I think I'm living in the Twilight Zone

Ron H

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Could be a liability hunt as the guy you sold it to maybe didn’t have a pot to piss in so people getting a sniff of possible money. In some states, it is CLEAR that the buyer has responsibility to re-title the vehicle and within so many days. The seller and buyer sign off on the transfer of title at the time of sale so the DMV can issue a new one under the buyer’s name. A BOS noting the selling of the vehicle, date, etc. makes it clear ownership has changed. If the title you handed over to the buyer is around this should also note the transfer. Not sure if every state has similar laws. Adding to my earlier post, another thing I’ve done is make a copy of the title with both signed off at time of sale so I have this as a record as well.
 

Budnicks

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Hopefully, you filled out & dated the 'release of liability reg. transfer form'
on the bike, then mailed or carried it to the DMV... when you got rid of it...

shows you weren't in possession of it at the time/date etc.

I have only done trades with people 'I knew well'
not strangers

sucks so many strange things after the fact
hope it works out

good luck
 
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YY1

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CA has a "release of liability" form in addition to a vehicle title?

FL used to require a title transfer/sale be notarized, but within the last several years removed that.

Was kind of a pain finding a notary for a Saturday or Sunday sale.
 

JDmac72chrgr

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Adding to my earlier post, another thing I’ve done is make a copy of the title with both signed off at time of sale so I have this as a record as well.
DEFINATELY copy FULL title prior to handing it over. Geetex correct in MANY areas of his write-up!!!
DEPENDS ON STATE YY1 !!!!!
 

JackR

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Sorry to hear all that. every now and then a vehicle sale ends up twighlight zone. Last year I sold a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The buyers were questionable. A big bag of cash with a lot of small bills. Got a call from an attorney in Colorado a couple months ago as I was the last titled “owner“. When I sold it so thankful I logged the sale into Az DMV website which does not require the buyers name. Thus police never contacted. Turns out the Jeep was in an injury accident and driver ran away. Attorney said the Jeep was in bad shape so I never went to get it. I thought the buyers were drug dealers.
 

beanhead

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CA has a "release of liability" form in addition to a vehicle title?

FL used to require a title transfer/sale be notarized, but within the last several years removed that.

Was kind of a pain finding a notary for a Saturday or Sunday sale.
Yes, the pink slip has that as a perforated portion that is to be filled out and sent in by the seller, to release them of any future liability....though I've known people to flake out and never do it. Then they wonder why they're getting parking ticket warrants for a car they sold years ago!
 

Ron H

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Sorry to hear all that. every now and then a vehicle sale ends up twighlight zone. Last year I sold a 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The buyers were questionable. A big bag of cash with a lot of small bills. Got a call from an attorney in Colorado a couple months ago as I was the last titled “owner“. When I sold it so thankful I logged the sale into Az DMV website which does not require the buyers name. Thus police never contacted. Turns out the Jeep was in an injury accident and driver ran away. Attorney said the Jeep was in bad shape so I never went to get it. I thought the buyers were drug dealers.
Maybe I’ve gotten a bit too paranoid. Most vehicles I’ve sold was at a friend’s auto shop on a busy street; shop having security cameras. He let me park them there for sale. Did the same as a meeting place when I sold a few things on C-list. Don’t have people come to the house.
 

YY1

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DEFINATELY copy FULL title prior to handing it over. Geetex correct in MANY areas of his write-up!!!
DEPENDS ON STATE YY1 !!!!!

Yes I realize states are different.

But if you know your state has extenuating circumstance paperwork that, if not filled out properly and submitted could place you in legal jeopardy....why would you EVER not do so?
 

Dan64

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I learned this lesson the hard way when I sold a bike years ago, NEVER leave the title in your name. Make them sign it in front of you and take a picture of it before you hand it to them. In the system it will still be in your name until (if) they do the paperwork but at least you have some from of proof that you don't own it anymore.
 

HawkRod

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I know this thread is a couple of months old now. @peabodyracin Any updates? I hope things worked out for you!

I learned my lesson when I sold a 74 Dodge Dart. I signed the title, and luckily, I did also write up a bill of sale for the car that the buyer signed. But that's it - buyer drove away with the car. I had bought a truck, so it had to have a truck license plate, so I never thought to take the car based license plate off the Dart.
You guessed it. A few months later I was contacted by the police because MY car was involved in an accident. Long story short: I had to go to court and be prepared to prove that the car wasn't mine any more. Luckily, the buyer was a decent dude and immediately spoke up and agreed that he had purchased the car but failed to register it. So I was off the hook, but it could have been a bad situation if he had played games. Nowadays, I am quite careful if I sell a vehicle. The license plate ALWAYS comes off, and I accompany the buyer to a local title place to switch the title in the buyers name.
 

peabodyracin

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Thanks for all the comments guys. A weeks or so after I posted this the nephew called again and left a message saying "I have the title and we need to talk". He sounded a little more determined than he did in the 1st message.

I called him back and let him give me his pitch: "I have the title to that bike and I really want to come and see it. I can technically come and claim it." I asked if he was done. "Yes but when can I come to see the bike".

My response: "Assuming you really are the nephew and assuming you thought so highly of your uncle that you needed to see the wrecked bike for closure, I'm going to give you the courtesy of an education on a few things.

First, your uncle traded me a trailer for the bike. The trailer turned out to be stolen. I can provide you names and numbers of law enforcement from two different counties who are familiar with the case. The reality is your uncle obtained the bike from me by theft through fraud. If you really want to push the issue I'll make it a point to have law enforcement here to address this with you should you decide to stop by on your own.

Second, because of the fraud there is no valid claim to the bike. I remain the registered owner according to the state. It was returned to me by law enforcement because of this.

Third, your uncle crashed the bike. I did get what's left of it and have dismantled it almost completely to determine what, if anything, is salvageable. I have no obligation to show you the bike, nor do I intend to. I will tell you there's not much left to see.

Fourth, you basically have a title to a pretty tough looking pile of parts. However, I have a bill of sale written up by your uncle regarding the bike and trailer deal, which was between him and me. Your name is not on the bill of sale. The fact that you happen to have the title in your hands does not give you any claim whatsoever. If you'd like to take this further I'll see you in court, and I'm pretty sure I will prevail.

Fifth, perhaps since you seem to think you have a claim to the bike, I should look to you for compensation of the losses I've incurred through this experience. I'm out about $2200.00.

Do you have any questions?"

The kid back pedaled like crazy till he ran out of words. He apologized over and over again and was pretty anxious to get off the phone. I ended by telling him I assumed this was the end of this issue.

All quiet since then. I hope I've not jinxed anything by typing this up!

Since then, with winter fast approaching, I've used the marvels of facebook to locate and go look at no less than 3 motorcycles for sale. Prices have come down a bit from the pandemic insanity levels they'd seen.

The first one I was ready to buy. Asked to see the title. Seller presents me with a title for a different model and different serial number than what's on the bike. I point this out and he gets really indignant with me. My fault I guess. I left.

Second one I drive a bit over an hour and half. Get there and the title has been already signed by someone else. Seller seemed shocked to see this. I don't know what his story was.

Third one (third time's the charm?) was a 99 Hayabusa. I've always wanted one of them since they were technically the fasted production bike of the 20th century. Really clean bike that ran and drove very well. God awful custom paint job on it; someone spent a ton of time on it but it looked like something from a comic book. Seller's a good guy (at least I think he was) and we had a good visit. He's a CBX fanatic and appeared to know them inside and out. I told him I really liked the Suzuki but couldn't get beyond the paint job. He says "I have all the original fairings and gas tank and stock exhaust for the bike. They come with it." Clean title, in his name and the numbers even matched the bike. I made him a fair offer and ended up bringing it home. Can't wait to get those stupid fairings off the thing and make it look like it should. Then will wait for spring!

Anyway, hopefully I'm beyond the twilight zone now.
 

1 Wild R/T

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Good to hear you appear to have the BS behind you & your moving forward, since the moving forward is on a Hayabusa I'd say moving forward rather quickly...

Stay Safe.....
 

Nxcoupe

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Thanks for all the comments guys. A weeks or so after I posted this the nephew called again and left a message saying "I have the title and we need to talk". He sounded a little more determined than he did in the 1st message.

I called him back and let him give me his pitch: "I have the title to that bike and I really want to come and see it. I can technically come and claim it." I asked if he was done. "Yes but when can I come to see the bike".

My response: "Assuming you really are the nephew and assuming you thought so highly of your uncle that you needed to see the wrecked bike for closure, I'm going to give you the courtesy of an education on a few things.

First, your uncle traded me a trailer for the bike. The trailer turned out to be stolen. I can provide you names and numbers of law enforcement from two different counties who are familiar with the case. The reality is your uncle obtained the bike from me by theft through fraud. If you really want to push the issue I'll make it a point to have law enforcement here to address this with you should you decide to stop by on your own.

Second, because of the fraud there is no valid claim to the bike. I remain the registered owner according to the state. It was returned to me by law enforcement because of this.

Third, your uncle crashed the bike. I did get what's left of it and have dismantled it almost completely to determine what, if anything, is salvageable. I have no obligation to show you the bike, nor do I intend to. I will tell you there's not much left to see.

Fourth, you basically have a title to a pretty tough looking pile of parts. However, I have a bill of sale written up by your uncle regarding the bike and trailer deal, which was between him and me. Your name is not on the bill of sale. The fact that you happen to have the title in your hands does not give you any claim whatsoever. If you'd like to take this further I'll see you in court, and I'm pretty sure I will prevail.

Fifth, perhaps since you seem to think you have a claim to the bike, I should look to you for compensation of the losses I've incurred through this experience. I'm out about $2200.00.

Do you have any questions?"

The kid back pedaled like crazy till he ran out of words. He apologized over and over again and was pretty anxious to get off the phone. I ended by telling him I assumed this was the end of this issue.

All quiet since then. I hope I've not jinxed anything by typing this up!

Since then, with winter fast approaching, I've used the marvels of facebook to locate and go look at no less than 3 motorcycles for sale. Prices have come down a bit from the pandemic insanity levels they'd seen.

The first one I was ready to buy. Asked to see the title. Seller presents me with a title for a different model and different serial number than what's on the bike. I point this out and he gets really indignant with me. My fault I guess. I left.

Second one I drive a bit over an hour and half. Get there and the title has been already signed by someone else. Seller seemed shocked to see this. I don't know what his story was.

Third one (third time's the charm?) was a 99 Hayabusa. I've always wanted one of them since they were technically the fasted production bike of the 20th century. Really clean bike that ran and drove very well. God awful custom paint job on it; someone spent a ton of time on it but it looked like something from a comic book. Seller's a good guy (at least I think he was) and we had a good visit. He's a CBX fanatic and appeared to know them inside and out. I told him I really liked the Suzuki but couldn't get beyond the paint job. He says "I have all the original fairings and gas tank and stock exhaust for the bike. They come with it." Clean title, in his name and the numbers even matched the bike. I made him a fair offer and ended up bringing it home. Can't wait to get those stupid fairings off the thing and make it look like it should. Then will wait for spring!

Anyway, hopefully I'm beyond the twilight zone now.
So are you fixing your old bike and selling it?
 

peabodyracin

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Laying low with the crashed bike. I must admit I have to keep resisting the desire to tear into it and fix it again just to see if I can

I have a thing for lost causes I guess. Used to buy a lot of bikes at the police impound lot. I'd repair, get paperwork straightened out and resell. Did well enough to pay for what bikes I wanted to keep without any debt.

Probably the dumbest project was a CX500 Turbo Honda I bought. Crashed with 700 miles on the odometer. Couple guys told me it couldn't be saved: too rare, too complicated, too damaged. Took me 7 years before I drove it for the 1st time.

When done I said to myself "i knew I could do it". Added up my bills and could have bought a complete running one and been enjoying it those 7 years. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But when that thing got spooled up........instant, semi permanent grin.
 

1 Wild R/T

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CX500 Turbo = Oddball... Cool but odd...
 

Nxcoupe

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Laying low with the crashed bike. I must admit I have to keep resisting the desire to tear into it and fix it again just to see if I can

I have a thing for lost causes I guess. Used to buy a lot of bikes at the police impound lot. I'd repair, get paperwork straightened out and resell. Did well enough to pay for what bikes I wanted to keep without any debt.

Probably the dumbest project was a CX500 Turbo Honda I bought. Crashed with 700 miles on the odometer. Couple guys told me it couldn't be saved: too rare, too complicated, too damaged. Took me 7 years before I drove it for the 1st time.

When done I said to myself "i knew I could do it". Added up my bills and could have bought a complete running one and been enjoying it those 7 years. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

But when that thing got spooled up........instant, semi permanent grin.
If you've got the title in your name, I'd go for it. Money you could recoup.
 

YY1

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Since they never registered it, you could apply for a lost title, and it would come to you.
 

68BabyBlue

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I know this thread is a couple of months old now. @peabodyracin Any updates? I hope things worked out for you!

I learned my lesson when I sold a 74 Dodge Dart. I signed the title, and luckily, I did also write up a bill of sale for the car that the buyer signed. But that's it - buyer drove away with the car. I had bought a truck, so it had to have a truck license plate, so I never thought to take the car based license plate off the Dart.
You guessed it. A few months later I was contacted by the police because MY car was involved in an accident. Long story short: I had to go to court and be prepared to prove that the car wasn't mine any more. Luckily, the buyer was a decent dude and immediately spoke up and agreed that he had purchased the car but failed to register it. So I was off the hook, but it could have been a bad situation if he had played games. Nowadays, I am quite careful if I sell a vehicle. The license plate ALWAYS comes off, and I accompany the buyer to a local title place to switch the title in the buyers name.
In PA, Hawk would have been okay if he had kept the plate, then the buyer would have had to register the car in his name to operate it. PA requires a notarized transfer of title, with the sellers and buyers information on the section transferring ownership. When the notary stamps it, the buyer owns the car. Registration is a second process, which involves payment of PA sales tax. I have had a few deals that didn't go smoothly in years past because of title issues (in other states). First one was an Arizona title which showed a lien, from a defunct bank. In PA, the title wouldn't have been released to the owner without the lien being cleared. Seller was honest, said title was returned by new owner of first bank, without removing the lien from the document. She had a son who was a banker, he cleared it up for me, but it was a pain in the neck. When I sold my 300F to a guy in California, I got a bill of sale, and wire transfer of funds before I released the title. Guy lost the title while car was in the paint shop, but the problem was his at that point, not mine.
 

peabodyracin

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Since they never registered it, you could apply for a lost title, and it would come to you.
You're right. I will likely take that route with benefit of a little more time going by without incident. Plate renewal notices for cycles get mailed out in early Feb. If I get a license renewal in the mail I'll know nothing's been done at their end. I think that would then be the time to file for a duplicate title.

It's been an experience!
 

sam dupont

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Thanks for all the comments guys. A weeks or so after I posted this the nephew called again and left a message saying "I have the title and we need to talk". He sounded a little more determined than he did in the 1st message.

I called him back and let him give me his pitch: "I have the title to that bike and I really want to come and see it. I can technically come and claim it." I asked if he was done. "Yes but when can I come to see the bike".

My response: "Assuming you really are the nephew and assuming you thought so highly of your uncle that you needed to see the wrecked bike for closure, I'm going to give you the courtesy of an education on a few things.

First, your uncle traded me a trailer for the bike. The trailer turned out to be stolen. I can provide you names and numbers of law enforcement from two different counties who are familiar with the case. The reality is your uncle obtained the bike from me by theft through fraud. If you really want to push the issue I'll make it a point to have law enforcement here to address this with you should you decide to stop by on your own.

Second, because of the fraud there is no valid claim to the bike. I remain the registered owner according to the state. It was returned to me by law enforcement because of this.

Third, your uncle crashed the bike. I did get what's left of it and have dismantled it almost completely to determine what, if anything, is salvageable. I have no obligation to show you the bike, nor do I intend to. I will tell you there's not much left to see.

Fourth, you basically have a title to a pretty tough looking pile of parts. However, I have a bill of sale written up by your uncle regarding the bike and trailer deal, which was between him and me. Your name is not on the bill of sale. The fact that you happen to have the title in your hands does not give you any claim whatsoever. If you'd like to take this further I'll see you in court, and I'm pretty sure I will prevail.

Fifth, perhaps since you seem to think you have a claim to the bike, I should look to you for compensation of the losses I've incurred through this experience. I'm out about $2200.00.

Do you have any questions?"

The kid back pedaled like crazy till he ran out of words. He apologized over and over again and was pretty anxious to get off the phone. I ended by telling him I assumed this was the end of this issue.

All quiet since then. I hope I've not jinxed anything by typing this up!

Since then, with winter fast approaching, I've used the marvels of facebook to locate and go look at no less than 3 motorcycles for sale. Prices have come down a bit from the pandemic insanity levels they'd seen.

The first one I was ready to buy. Asked to see the title. Seller presents me with a title for a different model and different serial number than what's on the bike. I point this out and he gets really indignant with me. My fault I guess. I left.

Second one I drive a bit over an hour and half. Get there and the title has been already signed by someone else. Seller seemed shocked to see this. I don't know what his story was.

Third one (third time's the charm?) was a 99 Hayabusa. I've always wanted one of them since they were technically the fasted production bike of the 20th century. Really clean bike that ran and drove very well. God awful custom paint job on it; someone spent a ton of time on it but it looked like something from a comic book. Seller's a good guy (at least I think he was) and we had a good visit. He's a CBX fanatic and appeared to know them inside and out. I told him I really liked the Suzuki but couldn't get beyond the paint job. He says "I have all the original fairings and gas tank and stock exhaust for the bike. They come with it." Clean title, in his name and the numbers even matched the bike. I made him a fair offer and ended up bringing it home. Can't wait to get those stupid fairings off the thing and make it look like it should. Then will wait for spring!

Anyway, hopefully I'm beyond the twilight zone now.
If you are planning to sell the fairings, take some photos while they are still on the bike and they will be easier to sell.
 
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