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Discussion Starter #1
Did some searching, but still was unable to come up with a good solution...
I figured I'd get some good advice from this lot.

I'm looking to buy my first bike (600rr) from a private seller. Seller has not yet paid off the bike in full, and so does not have the title.

What is the best way to handle the transaction so that I don't get screwed?

Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions!
 

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go to his bank with him and pay it off. Write a contract and have it noterized on site at that bank. Have him sign the title to you with witnesses at the bank.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, both for the quick response, and the sound advice. I like the idea of the witness and the contract.

I should have mentioned that I live in SoCal, and the leinholder (dealership) is in NorCal.
 

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Thanks, both for the quick response, and the sound advice. I like the idea of the witness and the contract.

I should have mentioned that I live in SoCal, and the leinholder (dealership) is in NorCal.
The bank actualy owns the bike, not the dealership. Where is the seller located?
 

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go to his bank with him and pay it off. Write a contract and have it noterized on site at that bank. Have him sign the title to you with witnesses at the bank.
:+1: This is exactly what I would do.
 

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:+1: This is exactly what I would do.
I totally agree!
The only times our schedules meet is late evening. But by then just about every bank I know of is closed.

The bank actualy owns the bike, not the dealership. Where is the seller located?
a good 30 miles away from me.
 

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Take the contract somewhere to get it notarized.

All it has to say is that he must provide you with clear title within xxx days or else....

Then record the contract, and execute it at your leisure.
 

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Take the contract somewhere to get it notarized.

All it has to say is that he must provide you with clear title within xxx days or else....

Then record the contract, and execute it at your leisure.
Great idea!

How long do you suppose it would take him to receive the title? I have no clue since all my previous purchases have had title in hand.
 

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About a half hour. The bank just needs to write up a 1 sentence document on letterhead. It's called a "lien release". Banks do it all the time.
 

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Great idea!

How long do you suppose it would take him to receive the title? I have no clue since all my previous purchases have had title in hand.
Generally giving a 2 week window would be a good idea. I've purchased a few honda financed bikes (GE Money Bank?) where the titles are located at the head office... Once the bike is paid for they process the request (remove the lean) and mail the title to the owner. It generally takes a week+ from payment to have the title and release paperwork in hand.
 

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Your best bet is to find a bike that doesn't have a lien on it. There are thousands of bikes for sale on CL. Why do you need that one? There are half a dozen ways for you to get screwed on this deal. What does he owe on the bike? Chances are he owes more than the bike is worth. Nfw I would attempt a deal like this unless it was a local bank and we could march in together, pay off the loan, and I could walk out with the title. Whatever you do, DO NOT give him the money on his promise that he will pay off the loan and send you the title when he gets it from the bank. That is a sure-fire way to get ass-raped.

All that being said, a 600RR is not a great starter bike. If this is your first bike you may want to consider something a little more tame. Buy a well-used SV-650. Ride if for six months. Sell it for the same price, then get an RR.
 

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I just sold my wifes bike in a similar situation. All we did was go to the guys bank, because it was local, and had a contract written up that we would pay off the difference of what was owed and then send him the title within 30 days. The bank notarized it and then we just waited for the bank to send us the title. That part is a long story because the bank screwed up the title, but we did get it about a month later and then signed it over to the new owner. If you are kind of scared about this just draw up a contract, Google is your friend for finding one, and take it to a local lawyer and have them look at it. Most should do that for free, or a very small fee.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks to everyone for the sound advice! I knew this was the right place to post my question.

I ended up passing on the deal. Seller was making it too hard to schedule a time, making me think there was more information he didn't want to share.
I didn't want to be another tally on the scoreboard of people getting screwed.

I found a 600rr a buddy of mine was selling.
Picked it up, and am falling in love with riding.

Next step: MSF course.
 

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Just to emphasize the key points I see posted:

1.) He cannot sell you a bike he doesn't own, the bank needs to be involved
2.) If it's not on paper it doesn't exist, a contract protects you (legally)
3.) Why do the paperwork drill if you do not have to? The guys still paying a lien, so either he's getting a good price or you are...but, it's not likely to be both.

ETA:
Almost in time to be relevent...so close...
 

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Your best bet is to find a bike that doesn't have a lien on it. There are thousands of bikes for sale on CL. Why do you need that one? There are half a dozen ways for you to get screwed on this deal. What does he owe on the bike? Chances are he owes more than the bike is worth. Nfw I would attempt a deal like this unless it was a local bank and we could march in together, pay off the loan, and I could walk out with the title. Whatever you do, DO NOT give him the money on his promise that he will pay off the loan and send you the title when he gets it from the bank. That is a sure-fire way to get ass-raped.

All that being said, a 600RR is not a great starter bike. If this is your first bike you may want to consider something a little more tame. Buy a well-used SV-650. Ride if for six months. Sell it for the same price, then get an RR.
Advice like this ultimately hurts us all. If people avoided buying bikes and cars with liens on them, the bottom would drop out of the resale market. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself when buying a used bike with a lien on it, and there are very few reasons not to do it.

Here's how I'd handle it if you have a bank that's not local:

First, verify that the seller actually owns the bike. Ask him for his registration paperwork and a recent statement on his loan, so you can see that the vin matches the paperwork and that he's not in default on the bike.

Then, insist on an escrow company handling the transaction. It'll cost you a few bucks (between $50-200 depending on your market), but it's well worth it for the safeguards. They'll send the payoff to the bank, and hold any funds in excess of the payoff, so the seller has no motivation to screw you. When he gets the title in the mail, he takes it to the escrow company and they release the funds to him.

Using these two steps will make buying a vehicle with a lien on it much easier and safer.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Advice like this ultimately hurts us all. If people avoided buying bikes and cars with liens on them, the bottom would drop out of the resale market. There are plenty of ways to protect yourself when buying a used bike with a lien on it, and there are very few reasons not to do it.

Here's how I'd handle it if you have a bank that's not local:

First, verify that the seller actually owns the bike. Ask him for his registration paperwork and a recent statement on his loan, so you can see that the vin matches the paperwork and that he's not in default on the bike.

Then, insist on an escrow company handling the transaction. It'll cost you a few bucks (between $50-200 depending on your market), but it's well worth it for the safeguards. They'll send the payoff to the bank, and hold any funds in excess of the payoff, so the seller has no motivation to screw you. When he gets the title in the mail, he takes it to the escrow company and they release the funds to him.

Using these two steps will make buying a vehicle with a lien on it much easier and safer.

Amen brother!
 
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