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Car Titles Articles

How To Bypass Lien Release Roadblocks

Dealing with lean releases from banks
Okay, we’ve said it a million times on our YouTube channel, but remember that lean releases from banks are very, very difficult if you have a vehicle that you’ve paid off and you need to get a title. Sometimes that process can be very overwhelming and bureaucratic. This is an article about a woman who had problems with a bank called Ally, and they also mentioned another bank called Santander. Again, it’s not necessarily about these banks; this extends to a lot of banks.

The Title Dilemma Explained

What happens is that when you have a vehicle that you have a loan on while you’re making payments, your vehicle title looks like it’s being held by the bank, and they don’t give it to you because they don’t want you to sell that vehicle while you’re still making payments on it. They want to make sure that you’re not going to sell it to somebody else and then walk away from your loan. So, they hold your title.

The Title Release Process


Now, when you make your last payment, they stamp it as paid, and they mail you your title. The problem is, with hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of vehicles on the road, banks don’t have a very clear way of keeping track of all those titles. Imagine all the file cabinets they have to keep with all these titles in them. So, it can become a little bit unwieldy.

The Hurdles of Obtaining Titles


What happens normally is that when they mail you that title at the end of your loan, they just stamp it paid, mail it to you, and they’re done. However, what they don’t do is remove it from your title record. So, at the DMV or Secretary of State, whatever agency in your state has title records, it’s still going to show a lien even if you paid it off. And this person ran into a lot of difficulty trying to get that from the lender.

The Communication Missteps


One of the mistakes they made, and we’ve talked about it here, is trying to deal with them by phone or by email. You don’t want to do that; you want to do it in writing, by mail. Even if you have to get an envelope and a stamp and send it, you will have much better success.

The Ordeal with Ally Bank


Let’s see what happened to this woman. It starts out with her paying off their 2022 Jeep Compass, and they said that the bank said that they would have a title mailed to them within 10 business days. That deadline passed, and a request would be sent to the title company. The bank is supposed to do this, not a title company.

The Ping Pong of Responsibilities


They called the title company, and the title company bounced them back to Ally. It was like ping pong back and forth, and Ally Bank said there’s nothing it could do other than place another request. So, they bounced it back to the title company. Remember, titles are a government document; they’re not anything a company can print or create on their own. It’s like money; it comes from the government.

The Futility of Phone Communication


After all that time, they still didn’t put the request in. But again, if you look at it, they talked about how they kept calling them, not in writing. Right, the way you want to do this is in writing. If you do it in writing, now there’s documentation. And the other part is that now they do some of the work for them.

The False Assurances


Here’s another fail from this story. The bank told them that their title may be in her account documents online. Well, that’s false. The title is not online. A copy or printout of a title is not good. The only thing you can have is the original.

Seeking Remedies


Ally Bank then told them there’s no further information when the title will be released, and sure, they complained to the Better Business Bureau, and they did some things, but you know, the Better Business Bureau really isn’t any official government agency. They’re just a company that charges members money to become members. That’s how they become accredited. So, there’s not much they can do.

Persistence pays off.

  • I still haven’t received their title, and this is March. That’s two months later, right? The problem is that banks aren’t in the business of titles; they’re in the business of loans. At the bottom of the article, it talks about something we’ve mentioned here many times: ask for a release of interest or a letter of non-interest, and then go to the DMV and request a title yourself. That is what you do.
  • Don’t ask the bank or title company for a title because they can’t give you one. The title has to come from the DMV. If they have been sent it, it’s because they don’t have it. They may have lost it; they may have never had it. But what they can give you very easily is a letter of non-interest. But even so, you don’t want to ask for it by phone because if you call them up by phone, now somebody has to drop everything and type up that letter.
  • If you create that letter of non-interest, the lean release document, and mail it to them with a return envelope, you will have much better success because that way all somebody has to do is sign it, mail it back to you, and you’re done. You don’t have to deal with them; you don’t have to deal with the headache, and your loan is now cleared from your official DMV record, whether you want to sell it or not.

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Can You Get A Digital Car Title?

Transitioning to Electronic Titles
Every year, we have discussions with directors, assistants, and commissioners from various Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices across the country. They provide insights into the world of vehicle title and registrations in the public sector. Currently, the theme revolves around transitioning to electronic digital titles, although this shift may take a few years.

Ensuring Compliance and Combating Fraud
Another prominent theme is ensuring that title and registration applicants comply with regulations. There has been a significant focus on combating fraud, addressing loopholes, and closing back doors that have been exploited over the past decade.

Impact of COVID-19 Exceptions
COVID-19 brought exceptions to title regulations in 2020 and 2021, including adjustments to inspections and documentation requirements. However, these temporary measures are being revisited as the situation evolves.

Official Recommendations for Court Order and Bonded Titles
DMV offices are increasingly providing official recommendations for court order titles or bonded titles. This includes advising clerks at satellite branches to discuss these options with applicants.

Salvage and Partson Titles
There’s a notable shift in handling salvage and partson titles, especially concerning cars sold by Copart or IAA. These vehicles are primarily intended for automotive businesses and auctions rather than the general public.

Safety Inspections and Coordination between States
DMVs are now conducting more meticulous inspections to ensure salvaged vehicles meet safety standards. Additionally, there’s a growing trend of coordination between states to share data and streamline processes, aiming to prevent individuals from evading regulations by moving between states.

Importance of Proper Title Procedures
A title isn’t just a piece of paper; it’s a legal document confirming vehicle ownership and value. DMVs must ensure that titles are issued correctly to prevent disputes and uphold the integrity of the system.

Upcoming Conversations and Updates
Further conversations with DMV officials are planned for the end of summer or early fall. These discussions will provide further insights into evolving developments in the world of vehicle titles and registrations.

Conclusion
Navigating the world of DMV procedures can be challenging, but it’s essential to understand the significance of proper title issuance. Stay tuned for more updates on DMV developments as they unfold in 2024.

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Why Are Mechanics Liens Disappearing?

The Challenge for Automotive Businesses
So, if you’re an automotive business like a body shop, a towing company, or a repair yard, you may have found that doing mechanics leans has become a lot more difficult.

Disappearing Service Providers
Many of you have had a service, usually a mom-and-pop type company that works from home or some little agency that did your mechanics leans for you.

Frustrations of Repair Shops
We get 15-20 calls a day from repair shops or automotive shops that say, “Look, I had a place that was doing all my mechanics leans… and I can’t get a hold of them.”

The Importance of Mechanics Liens
Mechanics leans are a very specific process that only a licensed Automotive facility can do. It’s a way for them to get paid back for repairs that were not paid for by the car owner.

The Mechanics of Mechanics Liens
Let’s say somebody brings their car in for a transmission job… they don’t show up, they don’t pay the bill. Well, how do you get paid if you’re the shop?

Crackdown on Fraud
Starting about 15 years ago, the DMV departments in all the states found out it was often used for fraud.

Evolving Regulations
Most states now have statutes on the books that say the actual licensee has to send the certified letters, they have to post the ad in the newspaper, they have to hold the auction.

Third-Party Challenges
Even in states where it’s not illegal, it’s now so much more difficult that the third parties can’t afford to do it for the fees that most shops are wanting to pay.

Streamlining the Process
What do you do if you are a licensed repair shop? Look into streamlining the process.

A Solution for Licensed Repair Shops
We have a title service but it only does the paperwork. We can’t send out the certified letters, we can’t hold the auction for you, we can’t put ads in the newspapers.

Reasons for Disappearance
If you’ve been wondering why your title mechanics lean company has disappeared off the face of the Earth, that’s why.

Alternatives to Mechanics Liens
If you’re not a licensed repair shop, mechanic lean is probably not the way to get a title. You could do a court order title for a lot quicker, cheaper, and easier process.

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Car Buying Scams

Title Problems: Causes and Scams
So most of the calls we get from people who have a title problem are in scenarios where somebody bought a car and didn’t get a title when they bought it, and sometimes these are oversights; in many cases, they’re borderline scams.

Kicking the Can Down the Road
The person who sold the car probably knew that they weren’t giving enough documentation for their buyer to get the title maybe they have the same thing happened to them a lot of times this car hasn’t passed out through to through people we call it kicking the can down the road where if somebody buys a car and they don’t have a good paperwork and they try to get a title and it fails they just say well I’m just gonna sell it to somebody else without a title because I fell for it I’ll get somebody else to fall for it that can happen three four or five times before somebody finally says hey wait a minute I need to fix this problem right when that happens it creates another problem it’s called jumping title or skipping title where each owner isn’t documented with a new title that’s the way the DMV wants it the government wants each owner to actually get a title in their name so they can see who actually had that car

Importance of Having a Title
So having no title document doesn’t give you the security of knowing, as a buyer, that you own that car. You don’t own the car until you have a title, and before that, you have a piece of metal in your driveway.

Protection Against Title Defects
The other thing it does it protects you against title defects a very common title defect is a branded title it could be a salvage title could be a rebuild title in those cases it might require an inspection before you can put it on the road it could be worse than that it could be a certificate of destruction or non repairable title or parts only title that means that you can never put on the road no matter what inspection you get okay so having the title in your hand will protect you against those defects because you don’t see a lot of times that’s why people sell them that way they know the title has a defect so they just pretend there’s no title and tell the person I’ll give it to you later or all you needs a bill of sale it’s very very common for a buyer to be told all you needs this bill of sale fill out this form and you can get a title and most people don’t know the difference and they go down to DMV where the bill of sale on the DMV says what are you doing here we can’t do anything with the bill of sale so having the right documentation will help you another common scan is for the seller to tell the buyer oh it’s been applied for I’ll get in a couple days and I’ll give it to you if it’s been applied for just wait a few extra days before you give them the money because once they have the money they don’t have to do any work to get the title because they already have your money even if they did apply for it if anything happens to that title or it doesn’t come into mail or maybe that gets rejected once they have your money they’re not gonna do any more work to track it down trust me we know because dozens of people every day call us with that even if they give you a copy of the title that’s not enough you have to have the original so when you’re buying a car make sure you’re actually getting the title signed over from the seller and make sure there’s no errors on it damages mistakes cross out to whiteout because if it has any defects on the title physical defects where you can see a tear in it somebody whitened something out they cross something out they signed in the wrong place that can’t be fixed it makes that document invalid and void for use for you to put it in your name so make them go get another one before you give them the money otherwise you’re gonna be chasing them forever and I can tell you this you’re going to text them and call them and you’re going to be on the pay no mind list they’re going to block you because they don’t want to go through the hassle of getting you title and that was going to be on you to spend the time and money to fix the problem that they created.

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Bill of Sale Title

The Importance of Titles in Vehicle Transactions
So, for a vehicle, you have a title and you have a bill of sale. They’re two different things.

What is a Bill of Sale?

You may only have a bill of sale and want to get a title. So how does that work?
Well, unfortunately, a bill of sale is only a record of a particular event of one person saying, “I’m selling you this car.” It’s not a complete transfer of ownership because the bill sale doesn’t say that the person who’s selling it actually owns the car. It doesn’t say if there’s a lien on the car. There’s no verification on a bill of sale that the seller has the authority to sell the car. Maybe they do, but by itself, the bill of sale doesn’t disclose that because anybody can write a bill of sale.
You can write on a piece of paper, “I, Joe Schmo, sell this car,” and put the rest of it on there. There are blank forms you can download that might look official, maybe even from the DMV. Bill of sale, you fill it out, but there’s no prior verification that the information is correct. The only thing that a DMV or government agency is going to look at that’s a valid ownership verification is the prior title.

The Role of the Title
So, when you buy a car, what you’re supposed to do is have the seller of that car have their name on the front of the title. They flip it over and they sign the back, and they give it to you. That’s a guarantee that that title and card are now yours. If it’s only a bill of sale, who knows if that seller is the owner? Who knows if there’s not a lien? Who knows if maybe there’s another owner, right?

The Risks of Relying Solely on a Bill of Sale
The bill of sale isn’t good enough. The DMV won’t accept it. You shouldn’t either. Why not? Well, what if it was your car? If somebody just had your car and your keys and just filled out a bill of sale, they could sell the car to somebody else. If that was enough, you having your title document somewhere in the safe deposit box in your file cabinet, maybe, you know, somewhere in your house, is what protects your ownership of that car. So if it was good enough just to have a bill sale to flip a car around, then you wouldn’t need titles because it would have no value.

Options for Obtaining a Title with Only a Bill of Sale
Are there ways to transfer a car and get a title with only a bill of sale? There’s a few ways to do it that might have some other requirements. You can look at some of our other videos to find out more about how to get a title if you only have a bill of sale and to construct the rest of the ownership using other means. Maybe Vermont, maybe bonded title, maybe affidavit. You can look at our other videos to do that. But by itself, if you’re buying a car, make sure that if you’re accepting only a bill of sale, that you know the risk and you know you’re going to do some work to get the title in your name.

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