Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

Lienholder Non-Perfected Title Liens: Solutions

Issue of Non-Perfected Liens on Vehicles
So what happens if you are a lender on vehicles and your dealer did not get the title listed you as a lien holder? This happens a lot with indirect lenders or direct lenders when you have a car dealership that’s arranging loans on your behalf.

Responsibilities of the Car Dealership
As you know, the car dealership is supposed to take the title, transfer the ownership to the buyer (the borrower), and list you as a lien holder. But what if they didn’t? What if they transferred the property to the buyer but never put you as a lien holder? What if they never even transferred it to the buyer?

Definition of a Non-Perfected Lien
That’s what’s called a non-perfected lien or a lien not being perfected on a vehicle. What that means is your lending position has a collateral that’s defective, meaning that you might not be able to repossess the vehicle or, if you do, you might not be able to sell it.

Steps to Fix the Issue
How do you get that fixed? Well, if you still have access to the dealer, obviously you get them to fix it. If the dealer’s out of business, or if they’re out of trust on their floor plan, or there’s some other problem, you may have to take some steps like a bonded title, a court order title, a civil lien. You’ll see the link below give you more information.

Auditing Your Portfolio
If you are a lender, we work with a lot of lenders that have this problem. You want to do an audit on your portfolio on a regular basis to make sure all your liens are perfected against title. If they’re not, you want to take action as soon as you can to get that fixed. The sooner you do it, the better.

Risks of Delaying Action
If you drag it out longer, sometimes the borrowers can sell the car, sometimes you may not have jurisdiction, you may not have a claim. If the borrower stops making payments, you might not be able to repossess it, so getting that process started early is a good thing.

Getting Help and Further Information
If you do need more information, you can reach us on our website. We even have title consultation about specific scenarios if you’d like to avail yourself of that. But make sure as a lender you get your lien perfected on that vehicle as soon as possible and verify your portfolios to make sure that you’re in title on the cars that you have a security interest in.

Have Title Questions? Talk to a Car Title Expert.

Book a consultation with a Car Title Expert from to get personalized guidance on your title recovery journey.

Don’t let uncertainty hold you back. If it’s your car, you deserve a title.

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