Need help. I'm buying a used BMW325i 2003 from somone whom is still paying for car.

The owner states he doesn't have a title . i called BMW Bank of North America 1800-578-500 Which he gave me and faxed to me a statement of his payoff on car. The car is from Texas . and according to BMW Bank of
North America, they said the title does not go out to owner till car is paid off.
The car is here in New jersey , and i live here in New York.. How can i go about paying for car and having a title sent to me. or in other words can this be fraud ?/ How can i protect myself ?/
Whom can i call .. or what shall i do ? I am financing through my bank and putting up front money as well.. My bank says to get copy of title and a bill of sale...
thanks everyone ..
janet
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This is correct. Title stays with the lein holder, the bank, until the car is paid for. After the car is paid for, the title goes to the owner.

If you are paying cash for the car, yoiu can go with the seller to any office of BMW financing and pay the car off, and the bank will give you a Release of Lein. With the Release, you can get the title issued to you.
If you are buying the car with bank financing, go to yoiur bank and they will be able to handle the transaction. In this case, the bank wants to be sure their interests are protected, just as you want to be sure your interests are protected, and they deal with this sort of stuff every day, several times a day. It is Greek to you because you never do this, but the bank does it all day long.

All your bank really needs is the bill of sale.
Your bank should be holding your hand through this transaction. If they want you to do the foot work, then be sure you do it with a Cashier's Check or a Money Order drawn to the BMW finance company. Only the name on the check can cash it, and this is your protection from fraud.
The seller should be willing and able to give you the name of the finance company and the account number of his loan account. Your bank should be able to arrange an electronic transfer of the funds necessary to pay the car off and release the title to your bank.
I recently sold a car (motorhome, actually) to one of my wife's customers. The buyers paid by a personal check, and my bank cleared the funds for me to pay off the loan. I took the cash to the finance company - a different bank than who cleared the funds - and the finance company gave me a Release of Lein. The buyer then took the Release and the Bill of sale to the DMV and got the title issued to them. Had they financed the transaction, then I would have provided the lender's name. The finance company of the buyer would have contacted the my finance company and handled the pay off, then disbursed any remaining funds to me. The finance companies would have handled the DMV paperwork to complete the transaction.
Let's say you agree to pay $15,000 for the car, but it has $5,000 in an oustanding loan against it. Your bank will pay the current bank the $5,000 to clear the existing lein, and give $10,000 to the seller. Your bank will want thier name on the new title that will come from New Jersey, but NJ won't issue a title to anybody until the finance company in Texas releases its lein.
I think two things. 1.) you are smart to take notice of all of this, and 2.) if the transaction is legitimate, you are worrying too much. You and your bank surely have interests to keep track of and adequately protect, but if the transaction is a good one, it will be easy to cover all of the bases.
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You should be buying the car from the dealership, not the individual, if he does not have title. That's because it's a lease and he doesn't own it.
The leasee needs to inform the dealership of what the price is and that he approves the sale at that price. If that amount is in excess of the current buyout on the lease he will recieve a cheque, if it is less, he will have to write a cheque. You now know this amount because BMW faxed it to you. If it is less, the deal doesn't close until his cheque is added, so beware of that wrinkle potentially holding you up -- all 3 of you would need to be at the table in this case, essentially.
That's how it works up here in Canada anyway. Check with the dealer from which he is leasing the car. Up here, BTW, when you do this operation you have to pay the tax that is due when you buy from a dealer, that you don't pay when buying private used cars, because you are in fact buying from the dealer even though you arranged the sale with a private individual.
-Russ.
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Somebody wrote:

No, that's wrong. No matter who or how you finance a car, be it a lease company or a bank, you do not have possession of the title until the liens are satisfied. If you lease the car, once the initial transaction is completed, the only relationship is between you and the lease company. The dealership is completely out of the picture after the sale (or lease) is consummated.
-Fred W
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TIME OUT
A buyer or a leasee will not have possession of the Title under any circumstance. The Title is the security for the loan or lease. The holder of the title is the interest that is paid if there is an insurance claim - wreck or theft, or whatever. Title to a car is only given to the buyer after the note is paid in full. This is the tool that protects the bank or lease company from somebody selling a car and taking the money. The DMV acts in effect like an escrow agent, it makes sure the bank is paid for its remaining interest in the personal property that is changing hands.
There is no problem buying a car from an individual, even if that individual is still making payments. The DMV of every state is able to provide all of the necessary paperwork, and if the buyer is using a bank to conduct the transaction, then the buyer's bank and the seller's bank are able to talk to each other to make the proper arrangements. The biggest risk is if the buyer is doing a cash transaction because his money is floating around and out of his control. The seller could be a fraud and a cheat, and this is the risk exposure to the cash buyer. The bank should be able to spot the fraud and the cheat i fhe was trying to sell a car he didn't own.

I agree with this part. I'm in California, and the State seems to be pretty spotty on collection of sales tax in a private party transaction. I have done a couple of these, and it seems that the process is different each time. I do my DMV work at the Auto Club (AAA), but that shouldn't change anything other than making the line shorter and more pleasant to wait in.
In any case, the OP is worried about stuff that he shouldn't worry about. He should know what is going on, and if he doesn't then he is doing good to ask. But, I think you and I are saying much the same thing, the leasing dealership or somebody in the BMW heirarchy should know the payoff amount. I think the buyer's bank and the seller's lease company should be able to iron out the title issues, and the buyer is stressing about stuff he shouldn't stress about.
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I bought a car that the owner (not really) had leased. The bank had the title - it took a day or two to get it messengered to a local branch, where I paid the bank and they handed me the title. I would imagine if it was a BMWNA bank, GMAC or other dealer lending agency that the dealer would act as agent in a similar manner.

WA is much less spotty. When you re-register the car they force you to pay sales tax. Unfortunately, they use a state-conceived schedule of value, which they are loath to vary from without good evidence. This is where the bill-of-sale comes in very handy.
Floyd
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