Does anybody know how to acquire an abandon car? I am currently looking at a Fiero I recently found in a field in northern WI. People living around the location of the car say it has been there for around 10 years. I am currently going to the Register of Deeds to see what I can find out from there as far as who owns the land. What do I do from there if I cannot locate the owner of the land or the car?
James Bond 007 Member
Posts: 8745 From: California.U.S.A. Registered: Dec 2002
Get the VIN or license plate from the car and go to the local police station. They can run the numbers and locate who was the last owner. Most likely they will not tell you the info, But they can contact the owner and ask the owner if he wants to claim the car. If the owner does not want the car or he cannot be located, The car is considered abandoned and the police can write a report. Then contact the state DMV, give them the abandoned car report number and the VIN. You can then request a lost title and re-issue it in your name. (That's how it's done down here in Illinois, other states may be different, You can always check with either the local police or the state DMV to get proper procedures.) It is always best to use the legal method. I know of some who took the car, fixed it up and tried to get a lost title. The state contacted the previous owner who then claimed the car and the person who fixed it was out all the money. (the owner never authorized it so the person had no legal claim to the cost). If it turns out to be the owner of the land, You need his permission to remove it and he needs to sign an affidavit that the title is lost so you can get a title in your name.
[This message has been edited by Oreif (edited 03-02-2004).]
No matter who owns the car you need the landowner's permission (or the tenant if it's rented) to enter the property. If you're caught on the land trying to remove anything, no matter who owns it, you can be charged with trespassing and possibly attempted theft.
Originally posted by Oreif:
If it turns out to be the owner of the land, You need his permission to remove it and he needs to sign an affidavit that the title is lost so you can get a title in your name.
Master Tuner Akimoto Member
Posts: 2267 From: South Florida,USA Registered: Jul 2003
Why could you file a mechanics lein against a car that you have no reason to file a lein against? Even if you drag it out of the field and spend $10,000 on it, if you don't have the owner's permission to do that he's not liable to pay you for it. Can you say FRAUD?
Originally posted by Master Tuner Akimoto:
Just file a mechanics lein on the car as long as it is not stolen,once the lein is in place the owner is out of gas ......it is a sad reality but it is legal and the owner has no legal recourse.
Posts: 425 From: Pasadena, TX Registered: Feb 2004
Just be careful. I am a testament to the Abandoned Car thing. The owner of the vehicle decided he wanted to claim the car after many years of it sitting and rotting. The sunroof had been left out, the engine was full of water, but in the end, I sat time in jail, have a felony because of it, and he says I am the one who totalled the vehicle. I am ordered to pay restitution, although part of that was dropped because there was no way I could have bent the frame with it parked in the middle of a state owned field.
Be careful. If you DO find the owner, get everything in writing, and double check your state laws. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
Posts: 3122 From: Southern Indiana USA Registered: Aug 2003