Help on tracking down a lienholder
November 22, 2006 8:27 AM   Subscribe

I recently purchased a car from family member which, while paid off, still has a lien on the title. The original owner never anticipated that they'd ever want to sell the car, and never had the lien removed because the lienholder entity had been purchased and merged and re-purchased several times over. Now that I have the car, and need to get it registered, I need to track down the entity that actually has the lien on the car and get the lien removed. Any suggestions for tracking them down? Are there registries for this sort of thing? FWIW, the original lienholder was a Saab financing company in New York.
posted by cleetus to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Best answer: GMAC now handles Saab finance, so give your local GMAC office a call and they'll tell you how to go about getting what we know in California as: Notice of Lien Satisfied. It will be an easy matter if your relative who fincanced the car through them originally handles it.
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:03 AM on November 22, 2006

This happened to me earlier this year when I had to get a replacement title for an old Saab. Saab Financial had originally financed the vehicle (was financed through my local Saab dealer), however Saab Financial was rolled into GMAC with GM's acquisition of Saab.

I had to eventually get a letter from GMAC stating that A) they purchased the company listed as lienholder (Saab Financial) and B) that my obligations were satisfied and the lien should be released. It took several phone calls to get the fine folks at GMAC to understand what the heck I was talking about, for what it's worth...
posted by peppermint22 at 9:08 AM on November 22, 2006

After a little more thought, Do you have the vehicle's title? If so, look to see if the lienholder has signed off and released their interest in the car. I'm only familiar with California titles, but a lienholder's notarized release on the title itself is sufficient to re-register the car here.

See section 5 (pdf) for an example of how it looks here.
posted by buggzzee23 at 9:11 AM on November 22, 2006

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