Clearing title on private sale


Old 05-28-13, 03:52 PM
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Location: New England
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Clearing title on private sale

I am trying to purchase a truck on a private sale, but he still owes money to the bank, so does not have a title. I know different states are different, but as I understand it, here in Maine the bank holds the title until the loan is paid.

What are the appropriate steps and sequence for the transfer on cash from me to him and the title from him to me. I'm reluctant to just hand over the money even though he say he will give me the truck while he clears the loan and the title. There has to be an established process for this. Any suggestions?

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Old 05-28-13, 04:07 PM
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Never would I do such a thing in a million years. Go to the bank holding title and ask them how it should be handled.

Lets say you give him the money and he decides to spend "just a little" before he goes and pays the bank? Let's say the "just a little" turns in to too much for him to be able pay the loan. Lets say he denies that was the deal or just skips town or even tells the cops you only "borrowed" the truck and won't return it.

You can't get insurance til you hold title. You can't get plates w/o title. What if there is some issue with the title you don't know about like a lien of some sort?

Bad bad bad idea all around...go to the bank with him.
Old 05-28-13, 04:14 PM
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Contact the bank before hand or have the seller do it to let them know what's going on.
Often time the titles not just sitting in a drawer at the bank and will take a while for them to produce it.
Old 05-28-13, 05:13 PM
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Location: New England
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Hi GG and Joe,
I haven't been through it and didn't know what to say and since I worked hard to get a good price I didn't want to start making the process difficult. But the more I thought about it the worse it got. Him giving me the truck doesn't do anything, the bank owns it.

I'll delay the process if necessary, but the bank is the next step. Just hope it is a local bank or credit union and not some out of state lending institution. But whoever it is, they are the ones we need to talk to.

I always find good answers here, super thanks,
Old 06-28-13, 06:23 AM
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It will simplify the process if the two of you go to the bank holding the title at the same time. This is a three-party transaction.
Old 07-11-13, 06:24 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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That's what I did when I bought my first car... Seller contacted the bank to determine the exact title lien release figure, and I cut a bank check to the bank for that amount and paid him the remainder in cash. Only headache was that the seller's bank didn't want to then notarize his signature on the title release, claiming that they weren't a notary for the public, and his counter-argument was that he wasn't "the public", he was their customer.

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