TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Better Call Behnken is getting results for a customer of a closed car dealership that catered to those rebuilding their credit.
Kathania Ramirez loves the Kia SUV she bought in January. The dealership, American Car Center, shut down one month later, but she continued to make payments to the company that bought the assets.
All was well until her tag expired earlier this month and she called the DMV to renew it.
She was told she’d have to pay $1,500 in liens in someone else’s name.
“He comes back, he says, ‘I see two liens under your name,'” Ramirez recalled.
Turns out, more than $1,500 in liens weren’t under her name, but rather the license plate number that American Car Center assigned to her. And that number was attached to someone else’s name.
“For me, for the most part, it’s been frustrating because you don’t really know why the company closed but then you go to register your tag and you have all these issues,” she said.
American Car Center called itself the “King of Credit,” and specialized in “lease to own.” When it filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation, West Lake Portfolio Management took over the assets.
Investigator Shannon Behnken called the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to help Ramirez. The same day, the liens were wiped away, and she was given a new tag and new, updated registration.
“I feel like if I wouldn’t it would have probably been July and they still would have been saying I owed a lien that wasn’t mine,” she said.