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 12-13-2005, 14:13 Post: 120981
StephenR



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 Let The Buyer Beware

This is somewhat difficult to talk about but if it helps someone else out then so be it. Shortly after the purchase of our hobby farm I started looking for a tractor. I'm not one to rush into a major purchase and I do a lot of research, which is what brought me to Tractor Point. 2 years ago I found what was a great deal on a 1999 TC33D New Holland ($8500). It had 1050hrs on it and was well used. The owner told me he was in the repossession business and he would buy tractors from the bank at a good price, use them for a while and then sell them.

It didn't have a serial number and reason given was, the loan defaulter would remove it so the bank wouldn't be able to make a positive ID. I thought, "makes sense and why would this guy lie"? He had 50+ acres, nice house, nice out buildings with more toys inside them.

Well 2 months ago I get a call from a local police officer saying that I bought a stolen tractor! I had to forfeit the tractor with no compensation. The guy was busted because of a fight with his old lady who turned him in. He had $300,000 worth of stolen vehicles on his property and had sold about 15 other stolen tractors. My only hope is that when the trial comes about the judge orders restitution.

When I first bought the tractor, I did try to find a serial number. But New Holland does not put any other numbers on their tractors except for a riveted plate on the transmission that can easily be popped off, even in field work.

I was going to wait until everything came to fruition to post this, but this has been happening a lot lately according to police and it seems some posters have been asking about this too. So the old adage is still true today, "Let the buyer beware".

P.S. Here in Pennsylvania. Any vehicle (even tractors) will be confiscated if the serial or VIN number has been tampered with or removed.






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 12-13-2005, 14:58 Post: 120985
Murf

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 Let The Buyer Beware

That is most unfortunate, but I hope you have not given up and have at the very least consulted a lawyer.

Without a serial number they would have a really tough time saying that tractor was THE stolen unit they were looking for. Besides which in most jurisdictions there is protection for the innocent purchasers (you did get a bill of sale, and pay for it, right?) of stolen property. After all, possession is 9/10ths of the law.

Also, investigate that "Any vehicle (even tractors) will be confiscated if the serial or VIN number has been tampered with or removed." it usually ONLY applies to motor vehicles, ie cars & trucks.

Several years back I had a trailer stolen, it was recovered some time later, I was insured so it belonged to my insurance company not me. The police couldn't seize it because the guy who had it had kept a copy of the advertisment and cancelled cheque he paid for it with. The insurance company told the guy if he paid them $250 they would sign it over to him, he accepted and paid.

Best of luck.






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 12-13-2005, 15:06 Post: 120986
yooperpete



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 Let The Buyer Beware

That is a tough one. I agree with Murf, how can they prove it was one of the stolen tractors. If you have a bill of sale, you purchased it in good faith. Definitely get a lawyer and fight this to the bitter end.






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 12-13-2005, 15:36 Post: 120990
StephenR



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 Let The Buyer Beware

Well if possession is 9/10 of the law, I lose. They came and took it. I paid with a certified bank check (I guess the guy couldn't trust me, too many crooks out there). I did talk to a lawyer and he said wait to see if a judge orders restitution. The previous owner identified it with various markings and he bought it back from the insurance company.






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 12-13-2005, 15:46 Post: 120992
Billy

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 Let The Buyer Beware

Sorry to hear of your bad luck but...

I was told, by a state trooper, that tractors have a hidden identification number.

No serial number is a good sign it is stolen. If you buy a stolen tractor and get a Bill of Sale, the only thing the Bill of Sale will do is keep you out of jail. It still belongs to the rightful owner.






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 12-13-2005, 18:58 Post: 121009
kwschumm



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 Let The Buyer Beware

Sorry to see one of the good guys get caught up in a deal like this. A good reminder to all. Hopefully the law will grind it out and your loss will be made right.






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 12-13-2005, 20:29 Post: 121012
StephenR



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 Let The Buyer Beware

"I was told, by a state trooper, that tractors have a hidden identification number."

That's what the state trooper told me too. But three hours later, 2 state troopers left with no identifying serial number. They said the transmission was changed, meaning there could have been a number there. The original owner did know certain things about it, like beauty marks on their wife I guess.

I appreciate the condolences. What's tough is that it's looking like a winter that I've hoped for and now I don't have a tractor. :^( I guess I have to live vicariously through you guys.






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 12-14-2005, 22:51 Post: 121096
44trxfun



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 Let The Buyer Beware

Sorry about your situation. I can't imagine how pissed I'd be (well actually I can imagine that). Thanks for sharing your story though, I'm sure you'll help at least one person on here be more careful. Good luck to you.






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 12-15-2005, 10:18 Post: 121105
kthompson



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 Let The Buyer Beware

Stephen,
I know a person here who is awating court for being a seller like you dwelt with. He had his own over the road trucks and it seemed, he branched out into merchandise such as you got hit with and also building material. There is no victimless crime.
You also need to talk with your accountant. It may be a tax deduction for you. However, you may have to file a police report or suit to make your claim.
kt






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 12-21-2005, 20:59 Post: 121523
Carldarnell



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 Let The Buyer Beware

Man, that's a bummer. I bought my tractor used from a friend and could find only an engine ser. #. I called NorTrac and asked where it is located and he told me that it is supposed to be at the bottom of the left fender but they didn't always stamp them. Mine isn't stamped so I recorded the engine number. I think I will stamp my name and my own number on it and record that. Small tractors, Bobcats and similar equipment are easy pickin's. I thought about hiding the key but all they have to do is kick the shed door in, open the big door, jump the starter with a screwdriver and load up.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Website Operations Howto Forum

Thread 120981 Filter by Poster:
44trxfun 1 | Billy 1 | Carldarnell 1 | Iowafun 1 | kthompson 2 | kwschumm 1 | Murf 1 | StephenR 3 | yooperpete 1 |




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