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selling a car - is this a scam?

Sorry, this is sort of off topic but hopefully some of you would have some input.

I have a VW GTI for sale that I have posted on a couple different VW forums. I have rarely driven it since getting my 911. Anywho, I have an interested party who claims he'll come and pick it up next weekend.

Here's the issue: He says in order to get a loan he needs me to fax a copy of the my title to his credit union with their name typed in the botton as new lien holder; at which point they would disburse the money to him and he would come and get the car and real title, take it back to his state and get it titled in his name with his credit union's lien on it.

Something here just doesn't sit well with me. Sounds like a scam to me, but I tend to get a little paranoid about these kind of things. Does this sound legit?

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Brendon

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Old 02-24-2007, 09:32 AM
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Dont do anything until you have the money. If he wants the car he will find a way.
Old 02-24-2007, 09:35 AM
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That's a complete crock. Tell him to get bent.
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Old 02-24-2007, 09:42 AM
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I would get the name of the Credit Union and the agent's phone # he is working with and make a call. You need to be comfortable with this transaction.
I gave the PO of my 911 all this information so he could call my Credit Union's loan officer and talk to her directly so he felt at ease with everything.
His Credit Union justs wants to know if he is really spending his loan $'s on a car and not at the table in Vegas!

Jerry
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Last edited by jhubs; 02-24-2007 at 01:20 PM..
Old 02-24-2007, 10:05 AM
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That's actually not unusual at all. Most credit unions, banks, or whoever is financing it for him will want a copy of the title so they can check for existing liens. He can't do anything with just a copy anyway. My 18 year old son just bought his first car (a '79 SC, by the way), on his first car loan, through my credit union. They required the same thing of him. They will probably require a milage declaration as well, so you might as well fax one of those too.
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:07 AM
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Jerry is spot on.

Personally, I would just go with the new buyer to the bank and handle the transaction in person! I did something like this several years ago. I guess back then, people had a bit more common sense, and would never make such a ridiculous request. Go in person, and there should be no question!
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Old 02-24-2007, 10:09 AM
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Lets say hypotheticaly, the VW that Brendons trying to sell is still being financed by the bank. If this is the case the bank has the original title,
the owner only has the registration (at least in Florida).

I think it would be difficult to to get the bank to make a copy and add
someone elses name on it.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:18 PM
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I call BS on this, at least the explanation. No credit union or bank requires you pre-fill out info on a title prior to the sale. They have their legal rights established by their credit loan contract. They issue the money for the purchase and the title goes to them with a lien on it after they issue the check for the money/purchase not before.
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:40 PM
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EXACTLY!!! "Bookem Dan O" The Banks will do all the paperwork for you and the buyer. Don't send him anything regarding the title!

You will need to find out what you need to do regarding a Bill of Sale and what the buyer will do for a temporary permit to drive it home. Don't give him your plates either. The check or checks from his bank should be made out to you and or your bank.

AND, just for safety sake, unless you are real comfortable with this guy, I would consider having a friend with you when he shows up to look at or buy the car. You may want to even consider meeting him at your bank and have your friend along to give you a ride home...

J
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Old 02-24-2007, 01:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies everybody.

I have no liens on the title myself so transferring it shouldn't be a problem. I just worry that if I fax over a copy authorizing a lien to be put on my title that I have just secured a loan for someone I have never met and when he defaults on the loan, guess who the bank will come after.

I have asked him to provide the contact info for his credit union so I can call them and find out what they actually need. He is in Michigan and I am in Wisconsin so we have never met yet. He said he is ready to come and get it with a tow dolly next weekend. I did suggest he show up in time to meet at my bank. We'll see where this goes...
I really want to sell this car but I don't want to get screwed in the process.
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Old 02-24-2007, 05:33 PM
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I won't bother calling any credit union on this sale. There's no way of telling if the number he gives you is real or not. Again no bank or credit union operates in this manor. The purchase contract and lien is between the buyer and credit union, not you and them. Once you fill out the title with lien info it gives that person rights to your car and ownership with or without payment because you said they have a lien or right to your car unless you prove otherwise. There's no way you can authorize a lien for someone else's purchase. That's done at the time the title is transfered at the DMV after the sale, not before it. The guy buying the car should be doing the leg work on this deal not you. I wouldn't take any type of cashier check or anything other than a check or money order I could take to the bank and get cash for and not against my own account. If the check turns out to be fake it could take weeks to come back to you. I hate to be a skeptic here but too many scams are going out there and the explanation given here is very suspicious sounding.
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Old 02-25-2007, 02:02 PM
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I smell scam.

My state DMV has a section on their web site outlining exactly what you, as the private seller (Oregon's is here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/vehicle/sell.shtml) needs to do to sell a car to another person.

That person's state should also have a web page about buying an out of state vehicle (Oregon's is here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/vehicle/buy.shtml).

I would suspect your states have similar pages.

Do what it says and you should be ok.
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Old 02-25-2007, 03:27 PM
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There is a possibility he may be trying to scam a third party here as well - some other poor unsuspecting person.
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Old 02-25-2007, 06:14 PM
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I called his credit union (after looking them up on the internet to verify the contact info). That part of the story seems legit.

They told me that I need to fax a copy of the title to them showing their name at the bottom so they know it is on the title when he goes to register it. This is to mitigate their fear of the title being issued to him without their lien noted. They assured me there is nothing they can do with copy of the title in Michigan, the original is necessary to actually process the registration. They said the check drafted from the loan would be made payable to only me with the buyer listed as the remitter; it would be a cashier's check. If he tries to stop payment or says he lost it, whatever, they will contact me first.

I'm starting to feel better about this.
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Old 02-26-2007, 01:18 PM
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Each lender will have their own rules. It doesn't smell of scam immediately to me. You did the right thing by calling. If you found the # online, and they're an established legit lender, no worries.

Fwiw-I've used Capitol One and they have some funky requirements. If everyone passed because they were skittish, I would have made a lot fewer purchases.
Old 02-26-2007, 01:41 PM
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Not only was the title (or a copy) for my 911 not filled out or forwarded in such a manner as you describe, it was in fact, turned over to me by the PO at the point of sale, AFTER the bank had already issued the check to me for its purchase. Due to an oversight, I STILL have it in my possession and they have never asked for it, although the insurance company shows them as the lien holder and I get a monthly statement from the bank for the withdrawal of payment. Go figure.
You need to have the buyer and his finance company sort this out for you. Just because they say they do it that way doesn't mean you have to go along with it. Ask your banker to help broker the transaction, it's what they are paid for - to HELP you.
Many times in such transactions I've found the other involved parties have a differing story of 'how it's done'.
I personally would not sell a car to anyone who does not have a verifying document for the cashier's check they intend to turn over with the personal banker's business card containing the office number they may be reached at.
If any buyer says this is just too many hoops to jump through, tell them to choose a lake instead and walk away. Scams abound!

Regards,
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Old 02-26-2007, 02:21 PM
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I sold a Sienna for $19K. I gave the new owner a copy of my title so he could take it to the bank and get the check made out to the name on the title, exactly. Make a copy, put the words "copy" on it and send it along. Good idea to get the name of his loan agent so you can call him/her. Don't take a call, you make it to the number in the yellow pages and ask for the agent by name. You should be pretty safe. Note; keep the insurance in place. If it is stolen you may have some coverage.
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Old 02-26-2007, 03:57 PM
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I'm in the process of selling a 2005 Mazda Tribute. Took it to a woman to see today. She loved it and promptly handed over a deposit. She called the bank to find out what to do next. Their procedure is to send a guarantee letter to me for the money and have me go ahead and transfer the title to her with the bank as lienholder. She will deliver the title to the bank and receive a check with my name. She gets the car when I get the check.

Sounds like different institutions have their own way of doing things.
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Old 02-26-2007, 06:47 PM
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I am feeling pretty comfortable with this now. I plan to do just that, Old Tee, write "copy" on the copy I fax to his lender.

If all goes well with this sale, as of next week I should have the loan for my 911 paid off

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Old 02-26-2007, 07:31 PM
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