Good day to all!
I am really amazed to have found this Forum with tons of unvaluable legal and practical information and I feel real respect to those members who generousely share their wisdom with others!!
Maybe somebody here can assist me with my problem as well.
I know it is all my fault without doing anything illegal or immoral or fraudulent - but still I have this horrible problem to resolve.
Several years ago I purchased a car (practically brand new, clear title)after side accident. I showed its pictures first to a local body shop and the manager gave me a cost estimate and a time frame (two-three weeks) that were acceptable for me.
So, I bought it and had it towed to the shop and did MY FIRST MISTAKE.
I gave him $5000 upfront upon his request.
Having already this much money he practically lost any incentive to work and kept the car without even touching it over A YEAR AND A HALF!
Then , after alot of my pressure and threats he started fixing it. Very slowly. And actually did a very sloppy job in another YEAR AND A HALF!!
With a horrible quality.
All this time I visited the shop every week just to have a heated talk and an elevated blood pressure. In one of my visits I discovered that NAVIGATION AND CD CHANGER ARE STOLEN FROM THE TRUNK AND HARNESS is CUT!!
When I told the shop owner about it (he lives in Albany and visited his Yonkers shop about once or twice a week) - he replied that probably those things HAVE NEVER BEEN HERE AT ALL!!! That a tow truck driver stole them when he was delivering the car.
All my friends and relatives saw them on the car while already in the shop!!
At that time I was very fresh to NY and to auto repair people here, soft , trusting and gentle, and did MY SECOND MISTAKE - did not run to police right away. I decided better to swallow this theft, to keep good relations with the shop owner in hope to get the car done and back ASAP!!
In another several months- the worst thing of all the story happened. On my regular visit to the shop I was told that VIN PLATE DISAPPEARED somehow!! (The car was without windshield at that time)
I have no idea who might need this plate!! Now I think that it could be done as a retaliation to me for pushing him too much and threatenning with a law suite.
And I did MY THIRD MISTAKE - did not run to police immediatelly!!
He told me that a replacement plate can be ordered from the dealer easily.
The only thing I was dreaming about at that time was to get out of this shop and of this nightmare ASAP!!!
So finally he finished the car (horribly!! With various warning lights in the cluster and poor paint and alignment) and I drove to the dealer.
Dealer told my that his system shows that the car was involved in accident and he cannot give me a replacement VIN plate!!
By that time the shop owner sold his business and now lives in Albany.
My total cost accumulated to $27 000! But I decided just to get rid of it with any loss. I contacted a salvage car dealer and asked him to sell the car for commission at a salvage auction.
But he told me that without VIN plate no auction will accept it. Even though I have Title and registration in my name.
So it sits in my driveway all these years. With the same 2 800 miles. Paying insurance, registrations and replacing from time to time dead batteries, rusted brakes and changing oil.
Is there any way to help in my situation??!!
I cannot say how much I will be greatefull for any kind advice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!