Regions Bank: Offers Car Loans, Not Sure How They Work

Jennifer took out a car loan from Regions bank way back in 2005, and paid it off in 2009. She never received the title, but that wasn’t an urgent matter until she was ready to get a new car, and sell or trade in her old one. Then she kind of needed the title. Thanks to the stunning incompetence of everyone at the branch where she originally took out the loan, this process somehow took six months.

I took a car loan out with Regions Bank in 2005, in 2009 the note was paid off. I never received a title. Cue life and my forgetting that I needed said title to prove ownership of the car. In January 2012 it was time for a new ride so I contacted the branch that the loan originated from. I spoke with a gentleman that said he would get the loan sent to me in a few weeks. I receive a copy of it in the mail, but no original copy.

Weeks pass and I call to check on the status of the title, each time my phone number gets taken down but no one returns my call. I escalate to the branch manager on May 10th who says I need to get the title from the department of drivers services and she will sign off on the lein once I get it. This seemed odd as I was under the impression that you cannot get a title with a lien on it.

I call the county office and they tell me I need a lien release in order to obtain the title. I call the branch manager back and she says she has never heard of such a thing. On May 31st, I go to my local tax commissioner’s office (the bank branch is not local as I have moved) and they tell me the same thing the other county office told me.

I call [the bank branch manager] again and she’s aghast that they’re requiring a lien release to get the title. On June 1st, the branch manager informs me that the lien release will be mailed to me and I should receive it no later than the next week, the next Friday to be specific. June 8th comes and goes and I still have no paperwork, I call her the following Monday, June 11th and she tells me it would be 10-15 days, this is conflicting with the information she relayed to me earlier. She again took my phone number and did not return my call. To get my point across I decided to type a letter and have my mother, who is local to the bank, drop it off. The branch manager then called after the letter was dropped off, saying that Regions Bank corporate mailed the documents on June 12th (12 days after she said they would be mailed) and would FedEx a COPY to me.

I am sending you this tip because my aunt and mother went to another local bank and their VP and branch manager actually got the paperwork that they needed to get the replacement title. They were able to obtain these documents online! Something that has taken me almost 6 months to get, took them 10 minutes!

To top it off, this new branch manager informed my family that the title was most likely not lost in the mail as titles are not mailed out with liens on them, the lien was never taken off. I have been lied to on multiple occasions by the employees of Regions Bank and they obviously do not know the workings of auto loans and titles, especially at this particular branch. And the fact that another local branch had to tell us the information is astonishing! Why can’t Regions Bank be truthful and own up to their own shortcomings?

Because that would require admitting that they have shortcomings, and that they have employees incapable of performing pretty basic tasks.


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  1. Kaleey says:

    Sorry Charlie, I’m blaming the OP 25% on this one – when you pay off a car loan, the title should be in hand in 3 weeks or less. If not, start rolling heads.

    That being said, I HATE Regions with a passion, ever since my local branch decided to do away with Saturday lobby hours, rendering a task that required a lobby visit impossible without taking a day off from my job.

    Surely you could take this to the department of motor vehicles, as they are holding on to a title they have no interest in. Sounds like the BMV branch manager could call the Regions branch manager, ream a couple of people, and get somethings cleared up.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I completely agree, especially with the 25% fault.

      I think the importance of the title is something you learn with age. I could definitely understand why someone wouldn’t realize the magnitude of the issue until it came time to move to a new state or sell off the car.

      It’s like when you switch jobs and it comes time to track down your health insurance Certificate of Creditable Coverage — 99% of the time, it doesn’t matter. But that 1% of the time, not having it readily available can be an absolute nightmare. It goes along with paying up front, taking someone’s word over the phone, not making photocopies, using regular mail for important documents, or just assuming things will work themselves out. Usually, things work without a hitch but when there’s a problem, something minor can turn into a disaster.

    • Kisses4Katie says:

      The only reason you hate regions is because they do not let you bank on Saturdays? Don’t you think that bank employees/tellers have a right to their weekend too? I do agree with you on the blame, particularly letting the title go for that long. It took a month and a half for me to get my car title, after paying cash to the dealer for a used model. Several phone calls and 3 visits back finally got us the title.

  2. valkyrievf2x says:

    Regions used to be such a nice bank, too. They went the way of pacman and started gobbling up lots of smaller banks, and now are at this somewhat mega bank stage. In the two towns I’ve lived in, they would buy a competing bank, close their former main office, and keep the new one they bought. Usually, the new office there was smaller and in nowhere near as good a location. When we closed our bank there (due to the bank fees crap), their teller flat out lied to us that those fees were REQUIRED by law…. This is also the same bank that never deactivated a bank card that was replaced (they had sent a new one to replace one; they did this rather frequently, especially with my wife. No lost cards or anything. Just random replacements). Their justification? We might have given it to one of the kids (9 and 4 at the time….). Ohhhhhh… and this is the same bank that CALLED us letting us know of fraudulent activity on our account (some jackass stole our info and used it several states away). They get brownie points for that. But, it was truly useless, since they could do nothing about it. Even though it still had not posted or anything, they couldn’t mark it as fraud UNTIL the transaction went thru and our money went missing. Huh???

    Yeah. Good riddance. lol

    • scoutermac says:

      I once had someone in an apartment office tell me they were not allowed to rent an apartment to me below market rate because it was illegal. I walked

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        If they worked with HUD or accepted Section 8 tenants, it’s possible they had a contract with either HUD or the local housing authority regarding a minimum floor for rentals; ie, they can’t charge an inflated rent to HUD and drastically lower rents for non-subsidized apartments.

        • scoutermac says:

          No. It was not a HUD or section 8 apartment complex. They were just liers.

          • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

            Is it possible that some of their units were, even ones in a different building/complex?

            Years ago, we accepted a Section 8 tenant in our garage apartment, and I could have sworn that part of the contract with HUD involved some nasty legal threats about charging a higher rent to subsidized tenants.

  3. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    While there’s a festival of incompetence at the bank, come on, OP… this is either the largest or 2nd largest purchase you’ve made in your life. You need to be a little more proactive when it comes to making sure paperwork is on the up and up.

  4. mopman64 says:

    DMV would not hold title if the car is being financed. The bank has the title. Any bank has a 1800 phone number that deals with their car loans.

    I had Citizens bank many years ago and when car was paid off, because there were no more branches around me I called that number and I had the title in 2 weeks from the bank.

    OP screwed up and so did the bank.

    • Not Given says:

      When we financed a car the title was in our name, the lien was listed on the title. When we paid it off the bank gave us documentation that we needed to take the lien off the title.

      • smarty-pants44 says:

        Different states do titles differently. When we lived in California, the bank kept the title until the car was paid off. Here in Oklahoma you keep the title with a lein noted on it.

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      No, but DMV can reissue it with a lien release. Otherwise they have to send it to the lien holder.

  5. Dave B. says:

    “She never received the title, but that wasn’t an urgent matter”

    There’s your problem. This should have been cleared up as soon as the loan was paid off, not 3 years later.

    • maxamus2 says:

      Yeah, I always chuckle a little bit at people that will say things like “I was busy” (you know, for YEARS) or “life got in the way”.

      It’s like lazy people that say they have no time to work out. Or people that complain about being fat yet all they do is eat bad food (and a lot of it).

      So many of these people just think things will always “work out” or that someone always “has their back”.

  6. VicMatson says:

    Y take your title to the bank and have them sign the back of it, now the lien is gone and the car has a clean title, don’e

    The OP who didn’t know you could have a title without a lien need to talk to daddy!

    • Reader101 says:

      That does not work in every state. Some states have two titles (one for the person, one for the financing company). Only the two titles together or a lien release will work.

  7. capnike says:

    Car Loans? I though Regions only loaned on Bicycles…
    At least their TV commercials give you that impression.

    Regions used to be a good bank, back in their only in Alabama days.

  8. capnike says:

    Car Loans? I though Regions only loaned on Bicycles…
    At least their TV commercials give you that impression.

    Regions used to be a good bank, back in their only in Alabama days.

  9. Clyde Barrow says:

    Weeks pass? Just pay the dealership a small fee and they’ll get one from the State. It’s their job.

  10. January says:

    Regions Bank will eventually sell all their car loans to Santander Consumer USA (Banc Santander). You want car loan horror stories, google Santander Consumer USA complaints.

  11. CrazyEyed says:

    Sounds to me like the lien release department didn’t do their job correctly. Usually there are state guidelines (30-90 days) for getting a lien release processed after a loan is paid off. At least when I worked in mortgage at BofA it was like that. Sounds like Regions dropped the ball on getting the lien release on time. Unfortunately, there is a little bit of waiting time for mailing and recording but it should have least headed for processing the first month.

    Still however, usually the dealership and their financial department can get that shit cleared up quick. Many times people trade in their cars when they are still making payments which still means there’s a lien on the car. You can be in a new car in a couple of days while the dealership deal with the transfer of title.

    OP should have pressed the issue within the first few months after she paid her car off. I don’t know about you, but if I paid off a loan I’d be looking for all sorts of documentation to prove I didn’t owe a penny more and that the posession was legally mine.

  12. JJFIII says:

    It sounds like the OP has never owned a car before or done a new purchase.
    When you go to the dealership, THEY will handle all this crap. If you are selling it private party, then you will need to do it. I do not know how your state operates, but I have a copy of my title in my files at all times. If a car gets paid off the bank sends a notarized release of lien, which is then presented to the Sec of State to reissue a lien in your name only. Of course you do not need to reissue the title if you just have a release of lien. Regions should be able to easily give you a release of lien if you can provide the VIN or loan number.

  13. soj4life says:

    Biggest mistake, talking to the branch staff. Loan operations are going to be handled by a loan department, the branch staff is just a middle man. Call the loan department directly with whatever number is on your bill, they will get the ball rolling faster than branch managers.