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Old Yesterday, 06:58 AM   #1
woolsocks OP
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Lien Release Letter and Title Transfer

I am selling a motorcycle and the first potential buyer will be meeting me this weekend. I purchased the bike with cash and a loan. I paid off the loan a few months ago and have a Lien Release Letter from the credit union I financed it through but I never went to the DMV to remove the lien from the title. My plan is to give the original title and lien release letters to the buyer (and make copies from myself) and then when the buyer goes to the DMV they can transfer everything all at once.

See any issues with that?

I live 3 miles away from a DMV office and would be willing to go with the buyer to the DMV and transfer the Title and do any other necessary paperwork with him present.
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Old Yesterday, 07:28 AM   #2
SAC650R
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That should be all he needs. I've bought cars and bikes with lien release letters before, never had a problem.
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Old Yesterday, 07:47 AM   #3
Jim Moore
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I wouldn't touch a bike with paperwork like that. Too many people trying to pull some sort of scam with bikes they haven't paid off. Jimbo's Bike Buying Rule #1: It's gotta have a clean, clear title or I'm not interested. Do yourself a huge favor and get it sorted out before you sell it.
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Old Yesterday, 07:58 AM   #4
RAACCR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
I wouldn't touch a bike with paperwork like that. Too many people trying to pull some sort of scam with bikes they haven't paid off. Jimbo's Bike Buying Rule #1: It's gotta have a clean, clear title or I'm not interested. Do yourself a huge favor and get it sorted out before you sell it.

I'm with you....no way, no how, would I ever fork over money without a clear title in the seller's name. The seller is greatly diminishing the value of his bike by not having a clean unencumbered title.
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Old Yesterday, 07:59 AM   #5
Bronco638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAC650R
That should be all he needs. I've bought cars and bikes with lien release letters before, never had a problem.
+1

Lending Institutions don't issue Lien Releases unless the loan has been satisfied. The new owner will be fine with the Title (showing Lien) and the Lien Release (provided they match).
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Old Yesterday, 08:02 AM   #6
woolsocks OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Moore View Post
I wouldn't touch a bike with paperwork like that. Too many people trying to pull some sort of scam with bikes they haven't paid off. Jimbo's Bike Buying Rule #1: It's gotta have a clean, clear title or I'm not interested. Do yourself a huge favor and get it sorted out before you sell it.
The earliest I can get to the DMV is tomorrow and it will take a few weeks to get a new title back...I'm hoping to sell before then. I guess I'll have to see what happens.
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Old Yesterday, 08:04 AM   #7
woolsocks OP
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Originally Posted by Bronco638 View Post
+1

Lending Institutions don't issue Lien Releases unless the loan has been satisfied. The new owner will be fine with the Title (showing Lien) and the Lien Release (provided they match).
Hopefully that is the case. I'm willing to drive up to the DMV with the buyer and sign over everything in front of the clerk and give them my letters if neccessary.
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Old Yesterday, 08:10 AM   #8
Yossarian™
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Originally Posted by woolsocks View Post
Hopefully that is the case. I'm willing to drive up to the DMV with the buyer and sign over everything in front of the clerk and give them my letters if neccessary.
I'd say, be prepared to do just that; many potential buyers (as noted) won't risk any encumbered title.
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Old Today, 03:47 AM   #9
MN_Smurf
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The title and a notarized lien release are all any buyer needs.....at worst, you might have to accompany the buyer to the DMV and transfer the title there.


However, as noted by other posters, there are some buyers out there that are more anal retentive than others.
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Old Today, 04:09 AM   #10
KirkN
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Yep, from my 'buyer' perspective, you'd have to be offering a screamin' deal for me to take the chance on the paperwork.

Every little thing can, and will, go wrong at the government center. The lady behind the desk will be having a bitchy day, there will be the tiniest smudge on the paperwork, something will happen to screw it all up.

Plus, now you've made it so that in order to mitigate this risk, we have to do the transaction during government working hours - just the same time when I'm working. Come over in the evening? - so sorry, no good....

*edit* - just re-read your original post - you've even mentioned him meeting you this weekend. Sorry, DMV's closed. "Say buddy, why don't you just drive all the way back here AGAIN Monday, and we'll do the paperwork together..."

Nope, you'd have to be offering a killer deal for me to put up with that shit. I'd just keep on scrolling down Craigslist, not giving your item another thought, 'cause whatever it is your selling, there's another one out there just like it without the potential hassles...

Your mileage may vary.
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Old Today, 04:10 AM   #11
KirkN
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Originally Posted by woolsocks View Post
The earliest I can get to the DMV is tomorrow and it will take a few weeks to get a new title back...I'm hoping to sell before then. I guess I'll have to see what happens.
Our DVMs here in Floriduh will let you pay $10 extra, and they'll print out the title for you right then and there. No waiting the 10 days for it to show up in the mail.

Tough call, tough call....
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Old Today, 06:54 AM   #12
Bronco638
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KirkN
...Sorry, DMV's closed...
Not every state is like this. They're open on Saturdays here in IL. Albeit with abbreviated hours (7 AM to Noon).
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Old Today, 07:53 AM   #13
Boatman
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Ive bought and sold with lien releases plenty of times over the years. Selling I fully inform the buyer and give them a photocopy of both the title and the release ahead of time. They can then call the financial institution and verify. In NYS the lien release says right on it the is no need to apply for a new title. As a buyer I request copies ahead of time so I can verify the pay off.

What I will not do anymore is buy a vehicle that the seller hasn't paid off the loan ahead of time and gotten the release. I bought a Sprinter a few years ago the owner still owed on. I talked to the bank ahead of time and was told if the seller and I came in and paid the balance in person they would issue the release/title. They failed to inform me it would be 2 weeks to get the title after that until after I paid them. I ended up with a van I paid for in cash and no paperwork for nearly 3 weeks.
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Old Today, 08:55 AM   #14
woolsocks OP
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I decided to go to the DMV today at lunch. It should cost around $30 to clear the title including an expedited fee which means I will get the title back in 10 days or less. Not really what I would deem “expedited” though. I called the DMV to get info and in the phone prompt the robotic voice mentioned that they were just getting to process title transfer requests from mid-August! Come on, that’s ridiculous…Not sure what it is about Minnesota but everything at the DMV seems to take a minimum of 6 weeks.

$30 to make the sale go smoother and have a buyer be more confident in buying and not trying to get hundreds of dollars off my asking price is worth it to me.
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Old Today, 09:12 AM   #15
SAC650R
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The DMV in MN is super incompetent but that can work in your favor, they don't ask questions about anything which means you can register any kind of bike. All the vehicles I bought with lien releases were registered in MN, by the way. If you have a lien release matching the title, you already have a "clear" title.

Currently my registration is suspended because I didn't provide an engine number, except I did and it's recorded in their system correctly that I did. Also I had a cop pull me over and draw on me once because someone fat-fingered a felon's license number with mine.
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