View Full Version : How are you guys handling transactions on boats with liens on them?

09-27-2010, 02:39 PM
So what I'm looking for are ideas on how to make sure I'm getting what I'm paying for. If buy from a dealer it's all pretty easy. But, when buying from private parties what are you guys doing to make sure you are getting the goods.

IE, if there is a lien on the boat and you know the seller needs the cash to pay off the lien before you can get your hands on the title what measures are you taking to ensure the boat is really thiers and you're not going to get taken to the cleaners on this deal.

I've ask for the number to the loan officer at the bank that holds the lien and made it clear I would need to speak with them inregards to the sell. But really, the bank has no authority to make that deal. I'm just trying to find a way to protect my $50k.

09-27-2010, 07:45 PM
I have a boat for sale and what i hope, happens, is the buyer go to my credit union, with me, i pay off the loan.. then buyer knows boat is paid off, with a bill of sale, you should be good.. the title can be forwarded??

PA Prostar
09-28-2010, 10:13 AM
You may want to check with a dealer. When I bought mine, although there was no lien on it, I was purchasing across state lines. Very long story short, but they did the paperwork and such for me for a small fee. To me, it was worth the fee to have a little more piece of mind. Again, I'm not sure what they can do for you, but you may want to ask and see if they can help somehow.

09-28-2010, 12:07 PM
I'd talk to the bank and ensure I knew what needed to be done with the lien to get it paid off. Then I'd pay that portion to the bank to ensure it does get paid, otherwise if the person needs cash you have no assurances that once you pay him he'll pay the bank. I'd have a detailed contract to ensure everything is in writing on what's going to happen so there would be no question later down the road

09-28-2010, 12:56 PM
Easiest way is have your bank deal directly with their bank, whether you're paying cash or taking out a loan yourself.
If you both live in the same locale, then just going to the bank with the owner is the easiest way. If you hand them the money and they clear the lein, you're good.
In my case last yr, the PO had a loan out on the boat. He lived 500mi away (and I never met him), had his buddy deliver the boat to me and his bank was not local to either of us, so I worked it this way......
After being very confident that he was not mis-representing the boat (many conversations and pictures), I agreed to buy it. He gave his banker my name and my bank's info and I did the same with my banker and had my banker verify loan payoff amount (in my case he owed significantly moer than I was paying, so I requested that he pay down the loan to my purchase price first, and he did).
After delivery/inspection and testing the boat, I phoned my bank to release the funds to his bank and pay off the loan, with the documentation being handled by my bank.
Worked well that way, everyone was secure in the transaction because neutral parties (banks) were handling the money. The only risk in the deal was his, in that he could have had the boat delivered 500mi away and then I refused to buy it, leaving him with an unsold boat 9hrs drive away, but he accepted that risk since his delivery driver, buddy, was coming back thru the same route a couple weeks later and I offered to garage the boat if I found it unacceptable.