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Old 08-30-2012, 05:44 PM   #15
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It seems that large cash transaction under $10,000 are starting to be scrutinized now. Recently made two cash withdrawals for $8500 each and had to sign a form acknowledging that "I was informed that for safety, I should take this money in the form of a cashier's check". Of course, this form, along with my SS # and account # is in the system.
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:54 PM   #16
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I've had a bank issued (house sale closing) cashier's check bounce. I've had several wire transfers deposit funds in my account and funds withdrawn from my account by the issuing bank.

Based on my own first hand experience, I'll never believe any check or wire transfer is safe.

Cash only for me.

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Old 08-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #17
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It's pretty hard to live in a cash only society. I recognize the problems with checks and wire, but you can't get a lot done with cash for large transactions. The only thing worse would be carrying bags of gold dust.

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Old 08-30-2012, 08:21 PM   #18
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It's pretty hard to live in a cash only society. I recognize the problems with checks and wire, but you can't get a lot done with cash for large transactions. The only thing worse would be carrying bags of gold dust.

Gene
Are you suggesting we hire an attorney before making a deal? Any suggestions?
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:05 PM   #19
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I bought and sold used industrial equipment for a couple decades. I always bought and sold for cash. I couldn't make a deal with a stranger in St Paul on a Sunday afternoon with a check. They'd just laugh. I never was cheated nor did I ever cheat anybody with cash. I have no problem reporting to the IRS. Everything's booked and taxed.

I'm especially skeptical of buying vehicles from a dealer. The first thing a failing dealer does is to skip titles . . . that is, to sell a vehicle without paying off the existing loan first. They deliver the vehicle to the buyer and promise to mail the title. BUT the title never comes and never will, because the dealer didn't use the purchase funds to clear the title.

Now, I trade a vehicle, it gets worse. I give them my trade vehicle with a good clear title, and I get their vehicle that is actually owned by GMAC or a bank in another state. My trade is sold, and the dealer pocketed the cash. I'm stuck with a vehicle I can't get a title for, can't license (in my state), can't get a loan on if I want to, and certainly can't sell.

All I can do is sue and all the dealer has to do is file bankruptcy. It's an old story. I've never been hooked on a skip title scam, but I know people who were.

I have one friend who sold a high end motorcycle. He gave the guy the cycle and said he'd send the title when the check cleared. The check never cleared. He's still got the title and a rubber check. Bike's gone.

I bought my trailer from a neighbor who I had never met before. He had the trailer and he had the clear title. I gave him cash and I went home with the trailer and the title. That seems rather clean and easy to me. How can a seller or a buyer get hurt doing that?

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Old 09-03-2012, 02:31 PM   #20
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Are you suggesting we hire an attorney before making a deal? Any suggestions?
No, I'm not suggesting that. What I am saying is that it is difficult to operate in a cash only society, but, as Splitrock says, it can be done. I believe he is a realtor now, so I'm curious how he advises clients to buy houses.

I have sold many vehicles myself as we get better prices for them that way. Generally we ask for cash because we don't know who these people are and we do not let them drive away with our license plates on the vehicle either. You can take a check and ask them to come back for the vehicle when they have plates—sign over the title and make them come back. Hopefully the check will have cleared by then. Don't give them the keys yet. That is cutting it close. Cash can be a problem because newer ones have pretty good resale value and getting more than $10,000 cash can be difficult. Going to the buyer's bank with them is one solution (I've done that too), but if they come from 75 miles away, their bank may be pretty far away too.

I haven't sold a vehicle for 6 1/2 years and I can't remember if I took a check the last time. It was a 6 year old 4Runner and I think I got around $15,000, maybe more. Sometimes you have to size up someone and make a decision. He was from 75 miles away. He was looking for the 4Runner to replace his even older one. His was in excellent shape and few people keep a 10 or more year old vehicle so well. I traded 2 others since because the dealer wanted Toyotas so badly, they gave me within a couple of hundred dollars what I thought I could get myself—advertising would have eaten some of that difference plus my time and aggravation dealing with potential buyers.

In Colorado, dealers have to apply for title on a new vehicle and have a record of delaying—maybe they get to hold the money longer that way, but that problem is not as bad as it was years ago. There's no way around that so far as I know. I did buy a used vehicle 10 years ago from a dealer. It was only a year old and it must have had a loan on it, so they would have to pay off the loan to get the title and sign it over to me. I have forgotten how that got handled.

For a fairly new Airstream, you would have to have or receive 10's of thousands in cash to avoid checks or other negotiable instruments. For an older one, it could be easier. No matter what you do, you could get stiffed. Cash can be counterfeit.

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Old 09-03-2012, 03:06 PM   #21
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Two other points regarding the transfer. 1 - Fill out a bill of sale with your personal info (name, address, phone no.) and buyers personal info as well as identifying info on the vehicle, indicate that the sale is "as is". 2 - As soon as you have gotten your payment notify your motor vehicle division that you no longer own the vehicle. You need to do these things to protect yourself if the buyer has an accident so you won't be included in the liability.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:04 PM   #22
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Hi Gene,

I have a broker's license and have brokered quite a few deals. My license is inactive now. I always advised clients to do business with honest and reliable title companies. Here most sales are closed by the title insurance companies and title insurance is issued at that time. Some times in rural towns the local attorney closes the sale, processes the funds, and issues the HUDs. I haven't personally sold any real estate since 1985 and the cashier's check for that sale bounced. I buy quite a bit. I pay with a good cashier's check. I bought my Yukon XL used from a dealer. I know the owner personally. I gave him a personal check, and he mailed me the title in about 2 weeks.

The original poster's topic was the best way to receive payment on the sale of a motor home. My answer is still "cash" . . . because I've had cashier's checks issued by a title insurance company's bank, bounce on the sale of my own house. And . . . because I've had several inter-bank wire transfers bounce as well. Most people I know, "assume" a cashier's check can't bounce. They can and do. And most people I know don't know an inter-bank wire transfer can experience the funds recalled by the issuing bank. They can and do. Been there, done that.

This was a local bank that bounced the wire transfers to me. I actually had better luck taking their check than I did taking their wire transfers, except they also thought they could refuse to hold a check for payment. I had to threaten to turn them into the OCC before they would accept the check for payment. As soon as I threatened to call the OCC, they got real friendly.

I sold my pop up camper to a guy from Missouri with an inter-bank transfer and it was good. I didn't give him the trailer until the transfer has seasoned one week. I hated that deal, but I REALLY wanted to sell that camper. I checked and double checked that back door was closed and the cash was removed from the account before the title and trailer left my shop.

I've know too many crooked bankers to trust them. They all know ways to screw me I haven't heard of.

I buy different than I sell. And I buy different if I'm buying from a dealer 2 miles from my home that I've known for 20 years, or if I'm buying from a stranger 500 miles from home. And . . . I expect to be treated different.

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Old 09-03-2012, 05:24 PM   #23
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Split', I think you've had an unusual run of bad experiences, but there's no doubt they happen. I have used personal checks to buy expensive vehicles including the trailer—no one ever questioned them either. But I prefer anything but a personal check when I'm the seller. I did take a personal check for a water tap, but the guy only lives a few miles away and is a lawyer too, so I figured I could get him in a lot of trouble with the bar if he tried anything.

Title companies handle closings in every part of this state I know about. Lawyer's abstracts are a thing of the past for residential here and the title companies and realtors have taken over a large part of the real estate transaction business. This is not a particularly good thing because both make mistakes.

I hope I live long enough that the trailer isn't worth much if I sell it and that solves the problem—cash it will be.

As you know, we have our house on the market, and no one is going to bring a suitcase worth of cash. If they did, I'd wonder how they got it and if the government was going to step in and take it as products of crime. But a house is not usually movable and if a transfer or check bounces, you still have the house and hope to claim the escrow. I don't know whether I ever thanked you for your suggestion to offer a home warranty with a sale; a good idea, and it hasn't sold the house. The market in this rural area is very sluggish.

Every deal has different ways to resolve the payment problem. Being careful and knowledgeable of your options is important.

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Old 09-03-2012, 08:16 PM   #24
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Hi Gene,

Our residential real estate market is down to a little over 6 month supply of inventory. Prices are up a little. High end is selling well, low end is selling well, the middle is stronger with higher offer prices.

I think we are on the same page on the buyer/seller issue. I like to buy weak and sell strong. I've never had a client get a bad cashier's check at closing . . . I never heard of anybody else getting a bad closing check. I got one.

The closing check at my closing that bounced, took almost a week before I found out. I discovered it when my checks I wrote to pay my subs started bouncing. My subs started calling me. The title insurance company never even bothered to tell me they stopped the cashier's check. The new buyer got my keys at closing, and was living in my house a week when we found out the title insurance company had stopped payment on his closing check. He found out after I called him.

The reason the title insurance company stopped payment on the cashier's check, is the mortgage survey came in with a different pin location than the plat. The title insurance company closed without having the survey, then stopped my check without telling me when the survey came in after closing.

I was livid, but pretty helpless. The new owners rented my house for two months while the surveyor filed a new legal to be approved by the county commission. Nothing changed except the legal. The new survey was approved and the title insurance company issued a new cashier's check and I issued all new checks to my suppliers. The positive was, I learned a cashier's check at a closing can be stopped and no notification is needed.

I did find out later (from the attorney that did it) that my bounced check is not the only one they did.

A seller like me is at a little disadvantage when they get screwed by a title insurance company and a bank on the same day. My current rule is never go to court with anybody with more money than me. The title insurance company is owned by an attorney and the bank has attorneys on it's payroll. I've lost before I ever get to court on the hard cost of litigation alone.

The title insurance company could have let that check go through and corrected the deed legal after the fact with no problems. That's how they should have done it since the sale was closed (by them) and keys had been delivered. All the deed change took was one signature from me. They stopped that check because they could.

I stick to my story . . . cashier's checks can be stopped just like a personal check, and wire transfers (that I have been associated with) have a "pending" window, during which, the funds show up in my account but can not be accessed by me and can be withdrawn by the issuing bank. That "pending" status can be days long. Both checks and transfers can be used . . . safely . . . as long as the seller understands the principles of both and how both look good and how both can be worthless.

I've taken cash from one bank, driven down the street 2 blocks and deposited it in another bank with no questions asked and no calls from the DOJ. Once the cash leaves the bank, there's no grab-back.

If all methods of payment have to be reduced to "cash", why not just ask for cash only? :-) I see no risk at all dealing with cash. I've never said: "Dang, I wish I didn't have this cash!"



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Old 09-03-2012, 08:42 PM   #25
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The $10,000 rule is that the feds have to be informed for withdrawals (and I think deposits) of more than that amount because that means you are either a terrorist or a drug dealer. This is stupid. People avoid it by making a series of withdrawals or deposits of slightly less than $10,000. But the bank may not have enough cash on hand—less to steal.

They always ask at the border if you have $10,000 or more, thereby preventing people from having too much cash which will burst your pants or something like that. The border guards always get laughed at when they ask that question and they have told me they are tired of it too.

Split', I am no friend of title companies. It is a great way to make money—do poor searches, take your chance of a problem with title since they don't show up that often, exclude from coverage just about anything that could lead to a claim, and then fight every claim. It is a great business.

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Old 09-03-2012, 10:16 PM   #26
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Split', I am no friend of title companies. It is a great way to make money—do poor searches, take your chance of a problem with title since they don't show up that often, exclude from coverage just about anything that could lead to a claim, and then fight every claim. It is a great business.

Gene

I've dealt with over $10,000 cash lots of times. Never got a call from the DOJ yet. Everything is booked and taxed. I had a deal with a small town bank once that didn't have $5,000 cash. They had to order the cash for the next day. :-)

I'll take a personal check when I sell my trailer if it's the buyer's wishes. I'll just wait for the check to clear to deliver trailer and title. When it clears, I'll hand carry the cash to competing bank #2 two blocks away.

We live in the same world on title insurance companies. The main reason for title insurance in my world is so the buyer can obtain conforming (or non-conforming) financing. Not long ago I was in court as a witness to fact in a case where the seller sued a title insurance company on his own policy. The guy bought a farm, divided it, got insurance on the part with the house and new barn, a new loan, and decided to sell it 14 years later when he got a job transfer.

I was the seller's agent. We got an offer and acceptance, opened escrow, and set a closing date. The morning of closing, title insurance company #2 cancelled the closing. The same surveyor who was late with my house survey came in late with this one too, and . . . two of the boundaries were off 40'. Plus the sisters the seller bought the farm from inherited it from their father and never probated the estate . . . so they didn't own it.

Three of the 4 pins were off line by 40' and the seller didn't own the property. One pin was right. The buyer walked, the seller fired me, paid to probate the estate themselves, paid for a new survey, hired a new agent and had an auction. The farm sold for $80k less than my contract. The seller sued the first title insurance company for the $80k. The first title insurance company filed for summary judgement and petitioned to be released from the suit. The judge released them based on their policy exclusions and the fact they insured the division of the property but not the original purchase (which didn't have title insurance).

That just left the sellers to sue the original surveyor. Of course the original surveyor had noted the locations of the pins on his mortgage inspection survey plat (which was not a stake survey). The previous description was by the metes and bounds method. All of the improved 1/4 mile long driveway was on the north neighbor's property.

The seller lost his case. The title insurance company didn't even have to appear in court at the hearing I attended.


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Old 09-04-2012, 07:49 AM   #27
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Based on everything I read what is the consensus of what is the best payment method to accept when you sell your motorhome?
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