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Thread: Bike purchase gone bad- friend needs advice

  1. #1
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Bike purchase gone bad- friend needs advice

    A few weeks ago a friend of mine bought a very gently used F650CS from a guy in Oklahoma City. She made the first mistake right up front, by agreeing to purchase a bike with a lien on the title. The seller seemed very up-front about it and said that the bike needed to be paid off but once sold that would happen and my friend would receive the title within ten business days. The seller agreed to half up front and half when the title cleared.
    I went to help pick up the bike. My friend rented a cargo-van and we went up on a Saturday.
    The seller seemed a bit young and hip-hop for a BMW guy, but he had an R1200C and a K1200R in his garage too. He and a friend were very helpful getting the bike loaded and we went home happy.
    Now the title is still out there and the seller is not answering calls, emails, etc. My friend has found that the bike is not titled in OK, that it was originally sold in IN (friend has the first owner's name), and that Carfax has no data for that VIN (which doesn't surprise me- I doubt that they handle data on semi-obscure motorcycles).
    My friend is going to give the motor-vehicle dept in IN a call on Monday and see if anything useful can be had from them.
    The up-side is that my friend has the bike in possession and it is in excellent gently-used condition (2003 w/ 1600 miles on it!) and runs properly.
    Anybody have any advice on what legal recourse my friend may have available?
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad
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    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    First question. Does the bike have a license plate on it from the guy who sold it? What state is it from. If the bike has a plate from OK and was never registered there that's one indication this was a fraud from the start. If it was done accross state lines may even be a Federal offense if the FBI chooses to get involved.

    First off you may need to call the Police in OK city and ask them to check on a fraud case using the vin from the bike. You're friend will likely have to file a report there.

    What documentation did your friend get? Did the seller provide a bill of sale? Anything in writing at all?

    How did your friend provide payment? Cash or check? If check they may want to put a stop payment on it if it has not cleared.

    Your friend may have to look into a law suit in OK to get their money back which means getting a local lawyer. You might prepare your friend to lose the bike too especially if it was stolen.
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  3. #3
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    It's too late now, but the best way to complete a purchase when there is an outstanding lien is to have the portion of the purchase price that is reflected by the lien, paid to the lien holder directly. This eliminates the middleman and the possibility that the lien will not be cleared. The balance (if any) can be paid to the owner.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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  4. #4
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    She made the first mistake right up front, by agreeing to purchase a bike with a lien on the title. The seller... said that the bike needed to be paid off but once sold that would happen and my friend would receive the title within ten business days. The seller agreed to half up front and half when the title cleared.
    Like many pleas for legal advice on here, the facts leave much to the imagination. Your friend was rather foolish not to insist on a procedure that escrows the purchase price pending tender of clean title. Your friend needs to consult legal counsel in Oklahoma City, who will know the questions to ask relevant to legal remedies there, and determine whether or not it is a matter for the authorities.

    If your friend intends to rely on anonymous "legal" advice from the internet, then all bets are off.

    Fred

  5. #5
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Do you have ANY documents?

    Me... I'd take it back to the place where it was purchased and call the police if the residents do not cooperate, betting that there is dope inside and the don't want the cops sniffing around.
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  6. #6
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash412 View Post
    Do you have ANY documents?

    Me... I'd take it back to the place where it was purchased and call the police if the residents do not cooperate, betting that there is dope inside and the don't want the cops sniffing around.
    I was with you until you presumed there was "dope inside". I'm guessing you presume there's dope inside because the guys were young and "hip-hop"? We don't know the race of the gentlemen who sold the bike in question, but I'm pretty sure I didn't see a urinalysis report attached to the original post.

    This means any assumption that there is dope involved comes from one of the following: Stereotyping? Racism? Racial profiling?
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  7. #7
    Has the GS-Lust The_Veg's Avatar
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    Right after I posted the question I heard from the friend again. She tracked down the original owner in Indiana, who as it turns out never signed the title over to the guy in OKC. The original owner was able to get in touch with the seller. IN-Guy will sign it over to OKC-Guy, who will get the lien taken care of and the remaining money and title will be exchanged with my friend. At least that's the plan. Keep your fingers crossed.

    My friend wrote a bill of sale and the guy did sign it. No license plate though.
    2012 R1200GS
    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad
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  8. #8
    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dvandkq View Post
    This means any assumption that there is dope involved comes from one of the following: Stereotyping? Racism? Racial profiling?
    Where was the racial profiling? Neither I nor anyone else said anything about race. Please lead us through your logic that brings race into this discussion. Thank you.
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    Loose Cannon flash412's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    Right after I posted the question I heard from the friend again. She tracked down the original owner in Indiana, who as it turns out never signed the title over to the guy in OKC. The original owner was able to get in touch with the seller. IN-Guy will sign it over to OKC-Guy, who will get the lien taken care of and the remaining money and title will be exchanged with my friend. At least that's the plan. Keep your fingers crossed.

    My friend wrote a bill of sale and the guy did sign it. No license plate though.
    Lien company actually owns bike and has the title.
    IN-guy has title in his name, but not his possession.
    OKC-guy had (past tense) possession but sold it.
    GalPal now has possession (at half price) but little paperwork.

    How many of the people involved in the transaction have in the past or will in the future appear on the teevee show COPS!

    AFAIK, a title with a lien on it is in the possession of the lien company. Therefore IN-guy cannot sign it to OKC-guy. SOMEBODY (probably GalPal... ALARM BELLS) must pay off the lien first. This whole thing smells funny.

    Why is OKC guy involved? He sold a bike he didn't own. If it were a horse and we were living 100 years ago, there'd be a rope over a tree limb involved before this whole mess is sorted out.
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  10. #10
    What's that noise...? basketcase's Avatar
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    Flash understated the point...

    This whole thing smells funny.
    IMHO, it is reeking with a stench.

    The legal owner of the bike is the lien holder. Functionally speaking, the bike is on loan to the purchaser until he pays it off, at which point it becomes his. Next, it is against the law to sell the bike with a lien on it, so the guy who sold it is in hock with the lien holder.

    So if the lien holder decided to come get it, your friend could be required to surrender it.

    And if I read all the above right, the original owner has the title? If the original owner has the title, how can the lien holder have it? Banks only surrender the title when the loan is paid in full.

    Something reeks.

    If the lady in question can get her money back and duck out of this deal, it will be a huge win for her at this point, but my gut says the money is long since gone...

    So it might be better to contact an attorney, and perhaps the police, and document her own actions -- lest she get ensnared in a pile of something that grows in the dark.
    '98 BMW Z3 Roadster, '00 R1100RT

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  11. #11
    Rally Rat RTRandy's Avatar
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    If that were me I wouldn't be sending no freakin lawyer to collect my money. But hey, I grew up in New Jersey.
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    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash412 View Post
    Lien company actually owns bike and has the title.
    IN-guy has title in his name, but not his possession.
    ...
    Well, maybe but not necessarily. That's why the lien company puts the lien on the title itself. The owner (guy who bought the bike) has title, but it is not clear title. In many cases, the owner actually has possession of the title, which clearly states a first and possibly second Secured Party.


    A lien holder is just that: a party who has the right to take possession and ultimately ownership if payments are not made according to the contract. The lien holder is not the owner.
    Dan

  13. #13
    Rally Rat
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    criminal option probably available too

    As my civil law colleague Dan correctly states, there are civil remedies available; in addition, most states have have a criminal statute requiring surrender of a clear title within a specified time (typically 15 to 30 days) of a transaction; again, as recommended above contact should be made with the local police deparment (or sheriff's office, depending upon location and jurisdiction) for an investigation which can be forwarded to the appropriate prosecuting authority; in theory, the feds might have jurisdiction but this is not the kind of case they typically take; good luck...wj

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    mrich12000
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  15. #15
    dlearl476
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Veg View Post
    Right after I posted the question I heard from the friend again. She tracked down the original owner in Indiana, who as it turns out never signed the title over to the guy in OKC. The original owner was able to get in touch with the seller. IN-Guy will sign it over to OKC-Guy, who will get the lien taken care of and the remaining money and title will be exchanged with my friend. At least that's the plan. Keep your fingers crossed.

    My friend wrote a bill of sale and the guy did sign it. No license plate though.

    If it were me (I take that back, I never would have done this) I would find out who the lien holder is and fax (if they'd accept it) or send a notorized copy of the bill of sale to them along with the final payment and have the clear title sent to me, and leave OKC guy completly out of it. He's got his cut. And if the pay-off amount is less than 50% of the purchase price outstanding, so much the better.* Next time maybe he'll do a little research about how to conduct a motor vehicle transaction. I don't know if "possession is really 9/10th of the law" or not, but you have a vehicle, a bill of sale, and neither of you has a title. You're in the cat bird seat. Your move.

    (fwiw, If BMW financial is involved, it's not surprising that no one has a title. They kept mine, 2 years after the bike had been paid off. No biggy)

    If the 50% you owe is LESS than the pay-off, then send Tony over to explain a motor vehicle transaction to him.
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