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Old 02-09-2016, 01:50 PM   #1
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1978 23' Safari
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Lost Title And The Oregon DMV

OK in a nut shell I purchased a 23ft 78 airstream off of Craig's List. I was given the title but then I accidently threw it away a week later when I was cleaning out the trailer. I did not get a chance to register the trailer at the time.

Trailer History:
Currently registered to a gentleman named Scott in Eugene. Scott donated the trailer to Habitat for Humanity 7 years ago. Trailer was sent to auction, trailer was sold to a used car dealer and then sold to a John Doe. I purchased the trailer from John Doe 3 years ago.

DMV Nightmare:
I was able to get Mr. Scotts info by using the DMV financial interest form. I contacted Mr. Scott and asked him if he would sign a bill of sale per instructions from the DMV. Since he donated the trailer over 7 years ago he wanted no part in my issues with the trailer. The DMV told me then to get a copy of the bill of sale from Habitat for Humanity. Habitat would not release the bill of sale due to privacy issues. I again asked the DMV to issue me a new title and now they said I have to re-contact Mr. Scott and get him to sign a bill of sale. ALSO, at the end of the DMV letter the DMV rep wrote "You may want to seek legal console".

I have provided the DMV with receipts of all the work I have done to the trailer, pictures that are time stamped over the past 3 years of the trailer being worked on and proof that I tried to get Mr. Scott to sign the bill of sale but they still won't help me.

What should I do??? Is the DMV seriously telling me I have to sue them to get the title??? Is my only option to part it out and try to recouple some of the money I have spent on the trailer??? Ohh help me wise people of the Airstream forum!!!
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:00 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by DirtyMartini View Post
I was able to get Mr. Scotts info by using the DMV financial interest form. I contacted Mr. Scott and asked him if he would sign a bill of sale per instructions from the DMV. Since he donated the trailer over 7 years ago he wanted no part in my issues with the trailer. The DMV told me then to get a copy of the bill of sale from Habitat for Humanity. Habitat would not release the bill of sale due to privacy issues. I again asked the DMV to issue me a new title and now they said I have to re-contact Mr. Scott and get him to sign a bill of sale. ALSO, at the end of the DMV letter the DMV rep wrote "You may want to seek legal console".
I'm not a lawyer (thank goodness!). However, it is my understanding that the Scott fellow would not be able to give you a bill of sale. He didn't sell it to you, so any bill of sale with his signature would constitute fraud.

Habitat for Humanity cannot give you a bill of sale because they didn't sell it to you. Same reasoning. Ditto for the used car dealer.

As for the John Doe, you can identify him. If the trailer still has his license plate on it, you can go to the DMV of the state in which it's registered and get a duplicate registration and/or a duplicate title. You'll have to pay a fee for it, of course. Once you have that info, assuming the previous owner hasn't moved with no forwarding address, you can find him to get a duplicate copy of the bill of sale.

If his license plate has been turned in to the DMV already, that won't work, however, and you're stuck with going to an attorney who will then be able to ask for a court order to get the information you need.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:10 PM   #3
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I would say that you need to get professional legal help on this problem. It is beyond anything forum members can do, especially since it is a specific state (Oregon) issue and any other state will have different rules and regulations.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:40 PM   #4
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Check your DMV. Most states allow folks in your situation to apply for a bonded title. I use Merchants Bonding Company out of Las Vegas- get their number on line. Cost of the bond is based on value of the trailer. If permitted by your state, this is the most painless method to resolve your situation.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:21 PM   #5
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My bonds came from Las Vegas but the main Merchant's number is an Iowa area cods: 515-243-8171, if still a good #.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
As for the John Doe, you can identify him. If the trailer still has his license plate on it, you can go to the DMV of the state in which it's registered and get a duplicate registration and/or a duplicate title. You'll have to pay a fee for it, of course. Once you have that info, assuming the previous owner hasn't moved with no forwarding address, you can find him to get a duplicate copy of the bill of sale.
I have the original license plate and DMV records show the trailer is still registered under Mr. Scott. The trailers registration has a flag on it (FL49 - Vehicle sold - buyer info on file)

As for getting an attorney, it wouldn't be worth it for me. I would be spending thousands of dollars for a retainer and attorney fees.
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Old 02-10-2016, 09:05 AM   #7
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Try to pick a day that is not so busy and go to a different DMV. Quite often you will get a different answer or more helpful employee. In my case with Oregon DMV a registered letter to the last registered owner was needed. If that person does not answer the letter in a certain time limit DMV will issue you a new title. If the letter is answered the last owner has the option to claim ownership or release interest (not sign a bill of sale), from what I understand.
Your case may be different with the flag on the registration, but certainly worth another try with a different DMV.

Sam
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:08 PM   #8
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I feel your pain. I had the same problem with a horse trailer in S.C. I wound up getting an assigned serial number from the state so I could register and title it. IT WAS A NIGHTMARE!

If you have the serial number wouldn't they have a copy of the title somewhere?
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:22 PM   #9
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As mentioned earlier, each state is different. I had a similar situation here in Colorado with mine. For purposes of this discussion I will refer to myself as owner #4. The gentleman I bought my AS from, owner #3, got it from an estate sale, owner #2. Owner #2 had never licensed the trailer when originially purchased from owner #1 as he lived in it in a trailer park. Owner #1 did convey a signed title to owner#2, but again it was never registered. This title followed the trailer, but since owner #2 had since passed on....nothing could be done. I took all of this to the DMV and followed their process. They sent a letter to the last owner of record and after a period of time, with no reponse they provided me with a title in my name.

I say all of this to give you hope that you can do it. I agree, with the post above, go to a different DMV office.
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