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Oppos - Tell me about your experiences buying a car with a lien

Some of you Oppos may remember I mentioned flying 2000 miles from Arizona to Michigan to maybe possibly purchase a vehicle. The possible dealbreaker is that the car has a lien on it.

Now, I’ve bought a car with a lien on it before...but that was a local transaction for a relatively small sum. This is for a much bigger sum on the other side of the country.

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Any of you that may have ever been in a similar situation, how did your purchase turn out? Any tips or tricks I should know before seriously considering something like this?

I spoke with the financial institution that holds car’s lien in Michigan, and although they gave me good information, the information wasn’t very helpful. Essentially, after paying off the lien at a branch, I’d be able to drive home with the car and title in hand (although the title will still show a lien in the Michigan owner’s name), and it would take “10-20 days) to mail a lien release statement...to the Michigan owner. Not to me. They said there’

s “no way” they can mail the lien release to me. So at that point, I have to hope that the seller will then forward that lien release to me. And then hope that the lien release has all the necessary info that the AZ DMV has for them to issue an AZ title to me (I have all that info direct from the DMV).

That, frankly, makes me very nervous. But maybe this is just how these transactions go?

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