Jump to content

Title question


Y-JobFan

Recommended Posts

About 25 years ago my wife bought a vintage car (1964 1/2 Mustang).  It was in need of total restoration and has sat in storage ever since.  She recently got the title out and it was not signed by the seller, it has "### Used Cars and Parts % Mr ######"  (#### is last name of the owner).  The used car lot and the owner are LONG LONG gone, he died just a couple years after the car was purchased.  It is a PA title and she lives in PA.  I have her looking for a simple sales receipt as I was pretty sure she had a handwritten one with it.    What are her options if any to correct this mess?

Edited by Y-JobFan (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bring the papers you have to a title transfer shop in PA and they will tell you what is needed. You could also go to PennDOT headquarters in Harrisburg. The worst case is that you'll have to get the title assigned to you in court. You can do this yourself or hire a lawyer. With a lawyer, you will end up spending about $700-800 or so.  I have used Shook Legal successfully in similar cases. 

 

Phil

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Luck! 

 

I bought a project car, only reason I even did so was that it 'came with a title'. Lo and behold the day I went and got it the seller 'forgot' the title at home and was going to mail it to me. For the price the car was worth it if I did nothing else but cut up the sheet metal so no big deal. He did make good on his promise to send me the title but it was a skip. Like the one you have, the current owner never put the car in his name and it was still in the sellers name once removed. I did get it resolved luckily enough.

 

On my current project, all of the vins on the car match but when the title was written there were two digits transposed. Without looking I dont know for fact but its something like a Z where a 2 should be and an 3 instead of an E. Obvious typographical errors. The format that was typed  was never used by Pontiac. When I transferred the title to my name I took pics of all of the vins, brought Pontiac information as well as PHS to use as evidence that it was simply typed in wrong. The girl at the DMV was just about to sign off on the changes then at the last minute figured she better check with her superior. DENIED! Told me I had to get the issuing state to make the corrections. MAINE, which I contacted and they have no records dating back for car. I do have the title in my name still with the bad digits. Kinda up in the air how to get it fixed. I do have some connections in high places, not sure if they can help or not. Also thought about getting in touch with one of the guys that advertises cleaning up titles. Any suggestions would be welcome.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This may not be a good time to deal with DMV for title due to short staff and the virus.  I transferred one at the end of Feb, paid the fee's, have receipt etc and I still have yet to see actual Title.  The DMVs are short staffed and can't even keep up with driver license renewals.  I'd wait a few months.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Restorer32 said:

PA  is a bureaucratic nightmare.  We have a client from France who wanted us to have his cars titled in PA so we could take care of the paperwork. Turns out to title a car in PA you must have proof of PA residence.

Have you considered/explored joint or (legal) proxy ownership choices ?

I've done it (temporarily) on couple of occasions with (European) friends and once with a (European) client who wanted to drive/travel/vacation with  (insured & legally registered) car across the U.S. after the restoration.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A pretty common problem and there is a Common Pleas Court process - the DMV can guide you through it usually (albeit some have no right hand knowing what is going on in the left hand as far as the form and process).   Our County has 3 to 5 go through a week that are messed up (Hamilton County - Cincinnati is a decent sized city).  We also have a user friendly system to allow staff for the car agencies to fix without needing an attorney.  It does take some time though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Brass is Best said:

Always remember if the title is not in your name you do not own the car. The paperwork is the absolute most important thing.

No work should be done on the vehicle until the title is squared away!

  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Y-JobFan said:

About 25 years ago my wife bought a vintage car (1964 1/2 Mustang).  It was in need of total restoration and has sat in storage ever since.  She recently got the title out and it was not signed by the seller...  What are her options if any to correct this mess?

 

Yeah this isn't usually very good, but there may be an out in your case. I don't know if there's a bonded title option in PA, but if there is, then your scenario may be one of the few where getting a bonded title might be worth the effort.

 

Why? Because there is less risk in your case, since you actually have the title that's in the name of the person your wife got it from...which means there's little to no chance that the car was ever stolen. That's usually the risk with a bonded title, and you don't just take on that risk while you own the vehicle...you still have the risk after you sell the car.  In my state (which is also stringent on title stuff) there isn't really a tainted/dubious status to bonded titles for subsequent buyers who purchase the car after the title has been bonded, since it's the original seller who bears the risk. This means the car's value won't be diminished...at least in my state. To understand what a bonded title is, go to your state's DMV website to find out more, specifically about your local  requirements and regulations. Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Too late now, but maybe others can avoid similar problems.

 

I didn't know the final disposition of these two cars I bought, but they were legally transferred into my name and licensed within two weeks of the purchase.

010.thumb.JPG.f7cad353d3e596fb7c7498f2f6111b5a.JPG

016.thumb.JPG.fbcf63b6762b651a0a801c5040e1bd5c.JPG

 

The Lincoln was parted out and literally spread across the world.  The Bug Eye parts were sorted and it was sold as a project.

 

I have a pretty good idea that a lot of people are storing and spending money on cars they have possessed for a long time but never legally owned. It is not in your best interest.

Bernie

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, 60FlatTop said:

they were legally transferred into my name and licensed within two weeks of the purchase

 

I understand titling the Bug eye, but why license either of them? Is it a New York thing?  Here we can part out without title, but maybe if someone later accuses me of selling stolen parts it would be nice to have clear title, but license? That's only for cars on the road here.

 

I do need a title if I sell a whole car to a  "Used Parts Emporium" (Pic-A-Part type junkyard). Parts can be scrapped without a title.

Edited by Frank DuVal (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Frank DuVal said:

I do need a title if I sell a whole car to a  "Used Parts Emporium" (Pic-A-Part type junkyard). 

Around here you need a title to GIVE a car to any junk/salvage yard, unless they are one of those “shady” outfits.

OTOH, I’ve heard there aren’t (around here) many that take just any old/vintage cars (with title) for free, even if you deliver it to them on your dime.
I have friends with a yard specializing in older ‘50s/‘60s cars, but they don’t want any, even for free, because it’s too costly to deal with all necessary bureaucracy involved.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It must be the fickleness of each DMV. Forty three years ago I bought a car in NY, shipped to the state of Washington. It was disassembled and couldn't be driven. I got two NY titles, from the two previous owners, that looked like old IBM punch cards, but without any holes in them and a Bill of Sale. Washington was a guaranteed title state, at the time, and required a State Patrol inspection. At that time I went to the inspection station to explain why I couldn't get the car in for an inspection. A sympathetic officer said he would stop by after work and inspect it. He never showed up, so I tried again, and again no show. So I just bagged it.  

 

I sold the car last December. I had been dreading having to deal with the process, and informed the new owner of the problem. He was undaunted, he really wanted the car. He walked into a licensing agent and an hour later he walked out with a clear title. I know he had to pay the sales tax, that I hadn't paid, as well as his own tax, but we were both relieved that that was all there was to it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, JamesR said:

 

Yeah this isn't usually very good, but there may be an out in your case. I don't know if there's a bonded title option in PA, but if there is, then your scenario may be one of the few where getting a bonded title might be worth the effort.

 

Why? Because there is less risk in your case, since you actually have the title that's in the name of the person your wife got it from...which means there's little to no chance that the car was ever stolen. That's usually the risk with a bonded title, and you don't just take on that risk while you own the vehicle...you still have the risk after you sell the car.  In my state (which is also stringent on title stuff) there isn't really a tainted/dubious status to bonded titles for subsequent buyers who purchase the car after the title has been bonded, since it's the original seller who bears the risk. This means the car's value won't be diminished...at least in my state. To understand what a bonded title is, go to your state's DMV website to find out more, specifically about your local  requirements and regulations. Good luck.

No Bonded Titles in PA.  Closest is a Court Ordered Title which basically requires an attorney,  $700-$1000, and a year's time,  assuming upon investigation the Court deems a new title appropriate.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Lincoln was legally transferred into my name because I didn't know the final disposition.  It was a rust free Texas body and I considered butchering it into a street rod and also offered it for sale complete, as it was. before parting it out.

 

New York is not a title state for older cars. A registration stub is used as proof of ownership. Ownership of a vehicle is an important thing. If you don't legally own the car you process all of the "I thought"'s in the world aren't going to help you out when you need it. I know there are a bunch of hobbyists out there with cars they don't legally own. They have been storing them, spending money in various ways, and ignoring the potential risk. Fine for them. Everything that comes through here is legally mine to use or sell. I made that decision around the same time I decided not to cheat on car sales tax as well.

 

Remember, "I thought" are the two most dangerous words in the English language. Watch what happens right before you hear them next time.

Bernie

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought it was something about New York rules.  Thank's for clarifying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...