State sues Franklin business for repayment for defective auto title

Editor’s Note: This story previously featured a photo of the wrong business, which was not implicated in this lawsuit. The Journal-News has removed that photo and apologizes for the error.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is suing a Franklin used car dealership for not fulfilling a payment plan after the business agreed to reimburse the state due to a defective auto title.

The state announced filing the consumer protection lawsuit in Warren County Common Pleas Court against the dealership and its owner who failed to deliver a vehicle title to a customer in 2017.

The lawsuit accuses Catherine Manning and her business, #1 Auto Exchange at 1380 E. Second St. in Franklin, of violating Ohio’s Consumer Sales Practices Act and Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title Act.

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The attorney general’s office received a complaint against the business in 2017, alleging that Manning never provided a title for a car purchased at the dealership. Manning responded by claiming she did not have enough money to refund the customer’s purchase.

The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section made the customer whole with a $7,306.03 payment from the Title Defect Rescission Fund, a program that helps used car buyers resolve title problems.

Manning signed an agreement requiring her to reimburse the fund at a rate of $100 per week, with the first payment due in November 2017. She also agreed to pay $1,500 for attorney fees and investigative costs. The attorney general’s office received $2,700 from Manning before she stopped making the required payments in July 2018.

The lawsuit seeks to recover the remaining $4,606.03, plus the outstanding attorney fees and investigative costs. It also seeks an order preventing Manning from operating her business until she repays the fund, complies with Ohio’s consumer protection laws and files a required surety bond.

“If you want to get along in this life, don’t mess with another person’s money, spouse or car,” said Attorney General Dave Yost. “This dealership hit two out of three, and we’re going to court.”

Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at or 800-282-0515.

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