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Hot Rods Pennsylvania Car Without Title

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Montechris, Sep 2, 2020.

  1. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Hey Everyone,

    I'm looking for some thoughts on my current dilemma and thought the HAMB folks might have some experience in this arena.

    I bought a car without a tittle, knowing what I was getting into, it was $450.00 plus the tow of $250.00 so I'm not too deep into this thing.

    I bought the car off a farm, the guy said he had been sitting there for at least 5 years I gave him cash and he gave me a bill of sale. To obtain the title in PA I need to get a court order or track down the original owner. With a couple google searches and a few phone calls I was able to get the number and contacted the guy who holds the current title. The guy with the title is nice enough, agree's that he left his car on this farm (he said about 7 years) and does not have a issue that I have the car except that he said he wanted to make sure that his son did not want the car. To keep things civil and on track I agree that he should ask his son and hinted that I have some money tied up in this car that I will need them to pay me for me to hand it over. So now the son is deciding if he wants the car and told me he would get back to me next week.

    I'm a little concerned and have questions, about this one possible scenario - If they want the car back, and they delay (they already need a week to think about it) and this thing sits at my house for a few weeks - Can I hold their car based on storage fee's? I'm not really looking to collect money off them just to give them less incentive to come get the car. Also, if push come to shove, can the guy who had the car for 7 years hold the car based on no payment?

    To go back to my earlier statement, this is not currently an adverse situation, if these guys give me $700.00 and removes the car immediately, I'm happy to hand over the car.

    Hopefully they don't want the car and have the title for me.

    Any good ideas?
    Chris
     
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,205

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    "Any good ideas?"

    Yeah; be patient and see what happens. You say it is "not currently an adverse situation", which is good. I fail to see that there is anything you can do now without making things worse.

    Sit tight, and get back to us if something goes off the rails.
     
    5window likes this.
  3. Daddy_O
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 438

    Daddy_O
    Member

    If they hold the title, and they want the car, they have legal ownership of the car and can come and get it...with a POPO if required. They owe you nothing, and not legally obgligated to pay you anything.
    You don't have any legal ownership of the vehicle.
    If they want the car, and you want your money back, you'll need to get your money from the guy that took your cash.
     
  4. greybeard360
    Joined: Feb 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,511

    greybeard360
    Member

    All the owners has to do is file a stolen vehicle report to get the car back. Your buying it from the man at the farm doesn't prevent him from doing that because the man at the farm didn't own it. The man at the farm may have been able to file for an abandoned vehicle title if it was there when he bought the property. The owner by all rights doesn't owe you anything.... the man at the farm does. The man at the farm is the one who "stole" the car. You recieved stolen good.

    Too many problems happen when you buy a vehicle without a title and this is one of them.
     
    egads and 5window like this.

  5. You just opened one of these!:eek: can-of-worms.jpg
     
  6. Wrench97
    Joined: Jan 29, 2020
    Posts: 143

    Wrench97

    You can only charge "storage fees" if you are in the automotive business and the owner left the car with you or the owner of the property has it properly posted(no parking for example) and you towed it in which case you have to advertise it in the paper or notify the owner (registered mail) of the fees and then file a mechanics lien against the car to claim the title.
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,510

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This may not come out will unless the son says it isn't worth anything to him. I wouldn't do any thing to it, not even clean the trash out. If the son shows up to look at it you don't want it to look good.
     
    olscrounger likes this.
  8. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,712

    woodiewagon46
    Member
    from New York

    Exactly as graybeard states. The farmer has no legal claim to the vehicle and can not sell something he does not own. You better hope the son of the owner cooperates, if not you will be out your $700. The moral of the story is never purchase a car with out a title and proof of ownership.
     
    lothiandon1940 and olscrounger like this.
  9. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,604

    5window
    Member

    I'm picturing the son holding you up because you have money invested in his car. Of course, he couldn't get off his butt in all the years it sat on the farm, now it can sit at your place and you can't do anything about it. IU hope it all works out and they just sign it over to you but right now, the farmer got you and the kid got you and PA is not an easy state to deal with. Advice- anything you send in to the DMV send through your state representative's office. They will be much less likely to jerk her/him around. Good luck
    Sent from my moto g(6) using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
  10. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    I think you guys are right, I'll just have to hope they let me have the car, which is not that much of a stretch considering they left it untouched for 7 years.

    Two other things in my advantage - I suspect the son lives over a 1000 miles from me so unless he has a local place to store it... it's going to cost him more than it's worth to get it home.

    At the end of the day, from a legal perspective, I think the fact that I contacted them and informed them I have the car will keep me out of any trouble, additionally, I can make make my own abandoned vehicle claim after 20 days.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2020
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  11. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Good point, on the state representative, put them to work.

    To your other points - If they want the car back, I'll give them 5 days to remove the car and then submit a abandoned vehicle claim and have it towed to a real impound where they will pay real money to get it back.

    I think it will work out at the end of the day, but i'm just working through all scenarios in my head.

    -Chris
     
    5window likes this.
  12. Vin-tin
    Joined: Feb 1, 2009
    Posts: 91

    Vin-tin
    Member

    If the son wants the car just go to the state police and show them the bill of sale you got from the farmer. The farmer is in more trouble than you are and the police will have a better chance of getting your money back.
     
    46international and vintage6t like this.
  13. 55 Ford Gasser
    Joined: Jul 7, 2011
    Posts: 529

    55 Ford Gasser
    Member

    I bought a '57 Chevy around about 1997 from someone I sort of knew. He said they never got a title and I figured I would worry about a title later as I was only paying $1000 for it. Roller with no engine, trans, interior, etc. I was planning on building a Gasser. I sold it 6-10 yrs ago to a friend and he had a shop apply for lost title. Just in case anyone claimed it, he took everything off that he could. DMV came back to him with the information and sent letter to name on title as well. Guess what, it was who I had bought it from. I had gotten to know his son real well and the son told me his dad said "Hey, let's go get our '57 back." My friend told his dad they couldn't do that as he (dad) had sold the car to me. Long story short, the guy that bought car from me had to buy the title from the "owner" for $250. Don't like to speak ill of the dead, but I lost all respect for my friend's father and I had thought he was a decent fellow. What he did was totally wrong and he wasn't hurting for money as he was well off.

    Chances are the owners have not seen the car in a very long time, so they probably don't know what condition it is in. It could be missing a lot of parts and not worth messing with. For example, radiator, carburetor, alternator, starter, etc. etc. may have gone missing over the years. And if the tires are flat or missing, they wouldn't be able to tow it. But, they might just be jerks and take it anyway. Oh, and I bet the keys are even missing. If DMV sends owners a letter, they have a certain amount of time to respond. Do you know someone with a Garage (business)? Good luck and be sure to let us know how this plays out. Ron
     
    Gasser 57 likes this.
  14. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,197

    41rodderz
    Member
    from Oregon

    You shot yourself in the big toe , paying someone who never made a legal claim to the car. :oops:
     
    chopped, X-cpe, 5window and 1 other person like this.
  15. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Some Friend!
     
    48fordnut and 55 Ford Gasser like this.
  16. leon bee
    Joined: Mar 15, 2017
    Posts: 519

    leon bee
    Member
    from Arkansas!

    Well, $700 ain't all that much these days. Tell us what the car is so we'll know how much to empathize.
     
    Beanscoot and lothiandon1940 like this.
  17. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,289

    noboD
    Member

    You don't think Penn DOT is not going to look up the serial number to find out who owns it? You may have to sign that you don't know who owns it too. You probably should have checked into this before you spent $700 on it.
     
    lonejacklarry and lothiandon1940 like this.
  18. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,997

    southcross2631
    Member

    Bought a motorcycle in Ky while stationed at Ft. Campbell. It had a Ky title and a Tn. tag which wasn't that uncommon seeing as how half of Ft.Campbell is in Tn. and half is Ky.
    Rode it for a year. Invested a substantial sum of money in it . New Vance& Hines rebuild and transmission updates, paint etc. Got out of the army and moved to Miami, Fl. Walked into the DMV in Miami and left in handcuffs. Turned out it had been stolen from Mo. and had a phony title.
    Had not for my brother being a Dade county cop and him pulling some strings I would have had a hard time proving that the bike was not stolen by me. The guy I got the bike from was now in Germany.
    The guy from Mo. whose bike it was . He was real happy to find out his bike was found and it was in such good shape. He came down and picked it up and I was out all that money.
    Whatever you do don't spend a penny on the vehicle until it's in your name.
     
    Gasser 57, egads and lothiandon1940 like this.
  19. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    I understood the risk going into the deal, I’m working with the current title holder to see if i can get the title so it’s completely legit.
     
  20. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Agree- I’m not rich but I can gamble 700$ once and not loose sleep over it. I’m fairly confident that I’m going to get a title or most of my money back in some capacity.

    In case shit hits the fan i want to be a little elusive about the car for the next few days. It’s not a HAMB car, its a 1972, not a muscle car, rusty as all hell but i thought it was a ok risk at $450.
     
  21. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,331

    The37Kid
    Member

    I'm totally amazed that people just keep titles and know exactly were they are. Bob
     
    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  22. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,018

    gene-koning
    Member

    There was a local guy that was going around buying up all the old performance cars, back in the mid 80s, and parking them on his farm. He bought one of those cars that was converted into a drag racing car from a local guy I know, he can be a bit shady. Anyway about a year later, a couple younger guys I know bought that car, without a title, and I heard they had already put a pretty expensive motor in the car. I went to visit with them, and sure enough, that new motor was a good one.
    Knowing the guy that originally owned the car, I went to his place to see if he still had the title for that car, I told him I was junking it and needed the title. He sold me the title for $20. If he had known the young guys had already put a motor in the car, he would have went over and claimed the car, after they had it strip ready.
    I went over to the young guys and asked them if they knew what would happen if the guy that held the title showed up and claimed the car. After I explained what would happen, they got a little sick looking. I told them it was their lucky day, I happened to be holding the signed title to their drag car. I told them I paid $20 for the title, but I would sell it to them for $25, the extra $5 was for my effort on saving their butts. They didn't have any trouble paying me the extra $5. Neither of those guys have bought a car since then without have a numbers matching title. Lesson learned. Gene
     
  23. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,018

    gene-koning
    Member

    I know where the title is for every vehicle I have, they are in a locked fireproof box. I have a few from vehicles that were in my name that I junked, or cut up for race cars several years ago as well. Gene
     
    egads and gimpyshotrods like this.
  24. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 7,604

    5window
    Member

    Yeah, you may have a friend in Pennsylvania, but they probably don't work for the DMV! :)
     
    High test 63 and 62SY4 like this.
  25. In Pennsylvania getting a court order is not hard if everything is legit,you have PA state police come look at the car they have an officer trained to do this, they look at all VIN including frame numbers ,they then run a nationwide search to verify it is not a stolen vehicle ,if not they give you a letter stating this ,you then go to the county courthouse and file for a hearing with this letter and a letter you write explaining how you obtained the car ,also you will need a signed bill of sale ,the judge will schedule a hearing ask you whatever questions they need too if they feel everything is on the up and up they will give you a court order, you take court order to a notary who also has a special PA form to complete and send with court order to Penn Dot in a couple weeks you get a title
     
  26. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,632

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You live in a state where they are not required for older vehicles. That is not at all true in other states.
     
    egads likes this.
  27. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,632

    gimpyshotrods
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Same here. I live in a state where titles are required, for every single vehicle. Mine too are in a fireproof box, with photocopies stored in another state, just in case.

    These days, I won't buy a car without a title, even for parts. It is not worth the hassle.
     
  28. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

     
  29. Montechris
    Joined: Nov 15, 2004
    Posts: 523

    Montechris
    Member

    Thanks! This is good to know.

    in the event where the title holder does not have the title but is ok releasing the car to me, then I’ll try to have them sign a release statement, have it notarized, and proceed to the court as you said.

    Chris
     
  30. noboD
    Joined: Jan 29, 2004
    Posts: 7,289

    noboD
    Member

    If they had the title in their name and now it's lost it is a lot easier for them to apply for a duplicate title then go through the courts. That can be done same day, then they sign it over to you.
     
    5window likes this.

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