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  1. #1
    Member
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    Oct 2013
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    42
    Location
    Atlantic seaboard
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti CK20S HST with KB2465 backhoe

    Default buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Hello All,

    Unlike autos, I believe tractors are generally not registered with one's state/DMV, but please correct me if I'm wrong -- newbie buyer here.

    My question is how can I tell if a (newer) used tractor has no lien on it due to it having been financed? The worry being that the lien would go to the new owner and/or the sale would not be valid. Thanks.

    DA

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2014
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    225
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    2013 John Deere 3032E

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    That's a tricky one, but you are correct, tractors, at least in my state are not registered with the DMV. Boats aren't either, so we see a lot of stolen boats coming into my state because it is never checked. Ask questions, where did you buy it, did you finance it, is there a lien. Call the place where he bought it. If he has the MSO and or title without a lien listed and gives you a signed and notarized bill of sale then that's about all you can do. You might also be able to contact the manufacturer and give them the VIN and check out at least part of his story. Just be careful, people will tell you anything. I got burned on a $15k boat deal once, never again, I trust no one. Sad, but true. There is a lot of scum out there.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    Oct 2013
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    16
    Location
    Williamson, NY
    Tractor
    LS J2030H, Ferris IS3100z

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    I just ran into this issue while looking for a replacement zero turn lawnmower- what I've been told is if you check the serial number of the unit in question with a dealer they can see if it was financed thru the manufacturer(they are the only ones who will finance using the unit as collateral)- also have been told that other financial institutions will not use tractors, mowers, etc. to secure a loan... but will give a personal loan if you are credit worthy- if they do have a personal loan it does not impact your ownership as long as you have a receipt from the previous owner showing your payment in kind-- Hope I helped-

  4. #4
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    5,413
    Location
    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Doesn't such a state record the unit's lien though? Isn't that simply a matter of finding which governmental department tracks those liens? There's a record of the lien, just got to find out if if recorded at the county level or state level and by which department. Just because there isn't a "title" doesn't mean there aren't records. They exist.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Jan 2014
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    225
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    2013 John Deere 3032E

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Quote Originally Posted by bp fick View Post
    Doesn't such a state record the unit's lien though? Isn't that simply a matter of finding which governmental department tracks those liens? There's a record of the lien, just got to find out if if recorded at the county level or state level and by which department. Just because there isn't a "title" doesn't mean there aren't records. They exist.
    Maybe in Michigan, but not in Kansas. Only time a lien is recorded is through the DMV, Our DMV doesn't register boats, consequently no lien record. Same is true for ATV's, dirt bikes, tractors, really anything that doesn't have a tag on it is not registered and not recorded.

  6. #6
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Usually the lien holder will file paperwork with either the state, county, or town. You may be able to go to the town offices or court house to find out if their is a lien. You could check to see if there are ways to search on-line. Or you could hire a lawyer to do the search for you. If you are investing lots of money to buy a tractor a lawyer may be the way to go if you don't feel comfortable trusting the seller. You could check with the local police, they can do a search of the vin number to see if has been reported stolen.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2008
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    1,135
    Location
    Barrington, NH
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT230

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    New Hampshire doesn't register tractors; unless you intend to regularly drive them on the roads and are seeking a license plate for one.

  8. #8
    Elite Member sandman2234's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    4,091
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Tractor
    JD2555

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kcflhrc View Post
    Maybe in Michigan, but not in Kansas. Only time a lien is recorded is through the DMV, Our DMV doesn't register boats, consequently no lien record. Same is true for ATV's, dirt bikes, tractors, really anything that doesn't have a tag on it is not registered and not recorded.
    A UCC filing is a document signed by both parties that is filed with State and County or Parrish Recorders that provides a public record of lien through the Uniform Commercial Code, (UCC). The UCC was enacted in all 50 states in 1952, as a means of uniformity for contract litigation involving multiple locations.

    Read more: What Is UCC Filing? | eHow
    I am pretty sure a tractor will have a lien posted on it using a UCC and title or not, if the lienholder fills out the proper paperwork, there will be problems if they re-sell it without proper lien being satisfied. Do yourself a favor if you're not sure, and chase down the proper authorities and double check, no... triple check to make sure because they can come after it if the lien isn't satisfied.
    David from jax
    A serious accident is one that money won't fix.

  9. #9
    Super Member bp fick's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    5,413
    Location
    Beaver Creek, Northern Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    Not to beat a dead horse, but recording a lien on a non-highway vehicle or piece of equipment is not necessarily the same as whether or not the state actually issues a title or issues a registration for the vehicle itself.

    Some states may actually print a title (or paperless version), others a registration or both. Other states/counties might still record a lien, however, using a different method and that UCC lien is indeed recorded. Michigan doesn't issue a title, nor a registration, but still tracks and records all liens on such non-highway equipment. This requires the seller to clear that lien and places the onus on a potential buyer to check to see whether or not a lien is recorded on the equipment.
    BP


    "Some chickens, some gardens and a Kubota."

  10. #10
    New Member robdefm's Avatar
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    Oct 2013
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    Location
    Dade City,Florida
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    Tym,John Deer,New Holland

    Default Re: buying used -- how to know if "title" is "clear"?

    hello folks,I would suggest checking to see if a UCC is listed with the state.It means uniform commercial code,and even if you think your loan isn't using the financed item as collateral--it is.While reading this I went and goggled UCC, and there they were,hope this helps,Rob

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