Selling a car: how to get paid?

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shawn_lad
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Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by shawn_lad » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:10 pm

Car sale newbie question here...

I never sold a car before and have just been reading about the process a bit. I wonder about the best reasonable approach to assure that I get paid in a private transaction, before giving the title.

Articles I read suggest getting a cashier's check and verifying it in the issuing bank. So, would I go with the buyer to their bank with cashier's check and try to cash it right there? Or just have the clerk look at it and make sure it's good to do and then I am assured there is no "stop payment" that can be placed on it? (Sometimes even clerks cannot really verify these just visually, right?)

I guess another option is to insist on cash payment, but not sure if many buyers would be comfortable with that.

One site mentioned that if buyer insists on personal check, going to their bank and cashing it in with them first. I guess seller ends up with cash as well then.

P.S. I have a few old cars that will need to be sold in the next couple years (not all mine), in the range of $2k - $7k each.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:14 pm

Assume:

You have clear title and buyer is in same state -

Accept cash only. Meet buyer at DMV. Sign over title concurrent with buyer giving you the cash. Remove the tags and have buyer register/title the car. Give buyer the keys. Arrange for ride home. Have sales agreement signed and keep a copy. Put the cash in the bank ASAP. Cancel the insurance.

RudyS
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by RudyS » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:16 pm

You could run a search, this has been discussed often. I like the idea of going to the buyer's bank, having him withdraw the amount, then have that bank issue you a bank check in return for the cash. I've read about this, but never done it.

rebellovw
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by rebellovw » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:19 pm

Also - in CA there is an online transfer of ownership form. Get that and some legal samples to sell the car "As Is" and have the buyer sign them.

FlyAF
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by FlyAF » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:20 pm

Cash. 7k isn't enough to warrant checks, bank wires, etc........Most buyers will have it in cash and not have a problem with it. If it was a 40k car with a lein on the title, that's a different animal.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:21 pm

$2k-$7k is easy enough to require cash.

Alternative: you meet at a local branch of his bank. He has the bank write out a cashier's check to you. You cash it.

I sold a boat for $8k cash and a trailer for $6k cash. Assume any personal check is worthless.
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shawn_lad
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by shawn_lad » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:29 pm

dm200 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:14 pm
Assume:

You have clear title and buyer is in same state -
Thanks all! (And yes, clear title and buyer is likely from same state.)

Any tips on making sure cash is not counterfeit? (Other than meeting at bank first to deposit it and then driving to the DMV?)
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:21 pm
Alternative: you meet at a local branch of his bank. He has the bank write out a cashier's check to you. You cash it.
Thanks, make sense. I guess with cashier's check I can cash it in later without concerns of it bouncing. So, I don't have to drive with buyer to my bank to deposit it or anything like that.

rebellovw
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by rebellovw » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:44 pm

Perhaps counterfeit if you are selling a 100K car - otherwise I think counterfeiters wouldn't be dealing with small stuff like a used car. The cash should feel very real.

runner3081
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by runner3081 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:30 pm

I have never met at the DMV. It is on the buyer to get it registered. I meet at their bank, have them draw cashier's check, hand over title and be done.

freebeer
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by freebeer » Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:49 pm

shawn_lad wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:10 pm
Car sale newbie question here...

I never sold a car before and have just been reading about the process a bit. I wonder about the best reasonable approach to assure that I get paid in a private transaction, before giving the title.

Articles I read suggest getting a cashier's check and verifying it in the issuing bank. So, would I go with the buyer to their bank with cashier's check and try to cash it right there? Or just have the clerk look at it and make sure it's good...
Just accept cash or cash + cashier's check but take photo of their DL. In WA State it is part of the seller notice to include buyer's DL #. Yes microscopic risk you will get a bad check but if so you have recourse... You literally know where they live.

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Alexa9
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by Alexa9 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 pm

It's convenient to have accounts at the same bank if either party is nervous about a lot of cash. One withdrawal one deposit with the same teller. May even be worth the time to open a free account or two.

curmudgeon
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by curmudgeon » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 pm

freebeer wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:49 pm
shawn_lad wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:10 pm
Car sale newbie question here...

I never sold a car before and have just been reading about the process a bit. I wonder about the best reasonable approach to assure that I get paid in a private transaction, before giving the title.

Articles I read suggest getting a cashier's check and verifying it in the issuing bank. So, would I go with the buyer to their bank with cashier's check and try to cash it right there? Or just have the clerk look at it and make sure it's good...
Just accept cash or cash + cashier's check but take photo of their DL. In WA State it is part of the seller notice to include buyer's DL #. Yes microscopic risk you will get a bad check but if so you have recourse... You literally know where they live.
Just make sure that any cashier's check is issued by the bank in your presence. Otherwise a cashier's check is just a piece of paper. Lots of scams around them.

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Watty
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by Watty » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:08 pm

Cashiers checks are easy to counterfeit so that is a bad idea.

Counterfeit cash can also be a problem.

One scam is to get the signed title from you then they quickly sell the car at some cash for cars place. Once that is done then there is no way to get your car back since you signed the title.

Having thousands of dollars in cash can also make you a target for being robbed. The seller will likely also be concerned about this.

I have always met the seller at a bank and we would go to the teller together;

1) If it was their bank they would make a cash withdrawal, I would sign the title, I would then use the cash to have the teller cut me a check from the bank but that might cost a few bucks.

2) If they wanted to pay cash then we would meet at my bank and go up to the teller together. I would ask the teller to check the cash to see if it is counterfeit, sign the title, then deposit the cash into my account.

These do not take more than two minutes and the seller will be just as concerned about how to handle the transaction as you are.
Last edited by Watty on Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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whodidntante
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:09 pm

Wire transfer for a large amount. And I do mean a wire transfer, not ACH, not Paypal, etc.
Cash for a small amount if you are able to identify counterfeit bills.
You may also meet at the bank, but that might be impractical.

jehovasfitness
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by jehovasfitness » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:10 pm

Have sold 2 cars in past year.

1 in cash.

1 wire transfer

I wouldn't take a check unless I hold car and title and only release after it clears

Flashes1
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by Flashes1 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:19 pm

I learned the hard way that a stop payment can be placed on a Cashier's Check (depending on the state and the bank). I never knew that could be done until I thought I lost one.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:23 am

Flashes1 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:19 pm
I learned the hard way that a stop payment can be placed on a Cashier's Check (depending on the state and the bank). I never knew that could be done until I thought I lost one.
Cashiers checks -

1. The bank where a cashiers check is deposited cannot put an extended hold (only next day) for $5,000 or less. It can place longer hold on amounts over $5,000

2. A cashiers check is guaranteed funds and cannot be stopped UNLESS the payee so authorizes. How were you hurt by such a stop?

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sperry8
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by sperry8 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:53 am

shawn_lad wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:10 pm
Car sale newbie question here...

I never sold a car before and have just been reading about the process a bit. I wonder about the best reasonable approach to assure that I get paid in a private transaction, before giving the title.

Articles I read suggest getting a cashier's check and verifying it in the issuing bank. So, would I go with the buyer to their bank with cashier's check and try to cash it right there? Or just have the clerk look at it and make sure it's good to do and then I am assured there is no "stop payment" that can be placed on it? (Sometimes even clerks cannot really verify these just visually, right?)

I guess another option is to insist on cash payment, but not sure if many buyers would be comfortable with that.

One site mentioned that if buyer insists on personal check, going to their bank and cashing it in with them first. I guess seller ends up with cash as well then.

P.S. I have a few old cars that will need to be sold in the next couple years (not all mine), in the range of $2k - $7k each.
I've sold cars this way and always did the transaction in the bank. If they gave me cash, I was at my bank where I deposited the cash before I handed over signed title. If they wanted to provide Cashier's check, I went to their bank or CU and took it from teller after he ordered it. Teller explained this check was good as bank and couldn't be cancelled... and then I went to my bank straight away and deposited it.

Not everyone is out to get you. If you don't like the "feel" of the transaction or person you're dealing with... don't do the transaction.
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SimonJester
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by SimonJester » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:17 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:23 am
Flashes1 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:19 pm
I learned the hard way that a stop payment can be placed on a Cashier's Check (depending on the state and the bank). I never knew that could be done until I thought I lost one.
Cashiers checks -

1. The bank where a cashiers check is deposited cannot put an extended hold (only next day) for $5,000 or less. It can place longer hold on amounts over $5,000

2. A cashiers check is guaranteed funds and cannot be stopped UNLESS the payee so authorizes. How were you hurt by such a stop?
Cashiers checks are commonly forged today and you will not know until a month after you deposit it, then your bank will simply deduct the amount of the check from your account. The only way I would take a cashiers check is if I met the buyer at their bank and watched the bank teller issue the check.
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Benjamin Franklin

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:44 am

SimonJester wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:17 am
dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:23 am
Flashes1 wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:19 pm
I learned the hard way that a stop payment can be placed on a Cashier's Check (depending on the state and the bank). I never knew that could be done until I thought I lost one.
Cashiers checks -

1. The bank where a cashiers check is deposited cannot put an extended hold (only next day) for $5,000 or less. It can place longer hold on amounts over $5,000

2. A cashiers check is guaranteed funds and cannot be stopped UNLESS the payee so authorizes. How were you hurt by such a stop?
Cashiers checks are commonly forged today and you will not know until a month after you deposit it, then your bank will simply deduct the amount of the check from your account. The only way I would take a cashiers check is if I met the buyer at their bank and watched the bank teller issue the check.
Yes, I see the point. You (or the bank/credit union where deposited) can almost always verify the validity of the cashiers check when it is deposited/cashed.

02nz
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by 02nz » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:58 am

Arranging to meet at the bank for the final transaction (to hand over the money and title) is a good idea. I’d also suggest that earlier in the process when you arrange to meet to see/test drive the car, use a police station or courthouse as the location. That should scare off 99% of scammers. And while you should absolutely take precautions, no need to get paranoid - I’ve sold three cars on CL over the past decade and haven’t come across any scammers.

JuniorBH
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by JuniorBH » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:11 am

Agree with the folks above who said it should be cash. $2-7K is not enough money to deal with other scenarios. If someone feels uncomfortable with drawing and "carrying around" that much cash, offer to meet at their bank and they can directly hand you the money.

peek
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by peek » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:14 am

With my latest used car purchase we met at my bank and did the whole transaction there. The seller was handed a bank check directly from the teller so he knew it was genuine. It was quick and easy.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:15 am

JuniorBH wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:11 am
Agree with the folks above who said it should be cash. $2-7K is not enough money to deal with other scenarios. If someone feels uncomfortable with drawing and "carrying around" that much cash, offer to meet at their bank and they can directly hand you the money.
For the seller, meeting at a bank - and doing the transaction there - retrieve plates, sign over title, hand over keys, etc. - is fine. For a buyer, however, I would want to only finanlize at DMV where I could be 100% sure the title was valid and I could get my title, tags and registration.

It should be fairly safe to leave the bank with a wad of cash because you will need to be picked up - since you are handing over the sold car.

SimonJester
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by SimonJester » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:32 am

dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:44 am
Yes, I see the point. You (or the bank/credit union where deposited) can almost always verify the validity of the cashiers check when it is deposited/cashed.
if you read some of the reports from people who have been hit with the advanced fund scams, it appears the tellers are not validating this and the cashiers checks are bouncing back from the originating bank weeks or even months later. Ive read reports of victims even asking the tellers if they can check to see if the cashiers check is real before they deposit it and were told no by the front end teller. Unless there is something fishy or suspicious with the cashiers check...

Here is a link from OCC about the issue:
https://www.occ.gov/news-issuances/cons ... 007-1.html
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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:35 am

SimonJester wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:32 am
dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:44 am
Yes, I see the point. You (or the bank/credit union where deposited) can almost always verify the validity of the cashiers check when it is deposited/cashed.
if you read some of the reports from people who have been hit with the advanced fund scams, it appears the tellers are not validating this and the cashiers checks are bouncing back from the originating bank weeks or even months later. Ive read reports of victims even asking the tellers if they can check to see if the cashiers check is real before they deposit it and were told no by the front end teller. Unless there is something fishy or suspicious with the cashiers check...
Yes - I have read about such forged cashiers checks as well. My experience (as an issuer of cashiers checks) is that tellers commonly check with the issuer about the validity of a cashiers check.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 11:58 am

If you go to the buyer's bank and the buyer, in your presence, purchases a Cashiers check payable to you - then that should be as close to 100% safe as you can get. Then, you would not have to carry a large amount of cash around.

likegarden
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by likegarden » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:22 pm

The buyer used the same bank as we do. We went both to the bank, and buyer deposited the sales amount directly from her account into our checking account. Bank gave me a printout of my account with sales money showing in there.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:26 pm

likegarden wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:22 pm
The buyer used the same bank as we do. We went both to the bank, and buyer deposited the sales amount directly from her account into our checking account. Bank gave me a printout of my account with sales money showing in there.
Same bank make this even simpler and safer :)

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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by daveydoo » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:36 pm

Cash. I have done this five or six times. Posted a few times about it. Always has been < $10K, but not by much a few times.

Be prepared for the "this is all I have" -- the agreed price minus $500 (aka, the "two-pocket approach"). So know ahead of time what you will do when this happens. Caught me off guard the first time.
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z91
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by z91 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 2:37 pm

I think there's way too much paranoia in this thread..most scams will be from folks doing fake cashier's checks.

How I usually do it:
They get cash and meet me at my bank.
I bring clean title and keys.
They sign all the paperwork, they give me cash, I give them title.
I deposit cash with teller.
Once teller is OK, only then do I hand over the keys.

VonRyan
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by VonRyan » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:35 pm

People who would scam this way, don't the police prosecute them? Can you file a civil suit against the scammer, perhaps in small claims court?

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:39 pm

VonRyan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:35 pm
People who would scam this way, don't the police prosecute them? Can you file a civil suit against the scammer, perhaps in small claims court?
These scams often are done by folks who cannot be located or found - often in foreign jurisdictions. Some innocent person ends up on the hook passing the forged check - but having sent/wired some amount to the guilty party.

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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by z91 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:51 pm

dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:39 pm
VonRyan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:35 pm
People who would scam this way, don't the police prosecute them? Can you file a civil suit against the scammer, perhaps in small claims court?
These scams often are done by folks who cannot be located or found - often in foreign jurisdictions. Some innocent person ends up on the hook passing the forged check - but having sent/wired some amount to the guilty party.
Yep..usually how it works is you sell a car for $5000. Then a foreign buyer gives you some excuse about banks in their country but tell you how badly they want your car, so they offer you $6000. They tell you they will send you a cashier's check for $7000, and you wire them $1000 as a refund so you "net" $6000. After you receive the cashier's check, it looks fine, you deposit it fine, then wire them the money and someone comes by to pick up your car. A few days later your bank calls to tell you the cashier's check was a fake (there isn't really a way for a bank to instantly validate a cashier's check, unless it's drawn from their own bank). Then you're out $1000, possibly a car too, which they already sold to someone else for legitimate funds. Since the buyer is foreign, they probably gave you a fake ID if you did ask for one, so no one to charge for the crime.

audioaxes
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by audioaxes » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:49 pm

Most I sold a car for was about $11K. Met at bank, signed papers and deposited the cash with the teller before handing over keys.

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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am

I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.

rebellovw
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by rebellovw » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:12 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.
Problem would be telling if the cert check is fake. Meeting at the bank seems the best approach

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:47 am

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.
No, I do not believe you are correct. Cashiers checks can only be cancelled/stopped in certain circumstances.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:48 am

z91 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:51 pm
dm200 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:39 pm
VonRyan wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:35 pm
People who would scam this way, don't the police prosecute them? Can you file a civil suit against the scammer, perhaps in small claims court?
These scams often are done by folks who cannot be located or found - often in foreign jurisdictions. Some innocent person ends up on the hook passing the forged check - but having sent/wired some amount to the guilty party.
Yep..usually how it works is you sell a car for $5000. Then a foreign buyer gives you some excuse about banks in their country but tell you how badly they want your car, so they offer you $6000. They tell you they will send you a cashier's check for $7000, and you wire them $1000 as a refund so you "net" $6000. After you receive the cashier's check, it looks fine, you deposit it fine, then wire them the money and someone comes by to pick up your car. A few days later your bank calls to tell you the cashier's check was a fake (there isn't really a way for a bank to instantly validate a cashier's check, unless it's drawn from their own bank). Then you're out $1000, possibly a car too, which they already sold to someone else for legitimate funds. Since the buyer is foreign, they probably gave you a fake ID if you did ask for one, so no one to charge for the crime.
Yes - this is the way these scams work. I have not seen this done as much lately. A few years ago it was much more common.

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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:50 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:47 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.
No, I do not believe you are correct. Cashiers checks can only be cancelled/stopped in certain circumstances.
How am I incorrect? I didn't say they could be cancelled for any reason. I'm not sure why you bother to correct people that aren't incorrect.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:10 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:50 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:47 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.
No, I do not believe you are correct. Cashiers checks can only be cancelled/stopped in certain circumstances.
How am I incorrect? I didn't say they could be cancelled for any reason. I'm not sure why you bother to correct people that aren't incorrect.
If a genuine Cashiers check is made payable to you, then that cashiers check cannot (legitimately) be stopped/cancelled without your (payee) written agreement. According to everything I have known/learned/experienced, if it is stopped/cancelled, you would win any legal action against the issuer. So, accepting a legitimate Cashiers check issued to you is just as safe as cash. You seemed to imply or state otherwise. The key, of course, is that it is a legitimate Cashiers check.

rgs92
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by rgs92 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:21 pm

Paypal gift would work.

michaeljc70
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:53 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:10 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:50 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:47 am
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:08 am
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled. If the amount was less than 10k, I would just ask for cash. If over 10k you run into extra paperwork.

If you went to the bank with the buyer and cashed a personal check (getting the cash) before signing/handing over the title, that would work too.
No, I do not believe you are correct. Cashiers checks can only be cancelled/stopped in certain circumstances.
How am I incorrect? I didn't say they could be cancelled for any reason. I'm not sure why you bother to correct people that aren't incorrect.
If a genuine Cashiers check is made payable to you, then that cashiers check cannot (legitimately) be stopped/cancelled without your (payee) written agreement. According to everything I have known/learned/experienced, if it is stopped/cancelled, you would win any legal action against the issuer. So, accepting a legitimate Cashiers check issued to you is just as safe as cash. You seemed to imply or state otherwise. The key, of course, is that it is a legitimate Cashiers check.
That's a lot of "ifs"- made out to you, not "legitimately" cancelled, "genuine". Scammers usually don't do things legitimately. Good luck trying to sue a scammer.

To give an example, someone can get a cashier's check in their name (or a fake name). They say they lost it at the bank. They will have to wait 90-180 days typically depending on the bank. They then get the money from the check. Then they sign the cashier's check over to you for the car. You may say no one is going to fall for that, but people fall for more obvious scams everyday.

And as has been mentioned, nowadays it isn't that hard to forge just about any document.

shawn_lad
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by shawn_lad » Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:50 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:53 pm
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled.

...

To give an example, someone can get a cashier's check in their name (or a fake name). They say they lost it at the bank. They will have to wait 90-180 days typically depending on the bank. They then get the money from the check. Then they sign the cashier's check over to you for the car. You may say no one is going to fall for that, but people fall for more obvious scams everyday.
From what I read cashier's checks are more secure than certified checks, since cashier's checks are against the funds of the bank while certified checks are against the funds of a person.

I did not follow example above. Seller would only accept cashier's check payable to the seller. There is no signing it over to them. How can cashier's checks be cancelled by the buyer at that point?

In googling this, I am not seeing any advantages of certified checks over cashier's checks. Am I missing something?

michaeljc70
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:02 pm

shawn_lad wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:50 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:53 pm
I'm surprised no one mentioned a certified check. They cannot be stopped. Cashier's checks can be cancelled.

...

To give an example, someone can get a cashier's check in their name (or a fake name). They say they lost it at the bank. They will have to wait 90-180 days typically depending on the bank. They then get the money from the check. Then they sign the cashier's check over to you for the car. You may say no one is going to fall for that, but people fall for more obvious scams everyday.
From what I read cashier's checks are more secure than certified checks, since cashier's checks are against the funds of the bank while certified checks are against the funds of a person.

I did not follow example above. Seller would only accept cashier's check payable to the seller. There is no signing it over to them. How can cashier's checks be cancelled by the buyer at that point?

In googling this, I am not seeing any advantages of certified checks over cashier's checks. Am I missing something?

When a check is certified, the funds are immediately withdrawn from the account it is drawn on and put into a bank owned account. They punch out the account number on the bottom of the check as the funds are no longer coming from that personal account. It cannot be cancelled if you claim it is lost or stolen. A cashier's check can be cancelled if you claim it was lost or stolen. That was my point. If you accept a cashier's check made out to you that is for certain genuine and not cancelled, then there isn't a problem. But people seem to want to ignore important caveats. If the guy that is buying the car made the check out to you and claimed it was lost and then you go to cash the cashier's check, you will ultimately probably get your money, but who wants that hassle?

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:07 pm

Seller would only accept cashier's check payable to the seller. There is no signing it over to them. How can cashier's checks be cancelled by the buyer at that point?
Yes, the cashiers check would be payable to the seller. Suppose, though, the seller lost the check, or left it in their pocket and the check was dissolved in the laundry [I have encountered that a few times, but small amounts]. What can be done? The seller (payee) - probably the buyer who bought the check can go through a "process" - and a delay of up to 90 days - certifying that the check was lost and agreeing that the lost check will not be deposited/cashed. THEN the issuing bank or credit union can, safely, stop the Cashiers check. If the check was damaged and could be returned to the issuing bank or credit union, then it would probably be easy to replace the check.
In googling this, I am not seeing any advantages of certified checks over cashier's checks. Am I missing something?
I cannot think of any advantage of a "certified" check.

jalbert
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by jalbert » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:08 pm

Do the transaction at a branch of the buyer's bank. The two of you sit down with a personal banker who prepares a money order or cashier's check paid to you and you sign release of the title and give it to the buyer when the payment instrument has been produced.

Don't let anyone test drive the car without seeing that they have a valid driver's license.

Also be sure to have the buyer sign a resease of your interest in the car that references VIN, license tag, odometer reading, and buyer's driver license number. Some DMVs provide a form and expect you to file it, but if not, you should make one up and keep a copy. This protects you from a buyer not filing for a new title and using the car to commit a crime or running up parking tickets. You don't want that to happen when the DMV thinks you still own the car because nobody has filed for a new title. Take a photocopy of the title showing your signature and date releasing interest as well.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

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dm200
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:11 pm

jalbert wrote:
Sat Apr 21, 2018 2:08 pm
Do the transaction at a branch of the buyer's bank. The two of you sit down with a personal banker who prepares a money order or cashier's check paid to you and you sign release of the title and give it to the buyer when the payment instrument has been produced.
Don't let anyone test drive the car without seeing that they have a valid driver's license.
Also be sure to have the buyer sign a resease of your interest in the car that references VIN, license tag, odometer reading, and buyer's driver license number. Some DMVs provide a form and expect you to file it, but if not, you should make one up and keep a copy. This protects you from a buyer not filing for a new title and using the car to commit a crime or running up parking tickets. You don't want that to happen when the DMV thinks you still own the car because nobody has filed for a new title. Take a photocopy of the title showing your signature and date releasing interest as well.
Yes -- if at all possible, go together to DMV and have the buyer get the title and registration right then and there. That is not always possible or practical, for various reasons, but if the title is transferred right then - it is clear that you no longer own the car.

jalbert
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by jalbert » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:27 pm

Yes -- if at all possible, go together to DMV and have the buyer get the title and registration right then and there. That is not always possible or practical, for various reasons, but if the title is transferred right then - it is clear that you no longer own the car.
This is unnecessary in many states. The buyer signs a separate form stating that they took over interest in the car at the date and odometer reading and the seller just has to mail a copy to the DMV.
Risk is not a guarantor of return.

Dave55
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Re: Selling a car: how to get paid?

Post by Dave55 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:30 pm

sperry8 wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 8:53 am
shawn_lad wrote:
Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:10 pm
Car sale newbie question here...

I never sold a car before and have just been reading about the process a bit. I wonder about the best reasonable approach to assure that I get paid in a private transaction, before giving the title.

Articles I read suggest getting a cashier's check and verifying it in the issuing bank. So, would I go with the buyer to their bank with cashier's check and try to cash it right there? Or just have the clerk look at it and make sure it's good to do and then I am assured there is no "stop payment" that can be placed on it? (Sometimes even clerks cannot really verify these just visually, right?)

I guess another option is to insist on cash payment, but not sure if many buyers would be comfortable with that.

One site mentioned that if buyer insists on personal check, going to their bank and cashing it in with them first. I guess seller ends up with cash as well then.

P.S. I have a few old cars that will need to be sold in the next couple years (not all mine), in the range of $2k - $7k each.
I've sold cars this way and always did the transaction in the bank. If they gave me cash, I was at my bank where I deposited the cash before I handed over signed title. If they wanted to provide Cashier's check, I went to their bank or CU and took it from teller after he ordered it. Teller explained this check was good as bank and couldn't be cancelled... and then I went to my bank straight away and deposited it.

Not everyone is out to get you. If you don't like the "feel" of the transaction or person you're dealing with... don't do the transaction.
+1

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