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uRizen
 
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Friend with title trouble.

I have a friend that purchased a cheap Saturn for $1,400 last year because he needed some cheap transportation until he got his shit together, now he's run into a bit of a problem while trying to renew his tabs.

He bought the car of his sister's boyfriend who runs a small shop and had a couple cars lying around. He couldn't find the title in his files so he told my friend he would mail it once he found it (yes, my friend's retarded, no bill of sale either.)

After a lot of struggling which included some threatening visits my friend got a signed form from the mechanic to request a replacement title and went into the DMV today to pick it up.

Unfortunately the title isn't in the mechanic's name and he never applied for a mechanic's lien. Thankfully the car hasn't been flagged as stolen, but the dickbag mechanic can't find the customer's records who turned the car over or sold it to him and he cut off all communication when asked to apply for a lien.

I told my buddy he's fucked and offered to tow the car for free if he wants to start up an ice racing team this winter, then help him take the plates off and shove it into a ditch later. The only other recourse would be to take the mechanic to small claims court which most likely will result in failure, especially since there is no bill of sale present.

Other than my ice racing idea, do you guys think he has any hope in hell of getting the thing titled and tabbed up? It's running well and has a good bit of life left in it, I'd hate to have him just burn it and walk away. I'm curious what the punishment is for selling a vehicle to someone when the title is not in your name or possession, I'm thinking he can possibly hold it over the mechanic's head and try to at least get his money back.

Cliffs:
1. Buddy buys car from mechanic, mechanic can't find title and says he'll mail it when he does
2.
3. Title was never transferred to mechanic's name, DMV can't do anything and mechanic will no longer speak with my friend
4. Time for in car, then leave it smoldering at side of road?
5. ... or maybe threaten mechanic for refund with some legal recourse (unlikely?) and then profit?
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:00 PM uRizen is offline  
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illig
 
IIRC there's a process that you can use to claim abandoned cars, no? Has he actually called the DMV to ask what his options are?
Old 10-12-2011, 02:16 PM illig is offline  
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RazorWind
 
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IIRC there's a process that you can use to claim abandoned cars, no? Has he actually called the DMV to ask what his options are?

This.

I've never had the misfortune of doing this, but I'm pretty sure Texas has a process for situations very similar to yours. I don't get why the mechanic won't help him out, though. If he's that lazy, he's probably a pretty shitty mechanic.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:22 PM RazorWind is offline  
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joemama
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He'll have to do a salvage title most likely..
Also, be careful at some small used car dealers. When I was in college a girl that I was friends with worked at a combo carlot/repair garage owned by a shady Iranian guy that always had trouble "finding" the titles to cars he sold. Turns out that the cars themselves weren't stolen...but he was usinng the titles to get loans to fuel his drug habit.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:45 PM joemama is offline  
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uRizen
 
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He just got back from the DMV, they gave him some paperwork stating that he has done his due diligence to track down the proper title and contact the previous owner (despite their refusal to give him the previous owner's information.) In the morning he's supposed to see a judge and file a motion to transfer vehicle title.

If that fails my offer still stands for free towing for ice races.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:50 PM uRizen is offline  
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Lol faking bills of sales and taking out an additional loan on said vehicle.
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Old 10-12-2011, 02:56 PM Rancidpunk666 is offline  
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joemama
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Originally Posted by Rancidpunk666 View Post
Lol faking bills of sales and taking out an additional loan on said vehicle.
Probably more common than you think. The Iranian guy I was talking about above would tote the note himself, take out a title loan and then pay it off when the customer was near paying off their car...but of course his drug habit escalated to the point where he was upside down on most all of his loans.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:19 PM joemama is offline  
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uRizen
 
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There was someting about putting a storage lien on it too. I guess you claim you have been storing the vehicle on your property and tell the DMV you need to contact the owner because he needs to start paying rent. You then contact the owner, or they do on your behalf and see if you can't get the title by telling them it's going to be towed at their expense.

If you can't contact the owner you can then put a storage lien on the car, wait 30 days and then claim it when they don't show up to claim the car. I don't know how that would work out, I would imagine you need a rental agreement before you can go after someone for not paying rent... or perhaps they don't research it that well.

I gave him another option: buy a non-running salvage vehicle of the same make and model, swap the good stuff over to the new shell and apply for a salvage title. It's a lot of work but might make for a fun project.... although swapping VIN plates might be easier....er, if I wanted to go to pound-me-in-the-ass prison that is.
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Old 10-12-2011, 03:42 PM uRizen is offline  
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MazingHL
 
I'm guessing you couldn't find the contact of the previous title owner?
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:08 PM MazingHL is offline  
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Oh? Did someone say "take out a loan against the value of the vehicle?"

Yey!
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:31 PM GhEttOrAiD is offline  
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uRizen
 
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Originally Posted by MazingHL View Post
I'm guessing you couldn't find the contact of the previous title owner?

Correct, the DMV is the only entity here that knows that information and they refuse to give it out or contact the previous title owner on my friend's behalf. I tried doing something similar for an abandoned Rx-7 and they were very.. unhelpful.
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Old 10-12-2011, 07:44 PM uRizen is offline  
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