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Valley mom struggling to get answers after car disappears

Her case raises questions about repossessions
Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-04 10:04:30-05

MESA, AZ — Last November, Dionna Woods walked out of her Valley home to get into her SUV, but it was gone.

Was it stolen?

She called the police. It wasn't stolen.

Dionna was told the car had been repossessed by Title Max.

"How could this happen? I've never dealt with Title Max my whole life," she told Let Joe Know.

Dionna says she never had any title loan and has a clean title to the car.

She says she called Title Max daily, but she says the company wouldn't return her calls.

She says she left messages trying to get answers.

Eventually, six weeks after her SUV went missing, Dionna called and was told her car had been delivered to a Title Max parking lot.

She says it came back so damaged, it was unsafe to drive -- and that's a big problem for a single mom with two kids.

The car has dents and dings. Some doors are hard to open. Dionna says the car shakes when she drives it.

When she couldn't get Title Max to do anything, Dionna let me know.

Let Joe Know/Better Business Bureau volunteer Jim got involved.

Jim was able to gather some information, but Title Max wouldn't respond to him.

They wouldn't respond to me either.

Meanwhile, Dionna says she can't drive the only car that she has and she can't afford to repair it.

So I went to the Title Max Mesa location where Dionna says she picked up her car.

I asked to talk to management. Instead, the worker went to the backroom for half an hour until we left.

We continued reaching out to Title Max for answers until their communications director finally communicated, sending an email saying they "do not respond to inquiries from the media."

It wasn't until Dionna filed a complaint with the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions that Title Max even acknowledged her or her vehicle.

Title Max responded to the agency that it wants Dionna to send proof that she owns the SUV and says "the vehicle in the complaint is titled to someone else."

Dionna says she furnished ownership documents to them when this started months ago and she questions why they would give the car back if there were ownership issues.

But she says she is sending it again and waiting again.

She's hoping to get the money needed to fix the damage.