Update and conclusion of my very slow lease buyout process in Texas:
March 27 - Leased vehicle from Huffines Hyundai in Plano, TX
March 31 - HMF account was active and I requested my buyout quote.
April 4 - requested a second buyout quote. This one was about $100 lower than the previous, still not sure why, but I went with it.
April 5 - Sent buyout payment and odometer statement via cashier's check
April 7 - Buyout payment applied to account
April 10 - Legal purchase date recorded by HMF
April 24 - Received a letter from HMF recording the sale, but no title
May 6 - Texas issues title to HMF
May 24 - Fiiiinally received my title
May 26 (today) - submitted title transfer to tax office
One thing woth noting is there is a lot of misinformation out there about sales tax obligation for lease buyouts in Texas. While you can end up being taxed twice if you're not familiar with the rules, it's pretty easy to avoid. When purchasing a vehicle off lease, Texas allows you to receive credit for sales tax paid at the beginning of the lease if a few conditions are met: you are the original lessee, the lease terms specify a purchase option with a predetermined price, and you have records to prove you paid sales tax on the lease up front. The person I worked with at the tax office today was not familiar with the rules, and fortunately I had emailed them prior to getting the car to make sure I knew what docs were needed and showed her the email.
All in all, things were slow, but not too terribly difficult. Certainly worth it for netting $6500 off MSRP on an I5 Limited.
HMF reps had no idea what was going on with the lease the whole time, though. Calls for status updates got answers ranging from "you have to get the title from the dealer" to "you have to give the tax office the lien release we sent you and they'll transer the title." Needless to say, there was no lien since it was a lease, and they certainly didn't send me a lien release. Texas' slowness issuing the title was the real holdup, though.
My biggest complaint is I had to pay a $25 penalty because I took longer than 30 days to transfer the title after purchase (literally unavoidable since the title was only issued to HMF 26 days after I bought the car from them and I didn't have the title in hand for another 18 days after that).
Overall review of the process: 1 out of 5 stars, but I'd still do it again.