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Discussion Starter #1
Well I've decided to sell my Cruze. Love the car but we got the wife a new Terrain and I don't want 2 payments. I have a buyer but heres my question, maybe some of you have dealt with this. The bank says even though it will be paid off in cash after the sale, I still need to wait for the lien to clear and can't hand the title over until I get a letter in the mail.
This seems like a PITA. Anybody else dealt with this? Im in Michigan btw so I have the title at home here. Im thinking of keeping my receipt of payment from the bank and just signing the title over anyways. I can't think of a reason why I'd then get a letter saying they won't release the lien.

Also on a similar note, I can't believe that it's 2015 and there isn't a safe, instant way to pay for a car! According to my bank and google searches, Money Orders, Certified Checks, Cashiers Checks are not good ideas because they can be faked so easily and take days to weeks to clear. PayPal is also not recommended as it doesn't offer any fraud protection to the seller. Basically it came down to me having to awkwardly ask my buyer to carry $13,000 in cash to my bank. There's a glaring opportunity for the next big business opportunity.
 

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Is there a web site (perhaps the Michigan DOT's) where you can check on the lien status? This might gain you a few days over waiting for a letter in the mail.

The reason I say this is because I ran into an "Oops!" moment with the lien on my previous car. I had paid off the loan early and thought everything was fine. When I moved (locally) I decided to send in the title to the Wisconsin DOT so the address on it could be updated and the lien notation removed. When I received the title back the lien notation was still there. I figured maybe because I hadn't crossed it off. Oh well, no big deal (or so I thought).

About a year and a half later I moved (locally) again and decided I'd send in the title to get my address updated once more and THIS time get that pesky lien notation removed. But before doing so I stumbled across a "lien lookup" on the Wisconsin DOT's web site. When I entered the required information, I was shocked to see there was still a lien on my vehicle!

It took me a couple of months to clear this up; it was complicated by the fact that the company from which I took out the loan was no longer in business.

Something to think about.


- Joe
 

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I bought a car from a relative with a lien on it still, I had the bank take care of sending them a check for the car. Once they contacted the owner, they were able to pay off the loan directly with the current owners bank and send the owner a check for the remaining value. All title work and everything was handled by my bank, a few months later I got the title in the mail.
 

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In MD, I went to the Credit Union where I had my car financed, paid it off and they issued me a notarized letter on the spot indicating the lien was released. Gave the title and the letter to the buyer and they went to DMV and registered the car. Not sure how it works in your state.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Him ok thanks for the replies guys. The seller is accompanying me to my bank tomorrow so hopefully they will release the lein then.
 

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It's not that you can't sign the title over to them without the letter, but that they can't title and register the vehicle without the letter. So, it's more for the buyer's sake than the seller's.

How quickly it can all be processed depends on what sort of a bank you have. If it's a local bank where records are kept, decisions made, and transactions processed at the branch level, then they can get you taken care of on the spot. If it's part of a large, national corporation, and if auto loans are processed from a central location, then you have to wait for everything to reach them and process. I know that I have run into situations where they will overnight all of the documents and rush the processing for an additional fee ($50 last time it was quoted to me); otherwise they make you wait for first class mail and the time it takes to get through the mailroom to the appropriate office and process.
 

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Wow, I never realized how good I had it. When I sell a car with a lien at my bank, once they verify funds I can walk out with the title in hand, with a notarized "lien release". Bank wire has always worked well for this. The buyer wires the money into my account, then the bank takes the money out of my account to pay off the loan.
 

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Another new question to ask when getting a loan, are you strictly dealing with your local bank or credit union, or are they going to sell your loan to only God knows who.

If dealing with a local loan institution, can be done instantly, but if sold to some other place, can take quite awhile. You have to get this in writing. Finding more and more ways to screw us.

Pulled this crap on my son, he was very upset on a car loan, but paid it off as quick as he could. Took over two weeks to get the letter. But at least he learned the State of Wisconsin will issue a new title for free to get the lien removed from it.

Ha, taking after his dad now, will only buy his next new vehicle when he has cash to pay for it.

Ha, watching all these car shows on TV where the buyer is waving a stack of hundred dollar bills in the buyers face to get the best deal. Been doing this for years, no fooling around with credit checks, dealer sees that cash in his face and willing to deal.

Also when you realize how long it takes to save that money, makes you a far more careful buyer.
 

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My Chevy dealer happily accepts certified checks and cashier checks. I think they can instantly clear them with a call to the bank.
 

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Dealers don't like when you pay cash for a car. They would rather sell you the financing and make money on the back end.
 
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