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Seller won't give lien release

I bought a car from my Nephew. He lives in Oregon I live in Nevada. He put a lien on the car and I made monthly payments. I paid off the car and he sent me a bill off sale along with the title. The title doesn’t have any more room to write on it and my Nephew is the last name on the title. I went to DMV and they said I need a notarized lien release. I have been trying to get him to send me one and he hasn’t. Its been over a year, he refuses to answer me. I even sent him the correct form. I understand it is a breech of contract. But he is family even though he is dumb and lazy. And how could I do that anyways when we are in different states? I just want to get a new car and need to get rid of this one first, since I am using a parking garage daily. Any ideas on this situation would be appreciated…

This isn’t a car problem. It’s a legal problem. Perhaps a lawyer could help you.


What about this idea? Sign the title & deliver the car & title back to him, then inform the DMV he’s the new owner.

Mr. Mountainbike is correct. Not only a legal problem but a family problem and no one here can help. You need to contact his parents or someone who can get his attention.


Really bad idea. He gets car back and keeps the money the OP paid.


This isn’t helpful, but I’ll say it, anyways

This story shows why you should NEVER do any kind of business with family members

Don’t sell cars to friends or relatives, either. It’s the easiest way to sour a relationship

But I’m beating a dead horse, because we’ve talked about this plenty of times on this website


So what? All you’re doing is teaching him that it’s OK to screw people. I vote it’s the responsibility of older relatives not to stand idly by while the family’s kids turn into turds.

Besides, he’s causing you hardship. Why should you suffer just because he’s family, especially since you upheld your end of the bargain.

He put a lien on the car? Hmm, so I can sell a car to someone on payments and I have a lien so they can’t sell the title without my release?

I’d guess that must be possible to do in most states. Otherwise how would you secure your loan? Banks & car dealerships certainly do that as routine practice. It must be possible for an individual to secure their loan to the seller that way too.

All a lien release is is a post card or single sheet of paper releasing the lien on the car. I dunno, sometimes you just have to bend the rules a little unless you want to drive up to Oregon. I’ve never heard of a notorized lien release though. That’s stupid so try a different office.

I bought a car once from a girl whose husband had taken off and she was just trying to keep the house payments up. The car was in his name but her friend worked at the DMV. The title transfer was no problem among friends and its been 30 years now and have never heard anything back. Not totally proper? Maybe, but sometimes you just take the bull by the horns. I had notories that worked for me. $50 and a rubber stamp and you’re a notorie. Got a friend that wants to be one? Banks have them free and most insurance agents are. “My nephew sent me this lien release but he didn’t have it notorized in Oregon, the goof. Any way you can help me so I can get the car traded in?” Dealerships have notories too.

Where were your payments going, to a financial institution or your nephew?

I’d contact the financial institution for some help.
I’d also try the Oregon DMV and possibly law enforcement.

I’d having to think that you’re not the first person having trouble obtaining a release.

I went through this exact scenario a few years back. I took out a small loan against my second car and paid back the loan in a few weeks. The loan company did not send a release of title to me so I went to my attorney and he gave me a letter to take to the office manager. In my state, it’s a clear case of fraud if a title release is not produced within 72 hours after a loan is paid off. I gave her the letter, she read it and then reached into desk drawer and pulled out a book of title releases. She filled out the top release and signed it and then handed it to me. Sometimes…you just have to take the bull by the horns or cow in my case. Your nephew has committed a fraud which is illegal in all 50 states.

Why would he want to do that?

Have you tried making it as easy as possible for him? Maybe send him a lien release that is filled out that he just needs to sign and notary. Also include a SASE for return postage.

Here’s what the OP said in the top post

OP: “I just want to get a new car and need to get rid of this one first, since I am using a parking garage daily.”

My suggestion solves the OP’s stated problem.

You can’t be serious.

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Get rid of the car does not mean giving it away without any monetary return.

last car I bought had a security interest listed on title. says bank xyz. and I got a lien release from seller. who is listed as lien holder on this title from OP?

I read a story about a fellow so angry at the girlfriend who dumped him he bought a car in her name then parked it at an expensive airport parking lot and abandoned it.

One can do business with family members as long as one realizes it isn’t business - that is, accept that the borrowed lawnmower or money or car may never be returned, or may be destroyed, or paid for… There are legal methods to cancel liens; lien-holders die or disappear or refuse to coöperate. Perhaps has advice.

The lien notice will be on the title. When you receive a lien release, you just go down to DMV and pay the $10 or so and they’ll issue a new title without the lien recorded on the title. I always do that just to have a copy of a clean title. Takes all the issues away when time to trade.