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Selling a Vehicle with a Lien? Here’s What You Need to Know

  • 2 min read

If you’re looking to sell your vehicle but you have a lien on it, there are a few steps you need to take before you can transfer ownership to the buyer. A lien is a legal claim against your vehicle that gives the lienholder the right to take possession of it if you fail to pay off your debt. To sell a car with a lien, you must obtain a lien release from the lienholder first.

Here’s what you need to do to sell a vehicle with a lien:

Find out the payoff amount: The first thing you need to do is find out the current payoff amount on your vehicle. You still owe this amount on your loan, and it’s what you’ll need to pay off before you can sell your car. Contact your lender and request the payoff amount, and make sure to ask about any fees or incentives for an early payoff.

Negotiate with the buyer: Once you know your payoff amount, negotiate with the buyer to determine the vehicle’s sale price. Ensure the sale price is enough to cover the payoff amount and any additional fees associated with the sale.

Pay off the lien: Once you’ve agreed on a sale price, you’ll need to pay off the lien. You can do this by sending a check or electronic payment to your lender. Ensure to include the account number and indicate that the payment is for the payoff amount.

Obtain a lien release: After you’ve paid off the lien, contact your lender and request a lien release. This document shows that the lien has been released from your vehicle, and it’s necessary to transfer ownership to the buyer. Some lenders will provide the lien release automatically, but if they still need to, make sure to request it.

Complete the sale: Once you have the lien release in hand, you can complete the sale of your vehicle. Make sure to sign the title over to the buyer and provide any necessary documentation, such as a bill of sale.

Selling a vehicle with a lien can be more complicated than selling a car that’s paid off, but it’s possible. Just follow these steps and obtain a lien release before completing the sale. With a little extra effort, you can sell your car and pay off your debt simultaneously.