Selling your old car to a scrap yard for quick cash can sound appealing, but sometimes, it can leave you holding a bill you weren't prepared to pay.
Take, for instance, the case of Katie Orr, who sold her old car to a Portland-based "Cash for Junk Cars" business.
Orr thought her problems with the run-down Honda were over when she saw it hauled away on a flat-bed tow truck, but she soon discovered that wasn't the end of it.
"A few days later, I got a letter that the car had been impounded. And that didn't really make sense to me," sad Orr.
Orr said she then got a bill for towing and impound fees. She called the company she sold the car to, A-1 Light Truck Parts, looking for answers.
"And then I was told that maybe someone had stolen the car off their lot, which didn't really make sense either, because it only ran for about 10 minutes before it would overheat and die," said Orr.
Orr went from making $125 off the sale of her car to suddenly owing more than $500.
Calls to A-1 Light Truck Parts asking for comment were not returned.
According to the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles, it's not an uncommon occurrence, especially when sellers don't insist on getting a Bill of Sale.
"Courts have tended to side with the towing company or the police agency that is seeking either ownership of the vehicle to recover costs, or recovery of those fees or fines," said David House, a DMV spokesman.
The agency recommends sellers protect themselves, both by insisting on a Bill of Sale, and then reporting the sale of their vehicle on the DMV's website.
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