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Old 10-01-2013, 12:19 AM   #1
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When buying from a private seller, how does one confirm seller's full ownership?

I would think that unknown liens would be a major risk. And because property liens are usually recorded on a county by county basis, visiting the local courthouse is just a start.

I assume the 50 states still differ on whether a title is required for registering an RV. And if someone has had an RV off the roads for many years, perhaps there hasn't been any state registration in years (and/or the last registration was in some other state where it had originally come from under a previous owners.)

So I'm wondering how buyers of RVs from private sellers go about covering all of the bases. (I'm in Texas and plan to buy in Texas, in case any Texans here can give me some comments from past experience.) I will probably buy from a dealer because of the convenience of big inventory but I've been watching the private seller ads also and have noticed some interesting deals.

[Of course, Bills of Sale are easy to generate and who is to say that the same seller hasn't collected downpayments from two buyers who are coming back on the weekend to pick up their RV? But I figure that those kinds of risks will always exist and unless one works through escrow agents and complex transfer methods, there's always some risks like these.]

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Old 10-01-2013, 07:32 AM   #2
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I would ask to see the clear title and release of lien from the lien holder. Then try contacting the finance company to see if it is actually free and clear. Problem is they may no ttalk to you without the former customers approval.


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Old 10-01-2013, 07:45 AM   #3
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Have the seller sign a lien release statement. Your bank should be able to help with the form. That should help with any unrecorded liens, but insure you get a clear title. State laws vary greatly, but if you have a title with no lien restrictions then you are in a strong position against claims.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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In Washington State the title will have any liens on it. If there is a lien from a lender the seller/owner will not have a title in hand. Mine shows me as the owner and title holder of my MH. When I sold my previous MH and boat I signed the title, filled out a bill of sale, and sent in a notice of sale to the state.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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In Texas, if the seller has the title in hand, then MOST LIKELY, the title is clear. Most lending institutions keep the hard title in their files until the lien is paid. If there had ever been a lien, it will be noted on the title front; if released, there will be a line for the lienholder to have signed off.
You are correct to be mindful of fraud, but not very likely if you work with a reputable dealer.
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:38 PM   #6
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In Ohio and MI, In,Az,Nv,Nm and Wa. if they have the hard copy of the tittle then chances are its free and clear them are the only states that I'm 100% sure on .

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