Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: New Berlin, WI, USA
Re: What would you do?
The problem could be caused by any number of things. First, the state could be slow in processing title transfers, or the dealer's gofer didn't take the correct paperwork to the DMV in order to get the title transferred.
Second, there could be a problem clearing off a lein from the previous owner.
Third, the bike could be a buy-back unit from a place like MMI that routinely uses bikes for teaching tech ed student, then re-sells them to a dealer.
Fourth, there could be some dealer-caused slight of hand.
If your buddy used a lender to finance the purchase, he should contact the lender to explain the problem because the lender holds an interest in the bike and also wants your buddy to get title.
If your buddy didn't use a lender (paid cash) he should take his paperwork to a DMV office and ask that the VIN be checked on the DMV computers to show who is the current owner. The DMV can also tell him if the bike ever had a 'wrecked' title.
If the registered owner isn't your buddy, (per DMV check) and he has proof of ownership (contract, cancelled check, etc.) then he should contact an attorney to discuss his rights.
Don't threaten the delaer with a lawsuit until all facts are known and your buddy has spoken with an attorney. The threat of a lawsuit can bollox up the works if the dealer has made an honest error.
If however, there is evidence of fraud or deciet, then your buddy needs to take all necessary steps to fully recover his costs, or alternatively to get the title if he wants to keep the bike.
In some states the owner of a vehicle can take it to the local police department, explain the circumstances, and the PD will run the VIN to ascertain whether the bike was stolen.
Inside my 60 year old body is a 35 year old brain wondering what the hell happened.
2005 Suzuki Burgman