The Official Stop Curbstoning Blog

Update: TMVC closes curbstoning complaint with warning

Posted on Wed, May 31, 2017
tn-seal.pngIn January, we brought you this post about a Tennesse sherrif accused of curbstoning. The Tennessee Motor Vehnicle Commission is closing the case, but issued a warning letter to the sherrif in question. Click here to read more from the Cleveland Daily Banner.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, curbstoning, Tennessee

Colorado Closer to Passing Curbstoning Law

Posted on Thu, May 18, 2017
Flag_of_Colorado.svg.pngLast month, the Colorado House of Representatives passed a bill cracking down on curbstoning. The bill still needs to pass the Senate before it reaches the governor's office. Click here to read more about the legislation from The Daily Sentinel.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, curbstoning, Legislation, colorado

Guest Blog: Buying a car on Craigslist? Know who you are buying from!

Posted on Fri, Apr 28, 2017

From The Official Blog of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

shutterstock_622092908.jpgConsumers often consider buying from a private seller as an alternative to buying from a used car dealer. An increasingly common scam involves dealers posing as private sellers and posting vehicles under the “for sale by-owner” section of Craigslist.  This practice is also known as “curbstoning.”

One version of this scam involves licensed dealers who partner with an unlicensed individual who poses as the vehicle’s owner on Craigslist. The seller completes the transaction somewhere other than the dealership, but the name of the dealership may not be on the title and purchase documents. Then, if the buyer contacts the seller about problems with the car, the seller says it was never their car. If the consumer contacts the dealership, the dealer may say that they’re not responsible because the car was sold offsite.

Another version of this scam involves unlicensed dealers who fraudulently purchase cars at wholesale auctions by paying a licensed dealer to use their auction license number.  They may also obtain their cars through a title skipping scam in which they target individuals who need to sell their car quickly, pay a low cash price for the car and re-sell it for a much higher price without putting their own name on the title. According to Massachusetts state law, anyone who sells more than three cars in a twelve month period is considered a dealer and must have a Class 2 dealer license.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation can provide helpful information to consumers who have been victimized by these types of scams:

  • Print out a copy of the Craigslist ad. It may come in handy if the original post has expired. Even if we can’t connect the unlicensed seller with a licensed dealer, the unlicensed seller must participate in a Lemon Law hearing if they sold three or more cars or if they took a fee to sell the car for someone else.
  • Attempt to contact both the seller and the dealership (if you have the dealerships contact information). Regardless of where you bought the car and whether it was new or used, you may have rights under the state’s Lemon Law protections. If the car has over 125,000 miles then the dealer is bound by the Implied Warranty of Merchantability.
  • Contact the licensing authority for the city or town where the dealership is located. Selling cars in the scenarios previously described is illegal and dealers can lose their licenses, and both licensed and unlicensed dealers can be fined.
  • Contact our office. We recently assisted five consumers who had problems with cars they purchased on Craigslist, and who thought they were buying from private sellers.
  • Check out our blogs on curbstoning and private party sales. The information can help you determine if you might be buying a car from a curbstoner.

If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer. The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for all Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws, data breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the state’s Do Not Call Registry.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, Used Car Buying, curbstoning, Guest Blog, Craigslist, General Interest, massachusetts

Connect with Stop Curbstoning on Social Media!

Posted on Thu, Apr 20, 2017
stop-curbstoning-logo.jpgMake sure you follow Stop Curbstoning on Facebook and Twitter for more updates! Bookmark our website and blog, too, so you're always in the know.

Topics: Social Media, Facebook, Stop Curbstoning, twitter

Georgia City Warns of Curbstoning

Posted on Fri, Mar 31, 2017
Rome-Police-Department-829439-edited.jpgThe police department in Rome, Georgia, recently trained officers on Georgia's curbstoning law. Click here to read more from the Coosa Valley News.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, curbstoning, Municipalities, News, Georgia

Andy's Consumer Tip of the Day from Action News 5 in Memphis

Posted on Mon, Mar 6, 2017
curbstoningpic.jpgAction News 5 in Memphis recently published an expose on curbstoning in Tennessee. Click here to read the article by Andy Wise.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, curbstoning, Tennessee, General Interest

Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) Warns of Curbstoners

Posted on Wed, Feb 8, 2017

From the Shelbyville Times-Gazette:

TNDCI.jpgThe arrival of tax season has many auto dealers putting their sales promotions into high gear. The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance's (TDCI) Division of Consumer Affairs and the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission, a part of TDCI's Regulatory Boards, reminds consumers to always conduct thorough research to ensure the auto deal you're getting isn't a scam.

"This time of year often generates a high complaint volume for Tennessee's Motor Vehicle Commission," said Motor Vehicle Commission Executive Director Paula Shaw. "Unethical parties prey on the fact that many people are receiving an instant infusion of cash that they can potentially use to buy a vehicle. If you're in the market for a car, research your options carefully to ensure you make the most of your money and prevent being scammed by a bad actor."

A prevalent scam tactic is "curbstoning." Curbstoning is the illegal sale of used vehicles under the false pretense of being the car's owner in order to evade city or state regulations. Curbstoning occurs when a person engages in the act of buying and selling used automobiles for profit but without a license, insurance, bond, sales tax number, Federal tax ID, proper local permits or legally established place of business.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Topics: Used Car Buying, curbstoning, Tennessee, scams, General Interest

Tennessee Sheriff Denies Curbstoning Accusation

Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2017

tn-seal.pngIn December, Bradley County Tennessee Sheriff Eric Watson was accused of curbstoning. Curbstoning, the practice of selling open-title cars on the side of the road, is illegal in Tennessee. Read more details from the Chattanooga Times Free Press in the articles below.

Bradley County sheriff's used-car sales appear to exceed legal limit
Tennessee's Motor Vehicle Commission opens complaint into Bradley County sheriff
Eric Watson responds to complaint, denies 'curbstoning' allegations

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, curbstoning, Municipalities, Tennessee

Happy Holidays from Stop Curbstoning!

Posted on Thu, Dec 22, 2016
happyholidays.jpgHappy Holidays to you and yours! We hope you enjoy your celebrations, and look forward to a great 2017!

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, General Interest, holiday

Buy Wisely

Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2016
Gift_Wrapped_Car_BMW_X3_slaqm2.jpgWith the holidays approaching, it's a good time to remember our tips for buying a used car from a private party. Click here for nine specific recommendations to help make sure you're dealing with a genuine by-owner sale, and not a curbstoner - an unlicensed or unethical used car dealer posing as a private party.

Topics: Stop Curbstoning, Used Car Buying, tips, Private Party, General Interest, holiday