Uhaul Scam in WA - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-26-2006, 03:41 AM   #1
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If you find a Uhaul Trailer for sale in Graham, WA. Be aware this trailer is not properly registered. (The seller) will give you the title to a 1958 Mercury Trailer, not a 1986 Uhaul.

The true title is held by a finance company. It seems (The seller) removed the VIN from a couple of places in the trailer and the was able to register it. (The seller) was informed of this issue by the first person that bought it, so he removed the VIN from the door and sold it again. It was sold to 2 different Fiberglass RV members, but we were both able to get our money back. The next victim may not be so lucky!

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Old 05-27-2006, 01:01 AM   #2
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Mike, if you know what finance company it is, why not send them a note or email; if not, then the Graham police or the county sheriff's office...
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Old 05-27-2006, 02:58 AM   #3
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Area Law Enforcement has been notified.
I just don't want this guy to take anyone else.
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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We're glad to know that people have been alerted to the problems of buying this particular U-Haul trailer, however we wanted to be sure that people know that the lack of a visible VIN doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't buy a trailer. Probably each state/province has its own procedure for registering a trailer without a VIN. Here's what happens in Oregon:

The U-Haul we bought recently had last been titled and registered in another state. It too was missing any visible VIN, and since the title was being transferred from another state, the Oregon Dept. of Motor Vehicles needed to inspect the trailer to confirm that the VIN on the trailer matched that on the title. Since no VIN could be found anywhere on the trailer, they directed us to the State Police, who also looked for the VIN and then did a background check on the VIN listed on the title. The background check came back without any problems, and the state police directed the DMV to issue a VIN number that matched that on our title. DMV printed a metal sticker with the VIN and placed it on the outside of our trailer. A happy ending!

But buying a used trailer from a private party can have risks involved... What precautions should be done to protect both the buyer and seller? Our transaction was done with alot of good faith on both sides (we paid with a personal check and didn't actually receive the title immediately), but we know that this is not the recommended way... What ideally should happen?

Jeanne and Steve
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Old 05-27-2006, 12:14 PM   #5
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Where is Lizbeth when you need her?

She has a GOOD story!
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:26 PM   #6
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I would LOVE to find a Uhaul in the PNW. Can you provide contact information for this guy? I know the situation's a bit dubious, but if I went in with eyes wide open, it might turn out alright. Thanks
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
The true title is held by a finance company.
Quote:
I know the situation's a bit dubious, but if I went in with eyes wide open, it might turn out alright.
If I were you, I'd approach the Finance Company and find out how much they expect to get back. It might be more than the trailer is worth...
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:03 PM   #8
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Having been there and done that I wouldn't touch that trailer with a ten foot pole.....unless it was cheap enough that if I lost the trailer I could afford to lose the money too. I'd be contacting that finance company if I was interested in the trailer.

The finance (possibly insurance company) company is on title for one of three reasons; it was never paid off, it was paid off and the finance company's name was never removed from title, or it was stolen and never recovered so the company holds title.

I bought a trailer that turned out to be held by an insurance company. Another member of this board had seen an Arizona title for it which was supposed to be "packed away for moving" when we bought it. We only recieved a bill of sale. When we tried to register it it was on the CA DMV computer as belonging to an insurance company. It turned out to be an unrecovered theft (probably was taken to AZ and titled there). It took three months to straighten out and turned out fine except it was hard on my nerves!
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Old 05-27-2006, 11:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
We're glad to know that people have been alerted to the problems of buying this particular U-Haul trailer, however we wanted to be sure that people know that the lack of a visible VIN doesn't necessarily mean that you shouldn't buy a trailer. Probably each state/province has its own procedure for registering a trailer without a VIN.
My VIN didn't match anything in the DMV computer since they didn't have Fiber Stream listed as a manufacturer. After being sent back and forth between the DMV and the police who didn't want to be bothered, one of the DMV people issued me a title for a homemade trailer with no VIN.
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:28 AM   #10
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Let me be more clear.
The issue with this trailer is not a non-visable VIN.
The issue is the seller has removed the original VIN and re-registered the trailer with a made-up VIN.
Since I was able to find the real VIN and run the trailer. I was able to also find out the seller does not own this trailer and the title he has is bogus.
In WA, this is a felony.
The seller was informed of this fact by the 1st buyer.
But that didn't keep him from trying to sell it to me.
The finance company and law enforcement have been informed.
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Old 05-28-2006, 02:32 AM   #11
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Zoinks. Consider me deterred! Thanks, everyone.
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