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e_j_o

What to do with bike that may have a lien

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Hey everyone, I have a dilemma. A few months ago I purchased a 2018 KX250F. The seller was trustworthy (local business owner), and the bike had a clean VIN (not stolen). Seller informed me that the bike didn't have a title, but that was being taken care of (showed me correspondence between him and original owner). I bought the bike, and have copies of their bill of sale, as well as ours. He has subsequently been very communicative in reaching out to the original owner on my behalf, and the guy told him he was just waiting on the title from the DMV, indicating the bike had been paid off. The last communication was a couple months ago, now the original owner is not responding. I think the likely scenario is he took the cash, and is still making payments on the bike (Facebook profile shows him with his son, new diesel truck in the driveway, etc so I don't think he will default). Worst case he defaults on the loan. At this point I have no idea if the bike has a lien on it, but I'm nervous a repo guy shows up at the door, or it's reported stolen or something if the bank can't find it. Yes, I'm dumb. No, I will not do this again. In my defense, I haven't bought a dirt bike in a long time, and I'm not used to either financed bikes, or titles on dirt bikes (I'm from a state that doesn't require them). So, the question is, what do I do now? I have sent a message to the original owner myself, but I'm not sure he will see it, since we aren't "friends" on FB. I think the easiest thing would be to sell it myself and take a hit, but I don't feel good about passing along my problems to someone else. Has anyone been though something similar, or has any advice on what I should do? Thanks in advance. 

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You do not own the bike. Who ever holds the title and lien does. You sell it, you are in essence selling a bike fraudently.

If it were me, I'd make the guy YOU bought it from refund your money and take the bike or get you the clean title. ASAP

NEVER, EVER, buy a bike unless the owner has the title 'in hand'. The worst case for you is the person who bought the bike defaults, the repo man comes to you and takes the bike. Or the police discover yopu do not hold the title and they confiscate it, returning it to the owner of record.

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2 minutes ago, William1 said:

You do not own the bike. Who ever holds the title and lien does. You sell it, you are in essence selling a bike fraudently.

If it were me, I'd make the guy YOU bought it from refund your money and take the bike or get you the clean title. ASAP

NEVER, EVER, buy a bike unless the owner has the title 'in hand'. The worst case for you is the person who bought the bike defaults, the repo man comes to you and takes the bike. Or the police discover yopu do not hold the title and they confiscate it, returning it to the owner of record.

OP already knows that, I don't think he is looking for dad admonishment.

1) Do what William is saying and ask to get your $$ refunded from the seller you bought it from or for him to get the title.

2) If seller says no, sue him in presumably small claims or??

3) If you have this capability file for a lost title, could take years to clear if it is even an option.

4) Depending on how much you have into this it might make sense to spend the $$ on a lawyer to assist, but I wouldn't go there until you exhaust other options. Put everything into a log with copys /screenshots of correspondence and phone calls etc.

Good luck.

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42 minutes ago, e_j_o said:

. The seller was trustworthy

^He may have had good intentions initially, but now he's already spent your money.

My guess is you'll never get the title and never get your money back.  He knows he got screwed and passed it on to you. He probably used your $ on a down payment for that new Diesel truck. You have 2 choices IMO. (1) Ride the bike and enjoy it while you can. Don't sink a lot of money into it, because the lienholder will eventually track it down and repo it. When they come to your door, plead ignorance. Or (2) Find out who the lienholder is and contact them. They'll then repo the bike immediately or offer it to you for a price. Either way, your original purchase $ is gone. I hope things work out for you, but it doesn't look good.

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27 minutes ago, Tye Durden said:

OP already knows that, I don't think he is looking for dad admonishment.

1) Do what William is saying and ask to get your $$ refunded from the seller you bought it from or for him to get the title.

2) If seller says no, sue him in presumably small claims or??

3) If you have this capability file for a lost title, could take years to clear if it is even an option.

4) Depending on how much you have into this it might make sense to spend the $$ on a lawyer to assist, but I wouldn't go there until you exhaust other options. Put everything into a log with copys /screenshots of correspondence and phone calls etc.

Good luck.

Unfortunately, the OP has next to no rights here. Owner of record, that is the person that has the name on the title and the bank with the lien. In essence, the current owner bought stolen goods unwittingly. I know he already understands he is between the proverbial rock and hard place. I'd make the guy that sold him the bike 'make things right' by either refunding the purchase price of getting the title. That 'owner' should go after the guy that 'sold' the bike to him.

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$hitty situation for sure. sounds like you have learned your lesson so that is good. IMO there is nothing wrong with buying a bike without a title as long as you would be willing and okay with giving it away or it being taken from you at any time, parts bike pit bike etc. 

I see a few options for you.

1. work with the person that sold it to you and see if you can make a deal. maybe sell it back at a $250 loss. I doubt anyone would just give you your money back in full but its worth a try. 

2. Just ride it and keep bugging the seller and original owner and hope you get a title so you can legally own the bike. 

3. Part out the bike. You could probably make your money back or even a profit parting out the bike. But you do risk looking like a chop shop parting out a bike you do not legally own. 

I would probably start with number 1 and if that didn't go anywhere move to no 2 or 3 depending on if I need the bike to be registered in the areas i ride. 

 

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52 minutes ago, William1 said:

Unfortunately, the OP has next to no rights here. Owner of record, that is the person that has the name on the title and the bank with the lien. In essence, the current owner bought stolen goods unwittingly. I know he already understands he is between the proverbial rock and hard place. I'd make the guy that sold him the bike 'make things right' by either refunding the purchase price of getting the title. That 'owner' should go after the guy that 'sold' the bike to him.

 

I agree 100% and I don't think you were so much admonishing the OP rather highlighting for others why buying a dirt bike without a title is not a good idea.  In fact it's illegal here in Michigan to buy or sell a dirt bike without transferring the title.

Another thing for the OP to consider, the owner may very well be the bank at this point.  How old is the bike?

Doc

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So if i'm hearing this right, the guy you bought it from wasn't the title owner either? I would file a police report that you suspect you bought a stolen bike unwittingly let the police impound it and then go after the guy you bought it from in small claims court. Either that or just hope everything works out and nobody shows up to take the bike and an potentially accuse you of buying stolen property knowingly. 

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I would absolutely keep trying to get the original MSO from the owner. However, I don’t think the bank will even come looking for the dirtbike imo if he defaults on the loan. It’s not worth them throwing good money at bad money paying a repo company to track it down, try to repo it and usually it’s on private property that they can’t get to anyway. That still doesn’t mean I would be comfortable having a bike with no proof of ownership. 

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Go do a good faith check with the DMV and Police dept to protect yourself if it is stolen.
Getting the Lien released goes pretty fast with some lien holders and takes a lot of time with others. 
Once you check with the DMV you may find out who holds the lien and you can contact them directly and move forward.

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16 minutes ago, Mundyba11 said:

I would absolutely keep trying to get the original MSO from the owner. However, I don’t think the bank will even come looking for the dirtbike imo if he defaults on the loan. It’s not worth them throwing good money at bad money paying a repo company to track it down, try to repo it and usually it’s on private property that they can’t get to anyway. That still doesn’t mean I would be comfortable having a bike with no proof of ownership. 

From what I understand most banks treat these like personal un-secured loans when they are untitled. The'll hold on to the MSO but like you said I haven't heard of many trying to actually repo them. 

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I just though of one more approach also, which is if you have the both bills of sale, or can have them created and identify the lien holder you may be able to work a deal out directly with them to prove you bought the bike from the guy that bought it from the LH, pay off the loan and then work on collecting the $$ from the original owner (e.g. small claims court).  I would of course work all other options to try and get the original LH to pay it off and release interest. Document everything though.

Good one for "The Peoples Court" (is that even on any more? IDK).

Edited by Tye Durden

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9 minutes ago, Dirtstache 556 said:

From what I understand most banks treat these like personal un-secured loans when they are untitled. The'll hold on to the MSO but like you said I haven't heard of many trying to actually repo them. 

Yup, they charge a little higher interest on the loans knowing they will write them off if they get defaulted on.

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Thanks to everyone for the helpful responses. Believe me, I'm learning a valuable lesson on this one. The money matters, but what I'm most concerned about is somehow getting in trouble for being in possession of this thing. Also, kinda sucks not feeling great about the bike you're riding. I think I will go to the police station first, that way there's at least documentation that I am doing my due diligence. If I can find out who the lienholder is, hopefully I can find out if it's still owed on. I called a tag/title place and they told me they couldn't look up that info for me, privacy laws, so maybe the police or the actual DMV can help with that. If it's still owed on, but not defaulted, and not reported stolen, what will the police do with it? Because that's a possible scenario.

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1 hour ago, e_j_o said:

Thanks to everyone for the helpful responses. Believe me, I'm learning a valuable lesson on this one. The money matters, but what I'm most concerned about is somehow getting in trouble for being in possession of this thing. Also, kinda sucks not feeling great about the bike you're riding. I think I will go to the police station first, that way there's at least documentation that I am doing my due diligence. If I can find out who the lienholder is, hopefully I can find out if it's still owed on. I called a tag/title place and they told me they couldn't look up that info for me, privacy laws, so maybe the police or the actual DMV can help with that. If it's still owed on, but not defaulted, and not reported stolen, what will the police do with it? Because that's a possible scenario.

The police won’t do anything about it, if it’s not reported stolen. It’s a private matter between the lender and owner. You have a bill of sale so you have some type of documentation. If that bill of sale doesn’t have picture of licenses signatures and a notarized signature I would consider that worthless as well. 

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2 hours ago, Mundyba11 said:

 private property that they can’t get to anyway.

Don't believe everything you read on the interwebz...LOLZ

If the door is up even the garage is fair game.

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Edited by Drummer Rob
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4 hours ago, e_j_o said:

The seller was trustworthy (local business owner)

You should probably consider the local business owner trustworthy after he refunds your purchase price in full.

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Sounds like PA is a bit like VA, dirt bikes end up in an odd title situation.  Most used dirt bike bikes I've bought have no title (in VA), so it is just like buying a lawn mower or chain saw, etc.  If you give someone $500 for a used riding mower, then you do own the mower.  Some guys get titles for dirt bikes, but it is very rare.  You don't have to.  And if you do, then you have to pay property tax each year!  

So I'd say you paid for it, you have a bill of sale, you own it, go ride it and enjoy it.  No need to dig into anything or worry about what might be going on.  If the first guy with the loan defaults then that lender will come after him and most likely go after something other than a used dirt bike.  Not sure of the current value, but like someone else pointed out, a lender send out a repo guy to track down a used dirt bike?  Nahhh, don't think that worse case scenario would ever happen.  

 

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