Transferring a car titile from someones "Brother"


#1

So, i live in Seattle Washington. I went to check out a car to buy this evening and was told beforehand that the person selling the car is the brother of who owns it. The person who’s name is on the title moved away and his brother is selling the car for him. After doing a little bit of looking into it it doesn’t look like its legal unless perhaps the owner signed the title before leaving town? Does this sound like “curbstoning”? Any advice would be welcomed!


#2

If the title (release of interest) has been signed by the legal owner why wouldn’t it be a legal transaction. The legal or registered owner need not be present to compete the sale. All you need to do is present the signed title and bill of sale to the licensing agency to transfer the car to your name.


#3

Wont it seem odd when i go to transfer the title and the name on the bill of sale is different than the name on the title?


#4

You will need some way to know that the person that signs the title and bill of sale is either the owner or legally able to sign for the owner. Just being a “someone’s brother” doesn’t cut it.


#5

Curbstoning? Sounds a little like fraud to me. I always walk away from this big “red flag” when it comes to car deals.


#6

+1 to missileman’s comment.

Used cars are like commuter buses.
If you miss one, there will be another one coming along shortly.
I have never been able to understand why people retain a compulsion to buy a used car when there is even one red flag.


#7

VDC, you are correct. But the ones with red flags will sell at some point, probably with a reduced price. Therefore, if you see a red flag, you should see a corresponding price. The difficulty is in calculating how much the price should drop.

So, bottom line, the red flag even with a reduced price is a gamble. As are almost all used car purchases.


#8

OK - Red flag selling for alleged brother - worried about sale being curb stoning - asking complete strangers on the web who don’t know where he lives or the DMV rules instead of the DMV - As stated there are used car for sale all over the place .


#9

I have never shown bill of sale at dmv. Signed title? That’s it. State wants their fee for excise tax. Which totally bites. U state sale price. If it is reasonable, not $2000 for 2 yr old cadillac, u pay and go.


#10

“U state sale price. If it is reasonable, not $2000 for 2 yr old cadillac, u pay and go.”

Back in 1971, when I bought my brand-new Dodge Charger, I registered it in my father’s name.
Three years later, we transferred title to my name, for a price of $1.00, and about 8 months later I received a document from the state’s treasury department as a result of the abnormally-low sale price.

All I had to do was to sign a document in front of a notary, attesting to the father-to-son sale, and I was good to go. I never heard another word from the treasury folks after submitting that affidavit.

So, it is possible that a sale price might be questioned–after the title transfer.


#11

I had a friend with a questionable sale, he paid for the car after a successful title transfer at the dmv.


#12

The only way that would work here in OK is if the brother signed off on the title and had it notarized when they signed off on it.
I have no idea how liens are handled where you live but a lien release is a MUST.

When it comes to selling cars most people have a story. Some stories are true; some are not.


#13

“When it comes to selling cars most people have a story. Some stories are true; some are not.”

…and if the car was advertised on Craig’s List, then most of the stories are not true…

;-))


#14

I wonder what the seller would say if they were asked the name of the brother and his phone number so a quick call could be made…???


#15

@Fro Man
My State Recommends That Both Buyer And Seller Meet At The DVM Or Go To The DMV Together To Transfer A Title, Although It’s Not Required. That Way If There Is A Problem Then The Parties Will Know About It And Find Out How To Resolve It.

I strongly suggest that if you want to buy this particular questionable vehicle that both buyer and seller should definitely appear at the DVM. If the seller balks at this or has excuses then run away fast!
CSA


#16

The only way that would work here in OK is if the brother signed off on the title and had it notarized when they signed off on it.

Nothing needs to be notarized in a sale of a car between 2 private parties in Washington. Suppose I decide to sell my car. I can sign the title, fill out my half of the bill of sale, leave the keys and paperwork on the front porch and go out for a beer. My brother can take money from whoever he pleases, hand over the paperwork after filling in the buyer’s name and sale amount, and the buyer goes to the license agency and titles the car in his name.

This should really be a very simple transaction.


#17

You can check with the DMV but I would think either the title needs to be signed and notorized as the correct signature, or he really should just have a limited power of attorney document for the sale in the absence of his brother. Wouldn’t be the first time a brother sells something for his own benefit while the brother is away.


#18

@asemaster, I’m just saying how it’s done here in OK and in my humble opinion the OK method is a lot, lot safer.
It weeds out the possibility of forgeries and other types of malfeasance as both the person selling the car and buying the car have to produce a valid drivers license before signing off on a title and it has to be done in front of a notary public.
In the OP’s case there are 2 private parties but the 3rd party whose name is on the title is MIA.

Take a signed off title to the DMV here with no notary seal on it and the DMV will tell you to pound sand and not come back until it’s properly notarized or the DMV will notarize it IF the person whose name is on the title is present to sign off on it in front of them.

I’d want the brother’s name, location, and phone number before proceeding one inch further with this deal. If the seller hedges around…
Tell the seller of that car to come down to the DMV and see if they’re cooperative or not.

Curbstoning comes to mind and that can open up a real nasty can of worms.


#19

If your gut is telling you something doesn’t seem right, than something probably isn’t. Keep looking.


#20

I’m just saying how it’s done here in OK and in my humble opinion the OK method is a lot, lot safer.
It weeds out the possibility of forgeries and other types of malfeasance as both the person selling the car and buying the car have to produce a valid drivers license before signing off on a title and it has to be done in front of a notary public.

My gosh, I’d still have every car I’ve ever bought if that were the case. What a ponderous system. No way I’d bother with all that. I sell you a car, I give you the title, I’m done. I’m not going to take time off work (or anything else) to go fill out paperwork I can do online at my convenience.