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Junking cars without title?
November 16, 2006 7:54 AM   Subscribe

Junking two non-working vehicles sans titles or other proof of ownership on the North Shore in Massachusetts. If you have a quick answer, you probably don't need to read the

The deadbeat subject of this AskMe question is in jail now, hopefully for a long time.

My next task is to sever any remaining ties binding my landlord to this shady character, any excuse this shady character might have to show his ugly face on the property.

Chief among these are two 'junker' vehicles without title malingering on my landlord's property. I'd love to see them towed away, but as far as I can tell, junkyards will not accept vehicles absent titles.

Does anyone here know of a way out of this quandary?
posted by The Confessor to Law & Government (11 answers total)
 
In most states, you dont need titles on cars older than x years (where x is commonly 10 or 15 I think). A 'bill of sale', or some other sort of transfer of ownership is usually sufficient. Call the local JY and say there are two cars on your property that you have ownership to, and would like removed, but cannot locate the title and see what they say.

Just make sure you do in fact have ownership of the cars, through abandonment, or otherwise.
posted by SirStan at 8:01 AM on November 16, 2006


The traditional way is to cut up the car with gas powered chop saw into small enough pieces that are no longer identifable as any particular car. Then haul the pieces to the scrap yard. You'll want to first strip the car of stuff the scrap yard won't take (like tires and seats). It takes about a day per to strip and cut a car into 60lb pieces.
posted by Mitheral at 8:09 AM on November 16, 2006


There's got to at least be a procedure for when some anonymous individual dumps cars on your property. Find someone who might know (probably the junkyard) and say you have some cars that have been abandonded on your property and ask what the procedure is.
posted by winston at 8:13 AM on November 16, 2006


People sell or give away untitled junkers on Craigslist all the time.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:22 AM on November 16, 2006


JunkMyCar "is a free removal service ... Submit your car. A removal date is set. Your vehicle is removed. There has never been an easier way to remove a junk car!"
posted by initapplette at 8:23 AM on November 16, 2006


The first thing that comes to mind is to drive it somewhere and abandon it there. (I'm talking pulling it off the side of a road, not parking it in someone else's driveway.) My uncle told me of one of his (very odd) co-worker who disposed of his old car this way. The problem is that it doesn't sound like these cars are very legal to drive, and that even if you aren't stopped, the police might wonder why a car whose owner is in jail was parked on the side of a road, leading them to consider it stolen or something.

The most above-board way to deal with this is to try calling Boston city hall / BPD and asking how to proceed. As winston says, I'd imagine there's a procedure for this.

The other question is, do you definitely have legal right to these cars? I'd hate for him to come out of jail with a vendetta and get you in trouble for "stealing his cars," even if they were broken-down and left on your property. I'd just proceed very carefully so this doesn't come back to bite you.
posted by fogster at 8:27 AM on November 16, 2006


Here is Mass. law regarding abandoned vehicles. There seems to be some discretion town by town as to how that section of the law is applied, but it is probably worth checking to see whether your town has a parking clerk who could tell you exactly the procedure for dealing with abandoned vehicles.

In another state, a guy my sister was dating was staying with her and bought a car, then skipped town and left the car there. The city only required that they wait a certain number of days (I think maybe ten days or two weeks--this was several years ago, now), then they would haul the vehicle away as abandoned and charge the owner, rather than the person on whose property the car was abandoned. It looks as though this should work for you (via the parking clerk, if there is one, or the local PD if not) and have the advantage of keeping the jailed former tenant from accusing you or his former landlord of theft of his property.

(IANAL and I don't and never have lived in Mass.)
posted by Cricket at 9:14 AM on November 16, 2006


I did something similar in DC a couple of years ago. Two abandoned junker cars came with a property that I bought.

To cover my ass, I took photographs and then got the things appraised -- that way, if the owner came back to sue me, he couldn't say that they were expensive cars. (In DC, this limited my potential liability to 3x the cost of the cars if my actions were considered to be an illegal eviction.)

Then I called tow services and asked whether they'd handle abandoned cars -- it took three or four calls, but I found one without too much difficulty.

Good luck.
posted by cgs06 at 10:15 AM on November 16, 2006


The other possible option may be to donate them to a charity. In Dallas, they have a charity that takes junky cars and uses them to teach auto restoration, or repair, or something. I dunno. They came and got the crappy car, that's all I really cared about. Plus, I got a tax write off. ;)

I'm sure every metro area, such as yours, has a similar charity. I think they can be donated without title, if they're legally abandoned.
posted by dejah420 at 10:53 AM on November 16, 2006


I don't know about Boston but none of the car charities in Atlanta will take a car that isn't running.
posted by Megafly at 11:28 AM on November 16, 2006


I had a tenant move out and leave a junker car. I called the police non-emergency number and asked what to do; turns out that where I live, the city will tow away abandoned vehicles. Have you called the city where you live to ask about it?
posted by not that girl at 4:31 PM on November 16, 2006


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