI could have 'some' influence on either your carrier taking a chance as tcope mentioned...or maybe even this crazy lein holder...



Please do let us know the outcome...I'm so sorry for you all being caught in the middle...incidently what is happening with your credit? Have you still been making the payments and if not....I'll assume your credit is being marked...right? I know thanks Lori something else to worry about...I would check that out (if you have not been making the payments)....



tcope...insurance acronims..You have a LOG, I've a GOT... Rolling Eyes


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:49 pm   Post subject:   

Lori, they claim they can't get the paper title until the cars are paid off. I know they could if they wanted to, that's just their way of doing things.



Our insurance guy called the DMV and they gave him verbal confirmation that NMAC is the only lienholder. He's submitting the file on one of the cars today to his supervisor and seeing if the info they have so far will be enough. If not, I don't know what he'll do.



We know we are still responsible for the payments, that's another reason why we've been fighting so hard for them to get this settled. We lost all of our belongings in the flood. Got a couple thousand dollars from FEMA for rental assistance (we were renting a house at the time while waiting for our house in another state to sell, 4 deals have fallen through so far. That's a whole other long story). Got another couple thousand from the Red Cross. But that's no where near enough money to replace all of your belonging. We have two young children who lost all of their toys. This flood happened a week after Christmas. So I don't know how that's expected to be nearly enough money to replace all of the necessities and keep paying the bills. Of course my husband and I both missed at least a week of work because of the flood, so we lost some income there. I'm a medical transcriptionist and get paid by the line, and he sells cars and gets paid on commission.



So, yeah, this whole thing has really screwed us over. We've lost everything and our credit is being ruined.

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