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Purchasing used equipment, titles, liens, and ownership?

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Speedpup, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Speedpup

    Speedpup Senior Member

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    I bought my equipment (Lulls) years ago 85, 86, 87, 92. I bought them from dealers so I was fairly confident. They were new or less than 200 hr.

    So now I can't afford new and or don't want a payment. Can't decide on that answer so if I am thinking it I have my answer. My question is how do I know the machine has a clear title / ownership by the seller. I see some machines on E-bay or other sites but what paper work would I look for to protect my ownership rights?

    I have 5 Lulls 1966, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1992 but if I sold them I doubt I have any paper work to give anyone. I never had them registered with DMV. My mother died it 1992 (office manager):angel so I have no clue where the paper work is but I do know it is still with me in the archives:badidea :beatsme

    thanks for your input!:drinkup
     
  2. DPete

    DPete Senior Member

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    A UCC or" Uniform comercial code" search will show any leins for your state. Lending institutions generaly check for a clear title prior to lending on equipment. You can check with your bank or do a google on "UCC search" to get more info. The bill of sale is proof of ownership but it is smart to check for leins by machine make, model and serial #. If the machine has been listed as collateral for an existing line of credit or loan by a previous owner there will be UCC filing against it until that owner requests a UCC lien release. Hope this helps you, things can get messy if the machine has been in more than one state.
     
  3. Speedpup

    Speedpup Senior Member

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    more than likely it would be from another state than my home state of NY. I know here if it is over 20 years I just need to fill out a affadavit atestting to my ownership. Guess I need to ask NY DMV also. Thanks for your help.
     
  4. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    This has been one of my hot button issues for years. A few years ago I did a job for an insurance company concerning a Deere excavator that was stolen. It was eventually found in another state in the possession of a mid sized construction company along with a number of other stolen machines. So the loses to the public include the original owners of the stolen equipment, the insurance companies that paid off the claims, the legitimate companies bidding against the holder of the stolen equipment that didn't pay capital costs, the government entities that did business with the holder of the stolen equipment when they were caught and couldn't complete their contracts and finally the tax payers that had to pay for the rebidding to finish the original work of the stolen machine holder. There were hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in this fiasco.

    Only equipment that is licensed to drive on the highway has a requirement for a title. All other equipment is sold on a bill of sale. There is no government tracking of ownership and the only way you can prove your ownership is to provide your documentation of the sale. Since there is no identification, only your descriptions to the police can be used to pick it out on a truck crossing a state port of entry.

    UCCs though are only filed when machines are collateralised and a security interest is held by the lending institution. So if you see a deal on Craig's list, how are you going to know whether or not the item is stolen? If the machine is paid for, there will be no UCC. There are lists of stolen equipment that you can find on the web. Machinery Trader has a spot on the their web site for one example. But those are voluntary listings that only have entries made after the machine is gone. That machine could be stolen and not listed.

    So let's say someone drives up to your job site in the middle of the night and loads up your excavator and then proceeds to drive to another state. Tell me how you are going to claim it from the people in possession. Without a Bill of Sale you might be able to use your current or old UCC paperwork to show ownership of your equipment if that paper work has a serial number and description. Many times I have seen descriptions on papers showing one each, John Deere 310 backhoe, and that was the end of the description.

    You can try to protect yourself when you purchase the machine by writing out a Bill of Sale with a complete description of the machine and all its attachments, the name and address of the seller, your complete name and address, the amount paid and whether or not the payment was received or any financing terms. The problem though is that if the machine was stolen, the bill of sale only shows that for your part you did not have criminal intent and would most likely be absolved in the theft. On the other hand the rightful owner can still claim that machine from you and you would be out that money.

    Some kind of registration by some kind of independant entity would be helpful in the recovery of machines and even more so in the prevention of sales of stolen machinery. Everytime I bring this up though I'm shouted down by people claiming they can't afford to pay another fee to another bureaucrat. I can understand that sentiment to a point but if you go back to my intial paragraph you can see the costs are a lot more substantial should you become the target of a thief.
     
  5. AtlasRob

    AtlasRob Senior Member

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    This is a major problem that finally the authorities in the UK are starting to get to grips with.
    Because the industry is inclined to buy and sell with the shake of the hand and insurance companies do not require owners to list individual machines, serial numbers etc, many insurance companies pay out on stolen plant and then end up providing cover for the same item for the new owner who sometimes doesnt know it is stolen. :beatsme
    In the UK we have TER ( www.ter-europe.org) which is a plant register and they have persons that work with the police to actively identify stolen plant, and in the past year or so, CESAR (www.datatag.co.uk) which put an identification plate on the machine along with several tiny transponders that our police and port authorities have scanners to detect and read.
    Both these and other companies have databases of stolen plant that you can contact with the serial number of a piece of plant to see if it is reported as stolen.
    A JCB 3CX recently checked by an East European buyer at the request of his credit supplier was found to have been stolen several years earlier in UK and had been through a dealer twice, bought and then traded in a year later by a customer then traded again and again without anybody doing a few simple checks :beatsme
     
  6. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Everyone grumbles about auctions but machines coming through auctions are supposed to be free from liens and incombrances, not always true but helpful in the event of a stolen machine, my bank tells me to have paperwork to back it up, if its coming from a dealer or auction you have someone who you can go back on to collect or attempt to collect money from and go after for selling stolen equipment if someone would knock on your door and demand a piece you own back because its stolen, if you buy from an individual then good luck, my bankers tell me to not buy from any individual or sell directly to any individual either I've gotten hooked on the selling end not from stolen machines but damaged machines and the new owner put a stop payment on the check after they totaled the machine out in an accident, a total paperwork and legal nightmare, if your selling it to an individual then its cash, green money, certified check, or wire transfer and after the funds are accounted for documentation of the time and date it left along with a serial number of the machine being sold and have the buyers signature on the receit along with yours, the more people who sign something the better. I guess I'd opt to trade at a dealer or buy and sell through an auction and after the all above mentioned was done for checking on titles pay for the item. I tend to be conservative and keep my machines a long time, it saves headaches in the long run over ownership and such things

    As for titles of vehicles thats not always the case, I bought a trailer a few years back used from a dealer in hew hampshire and the trailer was originally made in another state and back then they had no titles only a bill of sale and I had a devil of a time getting it liscened back in my state, theres a lot of states that don't require titles to liscense stuff so thats not always the case anyhow for used.

    I've personally know of at least three cases of stolen and swapped serial numbers on equipment scams going around and people who got taken with stuff that was stolen and ended up without machines because someone stole the serial number tag off their combine or documented the wrong serial number on the paperwork when they purchased the machine new, I always look to compare the serial number on any paperwork so that it matches exactly the serial number on the machine or vin on the vehicle. I'd never buy any machine that had a serial number that couldn't be read or was damaged in any way, those are a nightmare waiting to happen, I also keep records of all the machines and their serial numbers in case of damage or theft, none of which I've ever needed as of yet but I've got records of. The percentage of stolen machines floating around on auction yards and job sites is a lot higher than most realize and most are in the hands of people who have no idea it was ever stolen and have owned them for years. The amount that are ever recovered are about slim to none, the computer age and lojack has helped a lot but even those are not a secure system, like I told the dealer braggging them up, let me guess the thieves are not smart enough to ever figure out how to get around those systems? My motto is, if it has value someone will steal it and thats why you have insurance, to help out somewhat in the case of it getting stolen or destroyed and also take out a loan on it, they will do a lot of the paperwork for you and if it turns out stolen later on down the road you have another entity to go after because they didn't do their job, its not always a bad thing to have a lot of people or entities involved with a purchase, the more people or business's involved the less likely you'll get taken in the end and if so theres a lot of people responsible and have to answer questions also. Its a subject not talked about but it happens everyday and theres a lot of people out there with experience if you can get them to talk and tell you what where when and how to avoid the problems, excellent post and comments.
     
  7. Auctioneerhere

    Auctioneerhere Well-Known Member

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    If you run an UCC run it on the business name & personal name. If you see a mis spelling, more than one name on a sign or business card run them all.

    I generally will ask who do you bank with, & start talking with a banker. Most keep pretty close tabs on their customers borrowing habits.

    Deal with reputable Auctioneer & Dealers. In the long run it is a better value.
     
  8. DirtHauler

    DirtHauler Senior Member

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    Does CAT keep records of stolen machines? They use to (maybe still do) require a serial number when ordering parts. I figured that was to keep people with stolen machines from buying parts/find people with stolen machines.
     
  9. davidd

    davidd Well-Known Member

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    Excellent thread going here. ONe additional thing. Cashiers check are now counterfited. If in doubt check it out before loading the "plant".

    Bythe way planet rob. I guess "plant" is british for a machine.

    David d