Consumer Title Resource | Since 2009!

What If You Buy A Car With A Lien On It?

  1. Uncovering Hidden Liens: The Shocking Reality
    So, did you buy a car and later discover it had a lien on it? This scenario is more common than you might think, and it often leads to complications. We’ve encountered distressing stories from buyers who faced issues with vehicle liens, including one instance where a licensed dealership provided a runaround on the title, revealing an unsettling lien filed by a prior owner.
  • A Sneaky Lien Situation
    In some cases, the last owner may still have an open lien on the car. The typical reason for this is the bank’s delay in recording the lien release. However, the shocker comes when it’s revealed that there’s still money owed on the car, indicating the loan wasn’t fully paid off.
  • Unresolved Loans: The Dilemma
    So, what should you do in such a scenario? It’s crucial to understand your options, especially when faced with an unresolved loan situation. This situation may arise due to the loan being charged off, written off, or classified as non-performing.
  1. Taking Control: Initiating the Lien Release
    The solution is straightforward: start by requesting a lien release from the lien holder. If a lien is present on a title record, no state is allowed to issue a title until the lien is removed. Even if money is still owed, it’s possible to navigate through this challenge by approaching the lien holder correctly.
  • Crafting the Perfect Request
    When dealing with a charge-off, write-off, or delinquent status, the key is to request the lien release in writing. Avoid phone calls, emails, or text messages. Send a written request along with all necessary documents to the lien holder, urging them to sign and mail back the release.
  • The Power of Persuasion
    Successfully obtaining a lien release often hinges on your communication skills. Politely approach the lien holder, explaining your situation and requesting their cooperation. If the loan is paid off or charged off, they are likely to sign the release.
  1. Legal Backup: Court Order Title
    If negotiations with the lien holder fail, the next step is filing for a court-order title. This involves submitting a petition to the court in your county, seeking a judge’s intervention to wipe out the lien.
  • Resorting to Legal Measures: In cases where the lien holder refuses to cooperate, filing a court petition becomes a necessary step. Presenting your affidavit, bill of sale, and the details of your car purchase, you seek the court’s assistance in resolving the lien issue.
  1. Buyer Beware: Verifying Titles Before Purchase
    Prevention is better than cure. Before finalizing any car purchase, especially from a dealership, ensure you see the title. This precautionary step can save you from the nightmare of dealing with hidden liens after the purchase.
  • Dealer Transparency: A Crucial Check Avoid falling victim to unscrupulous sellers or dealerships by requesting to see the title before making any payments. It’s a critical step in ensuring a smooth and legal transfer of ownership.
  1. The Growing Menace: A Surge in Cars with Liens
    In recent years, the issue of cars with undisclosed liens has escalated. While it’s not a new problem, the current situation is particularly severe. Buyers, whether from private sellers, dealerships, or auctions, are increasingly becoming innocent victims of scams involving cars with unresolved liens.
  • Facing the Challenge Head-On: Despite the challenges posed by cars with liens, there are pathways to address and overcome these issues. Proactive measures, legal recourse, and awareness are essential to protecting yourself from financial loss and inconvenience.

Navigating the Maze of Liens for a Secure Car Purchase
In conclusion, understanding how to handle vehicle liens is crucial for any car buyer. By following the right steps, utilizing legal options, and staying informed, you can navigate through the complexities and secure your rightful ownership of the purchased vehicle.

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