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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through March 18, 2009 » Title for a used boat « Previous Next »
By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 1:52 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey everyone, I am just curious what some other people have experienced when buying a used boat from a dealer. We boat a VLX in February from a dealer in Oregon,and at the time, the guy who owned it before us didn't have the Title to the boat ready, but according to the shop, it would be in "soon". Normally I wouldn't be too worried about it, but aside from this issue the boat has been in and out of the shop getting fixed since we bought it, and I don't trust the dealers[that is a whole different issue that I will vent about in a later post though]. Back to the title...We have been in contact with the dealer many times asking them where the title is, and when we will get it. All they keep saying is, "oh, we will look into it", and "it should be there soon". it is now June and still no title. I am just curious how long it normally takes for a previous owner to hand over the title to a boat. To me it seems like it should be a pretty easy process...any input will be helpful, thanks
By rick (justcoz5) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 2:26 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
There is no way that a dealership should have sold a boat without having the title in hand. I am pretty sure that car dealerships don't do this.

I would call them and let them know they have 48 hours to get this ironed out, otherwise they can expect a letter from your lawyer. If you have to, pay a lawyer 300 bucks to write a letter for you. It is amazing what a lawyer letterhead at the top of a piece of paper can do.

The way you are talking sounds like you paid cash for the boat and didn't take out a loan. Only do the following if you didn't take out a loan. If you did take out a loan then I don't understand why your lender isn't all over the dealership about the title. If you did take out a loan, start complaining to your lender about it. With the way boat sales are going right now, the last thing a dealer would want is for a lender to blackball them.

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 2:34 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Yeah, we did take out a loan for this boat through our local bank. I tried contacting the dealer this morning and havn't heard back yet. So you are sayig to contact our bank and let them know that we havn't gotten a title for it yet?
By Brett Yates (polarbill) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 2:37 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Jeff, if you took out a "boat loan" then the bank is going to want the title. I am surprised they haven't been calling you or the dealer about this.

Is the boat up and running better now?

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 2:41 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey brett, Nope, boat is still in the shop for that v-drive issue. Luckily the weather in this state has sucked ass since its been in the shop..supposedly it'll be done this week...i hope!

And in terms of the loan, now that I think of it, i believe we termed it as a home loan because my mom had a better interest rate than if my brother and I were to do a boat loan...so, that might cause a problem...

By Brett Yates (polarbill) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 3:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
That is why the bank isn't after the titles. They are using equity in the house as collateral. Unfortunately this means it is your responsibility to get the titles and do all the Title work. I would do everything you can to get the titles. Are you still missing the boat and trailer?
By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 3:31 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
yeah, I figured as much. We will be all over this tho and get it figured out soon...what do you mean am i missing the boat and trailer?
By Brett Yates (polarbill) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 3:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Sorry, boat and trailer title. I forgot that part. Just wondering if you have either of them.
By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 3:51 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
no, we dont have either
By michael z (absoluteboarder) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 4:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
.....what about registration papers....I bought my boat in the states and brought it to canada without titles. Still dont have them 8 months later....but dont need them. Everyone was happy with the indiana state registration papers and bill of sale. The boat is now registered completely in my name ...all without titles.
By Ken Land (bulletlines) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 4:57 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
In my opinion the dealership has had a reasonable amount of time to get the title. "Reasonable amount of time" is the wording that I would use when talking with them any further: the owner or GM of that dealership will be fairly certain that you have started speaking with an attorney.

If they are a true dealership, then they have a dealer license for their particular state. Once a business has a state license, the state dictates how a business can conduct business, or there are fines and penalties.. I'm sure selling a boat without proper title is a fine and or penalty; There is probably at least a specified period in which a dealer has to have title for a sold vehicle (boat). Some states do not title boats, but I would assume the state that you purchased the boat in does since you are asking for it. I would find out what their dealer number is, and then call the state agency that handles vehicle dealers to file a complaint. Then put up a blog about your experience with that dealership (title it with dealer name and the city it is in; maybe even add "wakeboard" to the title), search engines will pick it up quick at the top of the searches for that dealer name and city, and then make the general manager aware of your blog. Be sure you have the GM or owner Google their business name and city of their dealership, so he can see that this situation is very visible; this should light a fire under their AS*, Anything else will cost you much more time and money.

Important- If you decide to make a blog post on your experience with that dealership, be sure everything you write is factual, or you can be sued for liable. If you state something that is not factual be sure to start the sentence as "it is your opinion or you feel" blah blah blah (then write the un-factual bash).


(Message edited by bulletlines on June 09, 2008)

By rick (justcoz5) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 6:55 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
This is very disturbing Jeff, and you need to get this taken care of asap.

Look at it this way, whoever has the title could call up the cops and say you stole their boat. Obviously they wouldn't charge you with theft or anything, but the point being is that you really don't even own that boat until that title is in your hand.

All that stuff about the blog mentioned in the post above is a good idea, but only as a last resort. Personally I think having a lawyer write a letter would be much easier. If you want to do it on a budget tell us what the name of the dealership is. Then send them an email with a link to this post and say this is only the beginning. I mean you could be a real thorn in their side during a season where they should be selling boats. You could stand off their property and tell potential customers what you are going through. If you cost them one boat sale that is already way more damage to them then getting you the stinking title would be.

I mean you could threaten to call the cops on them, and claim they stole your money without providing you with a title. There are all kinds of things that you can do to be a thorn in their side. Like calling them 5 times a day. My top priority would be to get that title though. You may even call up your bank and see if they would help you with it, or you insurance company that is insuring the boat because I don't know if you can insure the boat without the title.

Please let us know what dealership it is though regardless, because this shows that they care very little about their customers after they purchase a boat.

By Scott (chilidog) on Monday, June 09, 2008 - 7:18 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I bought a Repo'd boat from a used car dealer off craigslist and didn't get title for about 6 months. The bank lost the trailer title and at the auction this mishap held up them releasing the boat title because it has to be a package deal, in the long run I had to go meet up with the seller at the auction then go to DMV together and get the transfer done, it was a major PITA, I think legally the dealer has to process the paperwork within 90 days or they pay some late fees, which my dealer had to do for our boat. You can't go to dmv w/o that title and if the reg is expired you'll have some explaining to do to the popo as to whose boat it is, so i made a copy of my bill of sale and the original boat receipt from previous purchasing owner and my temp trailer reg given to me from the dealer and just carried all that until I got my stickers and reg paperwork, like I said bought boat in late november, got my blue 09 stickers and title in May. Dealer said in 30 years of selling repo'd and auctioned cars this was the first time the bank ever lost a title and had to go through all this,

It at one point around month 4 I was so frustrated it made me wish I would have just paid more for a boat from a private party who would have to have all their together to sell the boat, but now I'm glad I got a good deal and it all worked out

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 8:56 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
thank you all for the info and insight

rick - the dealer is bridgecity watersports. They have contacted us back and again have said they thought this had been taken care of. I don't want to dog them if it really isn't their fault, but like i said in the original post, everything we have experienced from this shop has been negative. and this is just topping the scale for us. according to them, it's the previous owner who is slacking on getting the title sent out. but that is why i started this thread, because i wasn't exactly sure how the transfer of the title is supposed to work.

By meathead (meathead65) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 9:04 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Was the boat a trade in that the dealer had taken in? If so, they were probably trying to float the payoff on it as long as possible. We have a dealer here in Sac (since bankrupted) that would take used stuff on trade, but avoid sending the payoff to the original title holder's bank as long as possible...sometimes they would even start to send in monthly payments on the original loan to keep the float going as long as possible. Needless to say, the game was up when the guys who traded stuff in started getting calls 3 or 5 months down the road, saying they were late on their payments. These poor guys had traded the boat in months ago, but the shady dealer guys were playing games with the payoff. Not good.

Not saying this is your situation, but it is a possibility. The dealer stalling you saying they will "look into it" is a red flag...if they processed the title and DMV work properly, they should be diligent in finding out who has made the mistake. If in fact they themselves are running the stall job, they have no incentive to speed things up.

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 9:13 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
as far as i know, the boat we bought was traded in by the previous owner, and he purchased a new one. But that is just what they told us, I don't know the validity of them saying that. but i guess it is a possibility. seems pretty shady for a dealer to do that. so you're saying, if that is the case, we wouldn't be screwed, but the previous owner would be? did i get that right?
By meathead (meathead65) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 9:20 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
If the dealer is playing the game like I layed it out, you are somewhat safe, in that you have a signed bill of sale. The previous owner's credit is going to take a hit if they go late on his loan, or don't pay it off before late payments start hitting. Either way, if you are dealing with a dealer who is doing shaky stuff, life won't be easy.
By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 9:26 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
ok, thanks for that insight. The impression i got from them about the previous owner was that this guy does a lot of business with this dealer[of course thats just what they implied to us]. part of me wants to believe that, and the other part doesn't, simply because of the other issues we have dealt with from them. but they keep telling us that they are waiting on the previous owner to get the title transfered over. We have been in contact with them numerous times and i am hoping by the end of this week there is some resolution. i guess time will tell
By Scott (chilidog) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 12:15 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
With my situation, which could be similar to yours, it was stated that this had to happen;

the bank who held title on the repo has to transfer title to the dealer before the dealer can do anything for you, so it has to go from prev. owner titleship to dealertitleship then to you, so if the guy didn't get them the title, he should have not got paid, but probably did so they could move the new boat or whatever, hoping they got his paperwork before they sold the boat you got.

SO your dealer could be truthful, but its highly inconvenient to you, especially if your registration is expired,

I'm no lawyer but I believe a dealer can only sell a vehicle that can be registered by the purchaser. So if it goes past a certain time period (90 days???) then I think you could sue them for breach of contract and demand your money back and give them the boat back, but then you are back to square one and boatless when you already got the one you want. i feel your pain, just become an extremely annoying bug in their ear and if it comes to it bring up the fact that they sold you a vehicle you cannot register and what they can do about it...I am a nonconfrontational guy and hated having to call my dealer back about every two weeks for 6 months but eventually he got it done.

The worst part is you can't fdirectly talk to the guy who has the title unless you know him, I could never talk to the bank or auction because theuy don't have a retail license, but after pushing hard enough I eventually got the right person at the auction to tell me the same thing my dealer was telling me, which didn't help much but being patient helped because i, like you, was getting pretty pissed and boating season is upon us

By Tim M. (fast355) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 8:59 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

Feel free to contact me at howellmooney@comcast.net

I will give you my phone number there... Lots of possibilities going on here. Some good(accurate) advice was given here, but you need to tackle this head on.

I'm a multi franchise dealer with 18 yrs experience. I can discuss and help you nail down where the issue is.

You need to get this handled immediately.

Specifically: Boat gets repo'ed (previous poster), you have absolutely no recourse, you are on the hook for the loan no matter what.

Email me.

By debra (sabrina41) on Tuesday, June 10, 2008 - 10:24 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
the dealer you are referring to in oregon
regularly 'floats' loans and does not pay them off,causing credit issues for the people who trade them in, as well as persons such as yourself
trying to obtain the title you should rightfully have in your possession within 30 days, by law. i speak from experience and knowledge of this situation - you will get the title -eventually - but you will probably have make daily calls to get it. hang in there - keep pressing them.
good luck.

By Tim M. (fast355) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 4:07 am:    Edit Post Delete Post

It sound like Debra, (sabrina41) above, has been on the other end of this same situation with them.

This makes your situation more dire. Dealers who "float" the payoff do not generally do so by choice. They are experiencing a cash flow problem(ie. NO CASH!). They do not have sufficient cash available for operations.

Kinda backs up the idea that they may NEVER pay off that trade, good intentions or not... Huge red flag!!

By debra (sabrina41) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 8:15 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
You know what they say - the squeaky wheel gets
the oil - and yes - twice in this situation w/same
dealer - so keep pressing them everyday - you have a bill of sale - so the issue just becomes
the legality of ownership if the dealership runs
themselves into the ground. FYI - you can call the department of justice - State of Oregon and
file a complaint - may make you feel better, but
keep calling the dealer as well. And, you can
file complaint with the Oregon Marine Board and
the DMV for Oregon. Marine Board #503-378-8587,
DMV Title division is 503-945-5400.

By Brett Yates (polarbill) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 8:30 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Jeff, sounds like you really need to take care of this. With the tough times in the business that probably is a very real possibility that Bridge City can't pay their bills. We have seen a couple dealers go out of business or sell out in Seattle in the last year.

It also sounds like if anybody knows someone in the Portland area and looking for a boat to look for other options besides Bridge City.

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 9:36 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Thank you all for the input. Much Appreciated. My brother talked to the owner of the dealer yesterday, and supposedly they will be sending the title out to us ASAP. we'll see if that happens, and be all over it if it doesn't.
I definitely have some harsh words for this dealer that I will make public on this site as soon as our one year warranty is up on our engine. At this point, i don't want to burn any bridges with them and risk not getting future issues paid for. But I can honestly say to anyone thinking about purchasing a boat from this shop, to not do it. It's not worth going through the hassle and money issues we have dealt with.

By tom fischer (tomfish) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 3:14 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
get that title, quick. If they did not pay off the other loan it could get repo'd and you are stuck holding the bag. Ask them for proof that the prvious loan/owner was paid in full for the boat. If they won't prove it to you it has not been paid off. I just bought a boat from Montana and it took about 4 weeks to get the title from the DMV.
By debra (sabrina41) on Wednesday, June 11, 2008 - 4:36 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Better yet, get them to show you the account is closed, then the titles will be released. No banks will send them to the previous owner unless its paid off, which when paid off automatically closes the account. Keep in mind that the funds have to be moved from one account to another.....

If they just sent a check recently you could still be waiting a while. Its no ones fault but the dealers. The more I think about this one it sounds like the previous owner is just a mail man..... Think about it! He can't get the titles any faster to you, or the dealer unless he drives to the bank who holds them, and picks them up himself..... This is a pretty obvious situation!

By Jeff Fabiani (jboard1) on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 6:35 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Got the title in the mail this weekend!
By James B (slmracer9) on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 2:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
In California the DMV requires a dealer to perfect title to the new owner or lien holder within thirty days of the purchase. I do not know what forms are in Oregon but in Ca a form 262 would get the title transferred to the new owner. There is also a form if the previous owner lost the title. After the thirty day period I would start to worry about the title but I am not sure what Oregon laws are like. As far as the lawyer thing goes, why put additional stress on a dealer that is probably already feeling the stress of this down economy. Give the dealer a reasonable chance to make things right and then pursue that path if need be. It would be nice to have that dealer around to service your boat!!!! The way recreation dealers seem to be going out of business, maybe the profits aren't what we once thought??? Just my $.02

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