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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012

    Default Purchasing a Vehicle With an Unpaid Lien

    My question involves vehicle registration or title in the state of: California or Arizona
    About 6 months ago, i purchased a 2008 Polaris Quad that has very little useage and had been in storage for many years. A neighbor had it by the road with a for sale sign on it. She was selling it for her friend who got a better job in a city that is 3 hours away; we live in an agricultural community with lots of places to ride. Before purchasing the quad, the owner told me that I might not be able to register it because she did not know what would happen because the quad was once registered (i think in Arizona) to her exhusband who purchased it using "revolving credit" but he did not pay off the debt. The lady said in her final divorce settlement, the judge ordered her exhusband to pay the remaining balance for the quad, but the judge gave her possession of the quad (i am assuming to do what she wants with it).

    She has no communication with her ex-husband. She offered to give me a copy of her divorce papers to show the judge gave her possession of the quad.

    I have no paperwork on the quad. I would like to begin the process of obtaining a title for it and an off-road sticker through DMV; however, i am worried a problem may arise with the exhusband's failure to pay the credit used to buy the quad. I can ask her to provide me with a notarized statement along with the judge's orders giving her possession. Would this be enough? I live in California, but my drivers license is issued out of ARizona, which is about 10 miles from where i live.

    any advice on how to begin? or should i?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Purchased Polaris Quad W/Knowledge It Wasnt Paid in Full. Now What

    Well you likely have no way to prove you didn't steal the thing. What should have happened is the woman should have obtained the title, and if she couldn't legally sign it over to you. As far as the state registration people go, the divorce property settlement likely means nothing to them. I doubt you can legally title/register this thing even without the credit issue.

    Revolving credit doesn't sound like something that would put a lien on the title, but I suppose it is possible. If there is a lien on it, nothing she can do (divorce or anything else) will remove that lien short of paying it off.

    You should stop breaking the law. If you live in California, you need a California driver's license. It doesn't matter how close to the state line you are.

    What you will likely need is a bonded title:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Purchasing a Vehicle With an Unpaid Lien

    If there's a valid lien on the vehicle, the judge's order won't change the fact that there's a valid lien. The divorce order may give her recourse against her ex- if she was awarded the vehicle free-and-clear and there's a lien.

    For all we know at this point, though, there is no lien. How about finding out if there's actually a problem?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2010

    Default Re: Purchasing a Vehicle With an Unpaid Lien

    I pretty much said the same thing, but the putative seller still doesn't have a title to sign over. I'd very much say there IS a problem. The magnitude is what we are unsure of.

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