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Mechanics lien? Storage lien? What do I do?

Round Lake, IL |

I got a car from a guy and he told me that he had lost the title. Come to find out he never had the title and the loan is old enough that its at its third collection agency. I understand that I could sue the guy I got the car from but he has 0 money and that still does not solve the car issue. I have had possession of the car for over 14 months and the lien holders know this. They told me they would not be seeking to repo the car. What can I do? Mechanics lien? Storage lien?
P.S. I'm in Illinois

Attorney Answers 4

  1. I assume that the collection company is not asking you to repay the loan. As far as title is concerned, there are hoops you will need to jump through, but you can probably get a duplicate title for the car if the Secretary of State is convinced that the true owner cannot be found. That is the real question, namely, is the true owner going to show up some day and demand the car? I do not think either a mechanic's lien or a storage lien are applicable, but if the idea is that you were going to find a way to assert a formal ownership interest, I give you high marks for creative thinking. I think you are going to have to go the distance on this, or forget about and hope the original owner does, too.

    Answering this question does not set up a attorney-client relationship between us. My comments do not constitute legal advice. If you would like to pursue representation, please contact me.

  2. First thing, you need to demonstrate that you are the current owner, obtain a duplicate title. Question - how have you registered the vehicle and insured the vehicle up until this time without the title in your possession?

    Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the nature of general business advice relating to generic questions that might be raised. The use of this site is not intended to form an attorney client relationship of any kind. The reader is advised that every situation is different and you should always consult in person with a licensed attorney for the particular jurisdiction in question when your legal rights may be effected.

  3. If you have had it for 14 months, how did you get new plates?

    Do you know who owns the car? If you do, you could contact them, perhaps through an attorney to shield your identity, if they will turn over the title for some nominal fee. If the guy who did this to you has no money, then suing him is worthless. If you can't get the title, maybe you should just get a new car and chalk this up as a lesson learned. IF someone "lost" their title, before you buy their car (or boat or trailer or anything with a title), have them get a new one from the title bureau. It isn't that expensive and then you know what you bought.

    IF YOU FOUND THIS ANSWER HELPFUL PLEASE MARK IT SO. The answers provided by R. Russell O’Rourke, Attorney-at-Law as a free informational service only. Without thoroughly reviewing your case neither I nor any other attorney can give you a complete answer upon which you could or should rely. Your reading of this or any of my answers does not create an attorney client relationship between us. Legal cases are often very fact specific and need a qualified attorney to properly review ALL of your materials and fully discuss your case with you before you decide the right course of action to take. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY IN PERSON who has specific expertise in the area of law you are asking about.

  4. You should go to the Secretary of State with all documentation pertaining to the transaction, including from the lienholder, especially if the lienholder is releasing its claim. The Secretary of State would then be able to assist you in determining what you would have to do to perfect the title in your name.

    This answer is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be nor should it be considered the providing of legal advice.

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