Puerto Rico House to investigate proliferation of unlicensed car brokers
SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rico House of Representatives was set to approve during Monday’s session legislation introduced by New Progressive Party Rep. José Aponte to investigate the proliferation of car-sales transactions through people who call themselves “brokers” without having a license or authorization from the institution that finances the unit.
The resolution, House Bill 321, orders the House Consumer Affairs, Banking & Insurance Committee to evaluate alternatives to address the situation.
“The difficult economic situation Puerto Ricans face has led many to sell or assign car accounts to people who call themselves brokers, without having a license to do so or who do not comply with the process established by law. After the transaction was completed, they found the account was not paid, nor was the name on the vehicle’s title changed, since authorization was not requested from the institution that financed it.
“In some cases, the alleged brokers use contracts to pretend to the former owner that everything is in order and the sale is legal. On other occasions, the assigned cars are used to commit crimes,” reads the resolution’s exposition of motives.
The legislator said that in this scheme the so-called brokers could be earning up to $10,000 per transaction.
Moreover, Aponte added that many times people who buy the “ceded” car can only use it until the inspection sticker’s expiration month, and they can’t renew it because the ownership transfer was never made with the Transportation & Public Works Department (DTOP by its Spanish acronym), plus the phony brokers who sold the cars can’t be reached.
“This situation not only implies problems for the car’s original owner or for the person who buys [the car], but it also represents losses for the financial institution, the Puerto Rico Police and DTOP,” Aponte added.