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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 03-28-2007, 12:38 AM   #1
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ICBC Lien issue

I made a lot of stupid mistakes in this situation I know, but Im hoping theres still a way out for me.

Back in October, I was given a car from a friend of a friend, lets call him John. The car had some major mechanical issues and wouldnt run, and John was moving to a new place where he didnt have room for it, so he gave it to me, I paid him $800 for some parts for the car, and for his friend to tow it from up island to my house.

Over the next few month I repair the car, and this weekend I finally finish it. I got to an autoplan agent to get it transfered and insured, and they tell me they cant because the previous owner has a debt to ICBC.

I called collections today and they told me that he owes them $1000 for insurance and that nothing can be done with the car until that is paid or he calls them and explains why he gave the car to me. Apparently their concern is that he gave the car to me so that I could insure it for him, thus reliving him of having to pay his debt.

I attempted to call him, and he's not returned my calls, and I dont think he's likely to. He probably wants to avoid talking to ICBC at all cost. Im now stuck with a car Ive got $1100 + dozens of hours of labour and cant drive, because someone else doesnt want to pay their insurance.

Am I completely boned here if I cant get a hold of him? From what the autoplan agent told me, I cant even get it registered with the abandoned vehicle dealie, they'll just seize the car if they know where it is.
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:16 AM   #2
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Didnt you check if there were any leins in the first place?
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:55 AM   #3
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Yeah, that's what I'm thinking - if you didn't check first, before dumping a ton of money into it, then you've got only yourself to blame (well, and the idiot who gave you the car, but that's another matter).

Sure, you don't expect there to be a problem with a "friend of a friend" and you certainly don't expect this kind of hassle from a free junker, but hey, that's what due diligence is all about.

If you'd gone to get the transfer done right away, and there was no lien at the time, then you'd be set, but even if the lien was placed two weeks before you tried to transfer and register it, you have no way of proving at this point that it was given to you long before.

Unfortunately your only hope is probably to find "John" and start breaking fingers and toes one at a time until he coughs up the cash to ICBC. Or just pay them off yourself, put the car on the street, then find "John" and run him over with it.
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Old 03-28-2007, 07:57 AM   #4
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In this case, you have pretty bad friends.. Maybe you can ask your "friend" to talk to his "friend" and see what the deal is.
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:26 AM   #5
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Well as far as I knew, Liens were things on new cars, when they were financed, this car is over 15 years old, so it never even occured to me there could be a lien on it
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Old 03-28-2007, 08:48 AM   #6
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lien is any type of money owing on the car in all forms. It could be for the car itself, insurance, ect.
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:33 AM   #7
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You're wrong.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/lien

lien (lēn, lē'ən) n. "The right to take and hold or sell the property of a debtor as security or payment for a debt or duty." - The American Heritage Dictionary

In short, if someone owes you money for something, be it a car, a house, land, etc., you can place a legal claim against that thing, prohibiting them from selling or trading it until the lien is cleared, usually by them paying you what's owed. Ultimately you may be able to force the item/property to be sold to recover what's owing from the proceeds.

For more detail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lien
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:57 PM   #8
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You can file a claim in small claims court to get him to pay you for your expenses, to pay off the lien, or to get the lien released.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:59 PM   #9
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I cant get a hold of the guy I got the car from at all... this is really lame.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:00 PM   #10
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Unless ICBC registers a lien against the car (which they don't do) then the lien search would have done nothing. The debt owed to ICBC is no different than if he owed money on his Visa card.

The problem here is that the transfer papers should have been filed BEFORE you took possesion of the car. Then you would have known right away that ICBC wouldn't process the paperwork.

Hopefully you have something in writing that shows he gave you the car for $800. If so, then you might be able to sue him for the money you've put into the car. I

f you have nothing in writing, then I think you're out of luck unless you can track him down.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:35 AM   #11
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Call the 1-800-general inquiry line for ICBC in the white pages of the phonebook and discuss it with them instead of with the Autoplan Agent.

If this doesn't resolve the problem call your MLA and enlist their help in straightening it out.

If you didn't complete a transfer paper fully in the first place, this is a good example to people that proper paperwork at the proper time can be vitally important. I was always amazed in my policing experience how few people actually did this well, especially when it was a private transfer instead of one involving a dealer.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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Take legal action, i believe it is against the law to sell a car with a lein on it. Either way you can take the guy to small claims, doesn't cost much. And it doesn't require you contacting him.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:09 PM   #13
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It is against the law. It is inside the sale of goods act

http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/stat....htm#section16
Section C is the one that applies to you.
The sale of goods act applies to ALL sale of goods and is implied into the sales contracts(whether in writing or not).

I'd say sue him, just ask your friend for the guy's new address. Or just look it up on mytelus.com and file the papers @ Small Claims Court.

Or another step you can take is to tell him what you would do first, usually they will pay u back if u threaten to sue

16 In a contract of sale or lease, unless the circumstances of the contract are such as to show a different intention, there is

(a) an implied condition on the part of the seller or lessor that

(i) in the case of a sale or lease, the seller or lessor has a right to sell or lease the goods, and

(ii) in the case of an agreement to sell or lease, the seller or lessor will have a right to sell or lease the goods at the time when the property is to pass or the lessee is to take possession of the leased goods,

(b) an implied warranty that the buyer or lessee is to have and enjoy quiet possession of the goods, and

(c) an implied warranty that the goods are free from any charge or encumbrance in favour of any third party, not declared or known to the buyer or lessee before or at the time when the contract is made.
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:43 PM   #14
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Would I even have a case, considering the length of time between now and when I took physical possession of the car?

Its my understanding that transfer papers are only valid for 10 days after they're signed (although he never filled out the date on the papers, the autoplan agent did that on monday)


I called ICBC general inquiries and they passed me on to collections and said Im basically SOL.

My friend hasnt talked to him since we got the car off him, so I dont have his address. I have his full name tho (on the vehicle registration) is that enough to get him to court?
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Old 03-30-2007, 01:58 PM   #15
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I don't think time is a huge issue tehre.
Try looking him up on mytelus.com and get his address/contacts first. Im sure your friend will probably have a better idea how to find him as well.

Once you get that information, DONT HARASS HIM IN ANYWAY. Just ask him about the thing and threaten to sue him. Im sure he will probably go with it.

If not, just file the papers for $150. From the looks of it, u will likely win so u will probably get ur costs for court back anyways.

If you want further info, i think u should talk to a lawyer

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Would I even have a case, considering the length of time between now and when I took physical possession of the car?

Its my understanding that transfer papers are only valid for 10 days after they're signed (although he never filled out the date on the papers, the autoplan agent did that on monday)


I called ICBC general inquiries and they passed me on to collections and said Im basically SOL.

My friend hasnt talked to him since we got the car off him, so I dont have his address. I have his full name tho (on the vehicle registration) is that enough to get him to court?
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:26 PM   #16
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Take legal action, i believe it is against the law to sell a car with a lein on it.
That's true, but it's possible the lien wasn't placed until after the car was "sold". Then again, the only legal documents of the sale are the transfer papers, which now have a recent, "post-lien" date, which effectively "proves" that he gave/sold you the car well after the lien was put on it.
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Old 03-31-2007, 10:52 PM   #17
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i was always under the impression that the money from the sale of the vehicle was supposed to go to the lein before the seller can collect anything. if that is true then he owes the 800$ and that is beyond your control, to make life easier if you can prove you gave him 800$ for it, bite the bullet and offer the pay the remaining 200$ to ICBC collections and see if they bite on it. it shows your making and effort and they might release the lein on the current car. if they won't bite on it take him to court, if you documented the calls you put into ICBC or if they documented them and you can prove the trouble you have been through in this ordeal take him for more than costs, tack on 5000$ for anguish and stresses or something, even if you don't get it, once buddy sees it in his supena and court documents i am sure he will suddenly come up with the money for collections and problem solved
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:08 PM   #18
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UPDATE!!!

I took Skidmarks advice and talked to my MLA, they took down my story and all my information (incl. copies of transfer documents, gift letter, receipts, etc), called up ICBC collections on my behalf, explained it to them, and ICBC removed the lien from the vehicle!

The guy is still stuck with the debt to ICBC, and cant insure any vehicles til its settled. So everyone wins!

Thanks a bunch, I took it out for a spin tonight for the first time, and holy crap, its so much fun.

BTW the vehicle is a 79 Pontiac Trans Am with a 403 wideblock
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:13 PM   #19
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Good to hear everything worked out well for you
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Old 04-10-2007, 08:50 PM   #20
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Good stuff! That Skidmark is one smart cookie

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Old 04-11-2007, 01:50 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Soundy
That's true, but it's possible the lien wasn't placed until after the car was "sold". Then again, the only legal documents of the sale are the transfer papers, which now have a recent, "post-lien" date, which effectively "proves" that he gave/sold you the car well after the lien was put on it.
This is what happened with my moms old car when we went to trade it in for a new one. We made the trade, the dealer called a few days later saying the car had a $1500 lein on it from some sketchy money mart or something up island. Luckily we had a lein check from when we bought it so the place was SOL for letting someone put a lein on it without the proper title papers or whatever.

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Old 04-11-2007, 04:16 PM   #22
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I see those MLA's are actually good for something... I wonder why ICBC told you to stuff it when it was just you dealing with them.
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Old 04-13-2007, 04:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by MaCCord23
Correct me if I'm wrong, but a lien is any type of money owing on the car in all forms. It could be for the car itself, insurance, ect.
thats what it is( assuming were talking about the car here) and to my understanding, its ur own responsibility to make sure there is no lien on the car before purchasing. but good to hear its worked out
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Old 04-14-2007, 12:04 AM   #24
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thats what it is( assuming were talking about the car here) and to my understanding, its ur own responsibility to make sure there is no lien on the car before purchasing. but good to hear its worked out
If there is, the seller won't be allowed to sell it - I don't know if there's a checkbox for that on the transfer forms, but you'll find out real quick when you do try to transfer it.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:47 PM   #25
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UPDATE!!!

I took Skidmarks advice and talked to my MLA, they took down my story and all my information (incl. copies of transfer documents, gift letter, receipts, etc), called up ICBC collections on my behalf, explained it to them, and ICBC removed the lien from the vehicle!

The guy is still stuck with the debt to ICBC, and cant insure any vehicles til its settled. So everyone wins!

Thanks a bunch, I took it out for a spin tonight for the first time, and holy crap, its so much fun.

BTW the vehicle is a 79 Pontiac Trans Am with a 403 wideblock

That is awesome news! Enjoy the ride!
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