Many of the inquires we receive to recover a lost title are a scenario when a buyer purchased a vehicle and was never provided the title from the seller. The seller often claims to have misplaced it, and will provide it later. Very frequently, the seller actually does have the title certificate, but prefers not to display it to the buyer at the time of sale because it contains the salvage brand which would kill the deal.
In this example story from Memphis, a couple purchases a sedan for $5500 cash without a title document only to discover it to be salvage branded vehicle. Dishonest sellers buy up cars at insurance salvage auctions for pennies on the dollar and sell them on Craigslist and Facebook with “no title” claiming to have lost the paperwork. Some even use official dealer names. When the buyer calls the seller to get the title the calls are unanswered or phone shut off.