Carrie Ooms is a busy mom who's going toe-to-toe with a car dealership and the courts.
“I'm done being accommodating and it's time for somebody else to deal with it,” said Ooms.
More than two years ago Carrie traded in her Porsche Cayenne at Larson Audi. The SUV would remain on the lot, in her name, until the dealership sold it to a new owner.
“When the vehicle is then sold it will be registered into the new owner’s name,” explained Ooms.
A year later, Ooms realized something wasn’t right.
“(We received) parking tickets from numerous different parking places,” said Ooms.
Over the next few years, Ooms received more than a dozen parking tickets, collections calls and even a notice the car had been in a hit and run accident.
“People trying to hold us liable for something we weren't even part of,” said Ooms.
How can this happen? The dealership sold the car at auction. Whoever bought it, never re-registered it so the Ooms are tied to everything. Christine Anthony with the state Department of Licensing said this can be a fairly common issue. That’s why the state requires you to report the sale of your vehicle within five days.
“You will be relieved of any liability for any civil or criminal infractions that the vehicle incurs after you report it as being sold,” said Anthony.
But the Ooms filed their notice in time. So why are the courts and collections agencies still hounding them?
“There are four different places on the vehicle record where it is noted that the previous owners filed a report of sale. They should be able to see that and sometimes they just don't,” said Anthony.
When Carrie couldn't get the calls and letters to stop she contacted me. I contacted Seattle city courts and they got the tickets transferred out of the Ooms' name.
Bottom line - this can happen to anyone. Your only protection is a report of sale. If you start getting notices from the courts, send them your paperwork and contact the dealership. And if that doesn't work, call me.