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Old 02-01-2013
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Question Wow.. I need some advise here...

Hello everybody,

I am in Florida and trying to purchase an Italian boat that was imported to the states a year ago. its a SV from 1983. the boat is listed by broker and we are under a contract, actually today was closing day but we didn't close because we have a problem....

Talking to the boat home port in Italy I discovered that the boat has 4 owners and not one owner, as I been told.

In 2002 this guy (suppose to be the only owner) didn't verify that there wasn't a deletion of the previous owners and probably in the official records he joined the previous 3 . now we need all the 4 of them to agree for the sale but some of them are not alive anymore...and.... bla bla bla....

Bottom line:
the way that I see it I have three possible options :

1) to pay a company in Italy that will organize everything- transfer of the ownership and I can keep the boat under Italian flag- they want 2000-2500 E !!! and I don't have this money to spend on this, and they still need the 4 owners (or power of attorney) to be present.

2) Another option is to forget about Italy and to make a new registration in the states. with the papers I have I know its possible, but then I am not sure if I will have any problems in the future ... I am planning to go around the world with the boat... basically the boat will be register in two places, in the Italian records the owners will be all the 4 of them but in the states it will be only me.

3) to walk away - which I really don't want, I love the boat and already spent a lot of money on her (survey, accommodation and some repairs)

BTW I am not planning to have any insurance but maybe the next owner will.

I already spoke with many documentation agencies and except the one in Italy no one else knows what to do.

So... what you think I should do?? any advises??

Thank you very much for Reading!

Much love!

Ben
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

What a mess.... I think to be safe I'd get the (alleged) owner/seller to arrange the clearance of title and knock that off the purchase price. I'd hate to be cruising and have to cringe and hold your breath every time a customs officer checks documents..

This would mean waiting a while, no doubt. Too bad about your investment, I understand the survey, but repairs already?? and 'accommodation'? what was that - moorage/storage, I presume.. odd to undertake those costs/responsibilities before closing...

Quite fortunate to have found this out first, rather than later!
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Old 02-01-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Ben,

It will break your heart, but walk away now. Do you know what dealing with Italian lawyers and estates would be like? You will have no end of trouble with the paperwork. There are lots of boats at great prices right now; you will find a new love.

Ask the current owner to reimburse you for repair costs - he's the one that benefits. If he says no, consider it an omen. If he does, count yourself among the lucky.

Tom
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Old 02-02-2013
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I thought the broker's responsibility was to make sure there was clear title and ownership can be transferred properly? With no emotional connection it is easy for me to say this but you have to tell the broker to resolve this with the owner.

Good luck - I hope it works out for you.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

The one thing you might be able to do is have the current owner petition a court to clear the title. It would depend on exactly what type of supporting documents you have and the nationality of all the effected parties.

If its possible, this is absolutely the sellers problem.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Walk. There are too many other boats out there to waste any more time and money on this mess.

I know you've already spent money on this boat but you will spend money on any and every boat you are serious about buying.

You have to know when to stop spending money on a boat.
When the ownership isn't clear is a good time to stop spending money.

This might also be a good time to demand the broker and/or seller refund the funds you have invested in surveying a boat that has been factually misrepresented. This is more than an "oops" on his part.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dacap06 View Post
Ben,

It will break your heart, but walk away now. Do you know what dealing with Italian lawyers and estates would be like? You will have no end of trouble with the paperwork. There are lots of boats at great prices right now; you will find a new love.

Ask the current owner to reimburse you for repair costs - he's the one that benefits. If he says no, consider it an omen. If he does, count yourself among the lucky.

Tom
Absolutely right. My sister lived in Italy, married there and raised her family. The Italian bureaucracy and legal system is incredibly inefficient and corrupt. Dealing with something like your situation would be nearly impossible without some "bustarella" in the right places.

My brother in law has been trying to sell his restaurant for literally YEARS but there is ALWAYS some bureaucratic complication (read no correctly distributed bustarella) that prevents it.

RUN.
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Wow! What could possibly cause you to consider going through with this deal? There is NO WAY that I would ever want to deal with the hassle of working my way through the Italian legal system for a boat. Cut your losses and walk away.

I believe that you may have a case against the broker for misrepresenting the ownership of the vessel (it seems to me that he has a case against the seller).
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Do you have a written contract of sale? Most dictate that the seller deliver clear title. Require them to do so, at their expense, or do not close. If they can't, you either walk away or potentially sue in the US for failing to meet their contractual obligations and misrepresenting ownership or try to negotiate that they reimburse you for your costs.

If you want a forecast, I think you will become very frustrated by this and end up walking away with nothing. Sorry.

How did you learn about the Italian registration?
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Old 02-02-2013
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Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

I would recommend a good firm of Italian lawyers that I have used in the past for a similar problem in Italy to transfer title to France for an Italian registered boat. Try Giambrone Law, my lawyer was Senora Valentina Giarrusso and a link to her personal profile is on their website. They have a US phone number in NYC but she is based in Italy so bear in mind the time difference.

This wasnt cheap but A lot less than €3000 that you email suggests. You will need the lawyers to complete the legal paperwork by power of attorney and usually they deal with the vendor's side to make sure that you get proper title.

i hope this helps!
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