Germantown, MD asked in Small Claims and Contracts for Maryland

Q: Buying a car with lien

I want to buy a car - 7,500$. It has lien on it -6,500$. Seller says- when I pay him off, he will pay off his bank, will get the original title (now Bank has the ORIGINAL title and the seller has DUPLICATE title) and will give it to me. So, he will take couple of weeks after I pay him off to give me the original title. How can I trust him? Do you have a solution for me?

I am thinking- to give him a personal check and to write in the memo section that it is for lien payment of the car with this VIN number and a difference in another check. I will also go for notary for my 'bill of sale'. Do you think- it is a safe approach?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You get the payoff amount on his loan, and have your bank issue a cashiers check payable to the sellers auto loan company and put the check in an envelope addressed to the lender, and drop it in the mailbox in each other’s presence. Have a second check issued (or cash) to the seller for the rest of the purchase price. The seller hands you the title signed by him on the back, and you take the title to the MVA together with a bill of sale the two of you sign stating the sale price and the vehicle VIN #.

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