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  #1  
Old 02-07-2007
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Urgent: Questions about selling process

Hi All -

As I mentioned in another thread, I'm selling my boat. The buyer found me over the Internet, came to my house, inspected the boat and then arranged for financing. I don't know him and I have no references. I have no reason to suspect anything but honesty, but in today's day and age - you never know.

The buyer arranged for credit through Essex Credit who is using "Titling Services of Florida" to handle the closing. Titling Services of Florida wants me to send down the original titles for boat and trailer, signed, plus a limited power of attorney. They state they will release these documents to Essex Credit upon my receipt of the funding (i.e. act as an escrow agent). I don't know these guys at all and am somewhat uncomfortable sending them all this information.

Has anyone here used this organization? Do you know who they are? Does anyone have any recommendations on how I can proceed while making sure no fraud is involved? They would like to close this week, and I'd love to get my money this week!

Thanks!

Chris
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Old 02-07-2007
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http://www.americanvessel.com/
Did you check out this site?
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Old 02-07-2007
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If they are crooks, they at least have a website: http://www.titlingservicesofflorida.com/index.htm

I have no experience with them, but I did finance my first boat through Essex Credit. Had no complaints with them. I don't think Essex would deal with a bad outfit.
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Old 02-07-2007
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Labatt...what do they need your limited power of attorney for? I would call Essex Credit and have them give you a reference for the titling service just to be sure it is not a scam.
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Old 02-08-2007
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The site that I posted is for self regulatory agency for the Titleing industry. They are listed as members of the agency. A quick call in the morning to the AVDA should answer any questions and allay or confirm any suspicions you may have.
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Old 02-08-2007
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It wouldn't hurt to call the Florida State Attorney General's office of Consumer Affairs and see if they have any complaints or actions against the titling service company. If not, then it's probably all good...if so...then proceed with caution.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Why don't you locate your own title service and request that it be used instead. Even if you have to pay their fee, you could be comfortable with the transaction then.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Notice Titling Services of Florida listed here:
http://www.americanvessel.com/active...st.htm#Florida

I would call American Vessel Documentation Association, Inc. at 888-832-AVDA (bottom of their website) and ask them if it's normal for companies to ask for information like origional docs and power of attorny.

I have a good feeling you'll sell the boat through them just fine. Just take your time confirming references and don't be rushed. Worst case is this buyer goes away and you wait for the next. How bad can that be?

If you rush and have some bad luck then the worst case is much different. Take your time and relax.

Last edited by RayMetz100; 02-08-2007 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Not sure about all of this. Essex is a boat credit company, and I would think that it should be quite easy to contact them and check out their contractor. They usually want to have the boat documented and the buyer pays a large fee to document the boat and the fee is shared. That is the buyers issue, not yours.

Why would you want to find your own agent and pay a fee that the buyer is willing to pay through Essex. Also, in todays market, buyers of boats are not tripping over each other to buy. It is a buyers market. You have a buyer who has agreed to pay you a price that you must be happy with as you have agreed to sell to him. Make a couple of phone calls and keep the buyer and his money.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Chris, make haste slowly. Make those phones calls. I haven't sold a boat but I can't see why I should release the original title and a POA to *anyone* until I'm sitting at a closing and someone has put a confirmed payment in my hands, i.e. a bank check that I can call the bank up to verify. (Heck, which one of us would recognize a counterfeit bank check or certified check anyway?)

I think I'd ask my own bank or attorney to act as the escrow agent and do all the holding and receiving. Essex Credit have been around for a long time but so far...you have only the buyer's word that he's using them, right?

Strange world out there. Can't figure out why keelhauling and rail riding aren't allowed any more, the world needs more of them both.
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