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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hola Lotus Community,

Longtime lurker (over 3 years) here, but I hope to be writing a more thorough post in the coming weeks once I actually purchase and take possession of a 2007 Exige S.

As it is, I'm looking at one tomorrow here in Southern California, from a private party seller, who happens to owe more on the vehicle than he and I have discussed exchanging should the vehicle meet the description and my expectations (which I think it will quite easily).

I am planning on purchasing with a bank check or cashier's check, not using any financing on my end.

What is the standard protocol for transferring title in CA and clearing the lienholder from the title document?

I don't believe the seller will have this cleared prior to our exchange, and I'm thinking that we'll have to both go to the seller's financing institution and get them paid off using my purchase money. Seems like a bit of a hassle.

What have others gone through on similar private party + bank lienholder transactions?
 

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I have purchased several cars this way. It's just like you said, go to the seller's financial institution with the cashier's check for the amount you guys agree on for the car. I'd confirm with the bank that the seller does indeed have a loan there and confirm how much they owe - they can give you a 10 day payoff quote or something like that. I'd make the check payable to the financial institution/bank. The seller must have enough funds to pay the difference if he/she is under water. Once the bank gets the money they will release the lien and will give the seller the title that he/she signs over to you. If the bank doesn't have a paper copy, then the title will be mailed to the seller, and then when they get it they need to give it to sign it over to you. I'd also fill out a Bill of Sale form REG135 from the DMV and have him/her sign it.

Good Luck
 

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I have purchased several cars this way. It's just like you said, go to the seller's financial institution with the cashier's check for the amount you guys agree on for the car. I'd confirm with the bank that the seller does indeed have a loan there and confirm how much they owe - they can give you a 10 day payoff quote or something like that. I'd make the check payable to the financial institution/bank. The seller must have enough funds to pay the difference if he/she is under water. Once the bank gets the money they will release the lien and will give the seller the title that he/she signs over to you. If the bank doesn't have a paper copy, then the title will be mailed to the seller, and then when they get it they need to give it to sign it over to you. I'd also fill out a Bill of Sale form REG135 from the DMV and have him/her sign it.

Good Luck
One additional suggestion re having the cashier's check made out to the bank: have it made out to the bank OR (not AND) YOU. That way, if you get to settlement and something with the deal is awry, you can easily get your money back because the check is made out to XXX OR You. If it is just made out to the bank, you are SOL if the deal goes south, because that check is payable only to that party, and you've already forked over the money on your end to buy that check (unlike writing a personal check).

Also, lots of folks wonder why there is a wait time these days for a cashier's/bank check to clear...after all, you've already turned cash/confirmed funds over to buy it.

BUT, these days cashier's and bank checks are among the most counterfeited negotiables out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks much for the quick replies!

Go to the seller's bank with the seller, give them the cashiers check, they'll sign the title over to you once the check clears.
I'm hoping that it is this simple and such.

If the bank doesn't have a paper copy, then the title will be mailed to the seller, and then when they get it they need to give it to sign it over to you.
And from this point of the bank mailing the seller the cleared title, then it would just be a matter of "trust" in the seller to provide the signed over title to me as the purchaser? I don't have any reason not to trust the seller, mind you, it's just a big purchase to rely on faith that it will happen.

One additional suggestion re having the cashier's check made out to the bank: have it made out to the bank OR (not AND) YOU. That way, if you get to settlement and something with the deal is awry, you can easily get your money back because the check is made out to XXX OR You. If it is just made out to the bank, you are SOL if the deal goes south, because that check is payable only to that party, and you've already forked over the money on your end to buy that check (unlike writing a personal check).
Hadn't considered this, appreciate the good idea. Will do.
 

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One additional suggestion re having the cashier's check made out to the bank: have it made out to the bank OR (not AND) YOU. That way, if you get to settlement and something with the deal is awry, you can easily get your money back because the check is made out to XXX OR You. If it is just made out to the bank, you are SOL if the deal goes south, because that check is payable only to that party, and you've already forked over the money on your end to buy that check (unlike writing a personal check).

Also, lots of folks wonder why there is a wait time these days for a cashier's/bank check to clear...after all, you've already turned cash/confirmed funds over to buy it.

BUT, these days cashier's and bank checks are among the most counterfeited negotiables out there.
In the past when I have had a cashiers or bank check and i did not use it, all I did was go back to my bank, they wrote on it "not used for intended purpose" and I got my money right back.
 
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