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Cleveland used car seller accused of failing to deliver vehicle titles to customers

Posted at 6:37 PM, Dec 08, 2017

It's the used car dealership dozens of people turned to when they needed a new ride.

But after pulling off the lot of what was once New School Auto in Cleveland, some customers like Betty Ward say they struggled to get the title for their vehicle.

"I had just recently got my income taxes and I needed a vehicle for my kids," she said. "First time buying a car from a dealership and this is what I get?" 

Ward said an employee at New School had her driving around on dealer tags for a year.

Eventually, they swapped the plates out with what she was told were "company tags" and she'd be OK if she was pulled over.

"I ended up getting pulled over for speeding," she said. "Tags are stolen, tags didn't belong to the van, the sticker on the tags didn't go to the tags and my vehicle was registered to a woman in Brunswick, Ohio." 

The Ohio Attorney General's Office received dozens of complaints about New School Auto and its owner Abigail Ferry.

Monica Mullins owns Citywide Auto Mall, it's on the same lot at West 71st and Ridge that the New School once called home.

"In regards to New School, we have a lot of complaints for titles," she told News 5. "Trying to find out how they can get their titles." 

Today, we learned a lawsuit has been filed accusing the now-shuttered dealership of violating Ohio's consumer protection laws.

So far, 15 claims totaling nearly $34,000 have been paid from the state's Title Defect Recision Fund to help resolve New School Auto customers' title complaints.

Money that will not help Ward, who's now out $1,100 and watched her van get confiscated and returned to the previous title holder.

"It was wrong. We worked hard to put money into that car," she said.