O'FALLON, Mo. – First, they ran from our cameras. Then, after our broadcast, they closed up shop. But now, help may be coming for customers who never received titles after purchasing a car from an O'Fallon, Missouri, car dealership.
The I-Team has new information about an auto dealership some say sold cars illegally.
One bank is taking action against the business known as Driven Auto Sales and how it could help some customers who never got a title for their car.
Hours after the owner of Driven Auto, Eric Carmack, ran from our cameras, Heritage Bank not only tracked him down but served him with a court order blocking him from selling any more cars.
But dozens of his customers still haven't received titles to their vehicles. Like customers William Goodwin and his grandma Irene Spangler.
"[My grandson] said 'Grandma, you gotta look at this nice red truck. Get it for me and you!' And I said 'OK!'" said Irene Spangler, Former Driven Auto customer.
They bought a Chevy Avalanche truck together from Driven Auto Sales back in December. But two months later, this family still doesn't have a title
More than a dozen other Driven Auto customers have contacted the I-Team to say they too haven't received a title after purchasing a vehicle from the dealership.
"I don't have a lot of money. It's not right to do people that way," said Goodwin.
It turns out Carmack's bank doesn't think it's fair either.
Hours after our investigation aired, Carmack was served with a restraining order from Heritage bank, ordering that he stop selling cars
The petition states Carmack and his wife have defaulted on $2.3 million in business and home loans.
The petition also said the cars were used as collateral on those loans, so now, they all belong to the bank. And on top of it, the petition said the Carmack's have sold at least 30 cars without titles in the past several months in an attempt to evade foreclosure
"Dealers have loans on the cars that are on their lots. So sometimes the finance company is holding the titles. So they want to make sure they get paid for the car that sold before they release a title," said Creighton Cohn, attorney.
Some customers like Matthew Chatmon of New Town couldn't get a title, so he had to give up his vehicle to the bank.
"The banks would not at that point, would not have collateral. They wouldn't be considered a lien-holder on the title because there's no title for them to be on," said Cohn.
Chatmon's loan was eventually dissolved.
But Goodwin and his grandma are determined that won't happen to them and the truck they love.
"If they come to my driveway to get it, I have a .38 in there baby, and it's registered to me. Bring it on! I'm not playing. This Hoosier is a Missourian now. The Show Me state. I'm here to show you honey a few things," said Spangler.
But there is good news: Heritage bank has been working with the state department of revenue to get car titles to all of those Driven Auto customers who never received one.
State official David Buehrle tells me that if you're in that position, call him at (636) 300-2863.