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Protecting Buyers From Tractor Liens

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Tim
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2006-02-10          124350


How does the average used tractor buyer protect himself from buying a tractor that may have a finance lien on it? I had never thought about it myself but then when you pay $10K or 20K to a seller for a tractor thinking that you now own it, the question is do you really own. Tractors don't have titles like a car.

I never seen this discussed. Any thoughts on this?

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Protecting Buyers From Tractor Liens

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-02-10          124351


Not the last word, but a few ideas. Ask for the original bill of sale. Run the tractor serial number by the police dept. and manufacturer dealership to see if it was reported stolen. Ask for repair receipts. ....

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Tim
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2006-02-10          124352


A seller could be the original and legitimate owner of the tractor but if he financed it, there may be a lien against the tractor by the finance company.

You the buyer are unaware of this because there's no title that's being held and has to be transferred and there is no "clearinghouse" for UCC liens. The seller could out and out lie about any financing and there is no way to verify it, as I understand. The UCC lien is filed on a county basis and could be recorded anywhere if seller has moved.

I'm not a lawyer and was hoping that someone knows how this works. Based upon what I hear you may be taking a big risk to buy used equipment from private owners.

I'm looking for someone who knows enough to alleviate these concerns about a UCC lien on equipment such as tractors. If I'm overstating this potential problem please correct me. ....

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Protecting Buyers From Tractor Liens

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kwschumm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 5764 NW Oregon
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2006-02-10          124354


Sorry, I was thinking stolen tractors not liens. ....

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Protecting Buyers From Tractor Liens

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6898 Waterville New York
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2006-02-10          124357


Ask for ID and verify with a sales slip with witnessed signiture and I believe at that point, you still more then likely might have to give up your trator if stolen! I'm quite sure if it is financed it still goes back to the signiture on the contract and it's a federal thing! Don't know what happens with the tractor in this case. ....

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Protecting Buyers From Tractor Liens

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2006-02-10          124365


There are a number of UCC search firms that could determine if there is a valid UCC lien filing on the tractor in question. You could ask an attorney to search for you or you could do a search thru a UCC search firm on-line.

UCC liens are filed on the person owning the equipment and not by the equipment itself. In other words, you can't search by a spefic serial number, but by the owner's name. The problem being is that the person you are dealing with may not be the "holder in due course" meaning he may not have a perfected ownership, so if you search his name you will not likely find anything. If you know he is the owner, per a bill of sale from a reputable dealer, then you can reasonably presume he is the rightful owner and if a UCC search shows no perfected liens, you can purchase with reasonable confidence. If the search brings up a lien, you need to make sure the lien is paid before you take possesion.

It's a complicated process and folks not fully understanding UCC law can get burned without professional assistance. You are best to purchase new or used from a reputable dealer, but if you really want to deal with a private party, get professional help....an ounce of prevention....

Good Luck! ....

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denwood
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 542 Quarryville PA
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2006-02-11          124380


I have had 2 dealings with this matter. Both were with factory financing. In one case the buyer I spoke to took his machine to the dealer for repairs and the dealer entered the serial number and found the machine had an unpaid balance. The new owner had a choice, pay again or loose the machine. The second was for a Kubota R410 we were looking at. Owner was bankrupt. After the deal was made, we called Kubota and found the way past due unpaid balance. We informed the seller we were making a check to Kubota and the balance to him. He agreed with much sadness. Personally, I run the serial number with the dealer and if it is clean, I buy. If you want to be safe even after you check, do all repairs yourself or take it for repair to a non dealer mechanic. ....

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2006-02-11          124387


Denwoods point are all well taken and good advice. However if the equipment is financed somewhere else beside a dealer or manufacturer financing, a serial number search will not necessarily show anything. In other words, if a individual obtain private financing say through a bank or finance company you would need to do a search by the persons name as I indicated before. In this case, asking the dealer to do a serial number search would not detect anything.

You need to be very careful to make when you do a private purchase, the tractor is not financed elsewhere.

Good Luck! ....

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Iowafun
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 955 Central Iowa
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2006-02-11          124389


It's all very good info and good points to consider. If you need one more piece of evidence to convince the boss (wife) to go new on a tractor, this may be the key piece of info. ....

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Tim
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2006-02-11          124391


Thanks for the replies as you've all offered lots of insight. The point that I see being made is that it is very difficult if not impossible as a second hand buyer to determine with 100% assuredness whether or not a machine or equipment may be encumbered. It's like trying to prove a negative. I'm hoping but not 100% sure that I'm not caught up in one of these situations. ....

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