Consumers warned to avoid purchasing flood-damaged vehicles - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

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How to avoid purchasing flood-damaged vehicles following Hurricane Harvey

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (HOI) -- -

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is cautioning used car buyers about flood-damaged cars from Texas. 

Hurricane Harvey dumped record amounts of rain on Houston and other parts of Texas along the Gulf Coast. After a major flooding event, vehicles submerged in water often appear on the used auto markets. 

White said his office will screen title applications from areas impacted by flooding to determine if they were registered in a flood county. Those applicants will need to submit a Hurricane Disclosure Statement to obtain a clean Illinois title. The owner of the vehicle and the insurance agent must verify that no flood claim was filed on the vehicle at the time of the hurricane. Any applicant that can't or won't supply a signed form will only get an Illinois Flood title. 

“We are taking every step possible to ensure that flood damaged vehicles from Hurricane Harvey do not receive clean titles in Illinois,” White said. “In addition to the extra scrutiny these vehicles receive from my office, we are providing a link on our website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com to the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s database of known hurricane damaged vehicles that consumers may check themselves.”

As many as 500,000 vehicles may be affected by Harvey's flood waters. 

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