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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > Wow.. I need some advise here...
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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-07-2013 11:30 AM
DougSabbag
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

If the seller won't or can't resolve all of this for you, then she isn't REALLY cleared for sale!

It is too bad you put money into buying her without knowing about the status of her paperwork.

I would place the responsibility on the seller to handle straightening the title out to be able to sell her to you and NOT SPEND ANOTHER DIME!
02-07-2013 10:59 AM
denverd0n
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

First off, I hope you come back and give us an update on this.

Second, the seller has a legal responsibility to deliver clear title. You should not be hiring Italian lawyers, or doing anything to work through the legal issues on that end. It is their problem, and their responsibility to fix this. If they won't then you really ought to walk away.

Third--lesson to others reading this--don't EVER spend money to do repairs on a boat that you are still in the process of buying. I know that when you're buying a boat you are anxious for it to be yours, and you want to get started on all the things that you want to do with it. The deal is nearly done and you want to begin your list of projects, but DON'T! Not until all of the I's have been dotted, and all the T's have been crossed.

Fourth, this is exactly why it is best not to fall in love with a boat until AFTER you own it. Until the deal is done, and done completely, it is, as Michael Corleone would say, "just business." You have to be ready, willing, and able to walk away at any time if the deal goes sour.

Good luck in working this out. I suspect that it is going to take a lot of time, but it really should not require any money on your part. If it does, you are going to have to decide if you really want this particular boat badly enough to pay for something that is legally and morally someone else's responsibility. I wish you the best.
02-04-2013 01:33 PM
paul323
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

As others have said, option 1 is walking - hard to do, but safest. But you love the boat, so...

IMHO, this is absolutely the sellers (and Brokers) problem. They need to resolve it correctly.

The Italian legal system, as others have said, works differently. It may not as bad as some have said, though. Bribery is not always necessary, but having a legal firm that is local (Italian - take no substitutes), established (think 100+ years, ideally), and well-connected is essential. A surprising amount of their business is achieved through personal contacts, the lawyers "network", as opposed to any due process. An established expert in this area can probably get it done fairly easily; an outsider coming in will get nowhere fast. So on balance it can be done, but remember (as others have said) they just go about things differently from in the US. If you go this route, you need to shelve the US mindset, and brace yourself for the Italian mindset. A few bottles of Chianti may help.

But as I said, it is the sellers' problem - and you may want to point out that any future buyer will have the same concerns, and if he does not do full disclosure to them, then he will be in a very bad place; so it is in his interests to (a) keep you sweet, and (b) get it resolved.

Good luck!
02-04-2013 01:17 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

I suspect some repairs were made during the survey, but it truly makes no sense to spend money on a boat before you've closed. I too remain curious how the identification of the other owners was made. Very odd story.
02-04-2013 12:30 PM
arf145
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

I'd like to hear how you came to make some repairs and all before closing. And also how you found out about the other owners. This has a kind of "scammy" feel to it.
02-04-2013 10:56 AM
svHyLyte
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by benschleifer View Post
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
The first question is how is the actual title to the boat vested. In a single individual? In a Partnership? In a corporation? There may be various claims of ownership but, from your perspective, the issue is the vesting of the current title to the yacht and whether it is merchantable by the single individual that listed the boat for sale regardless of claims of ownership by others (or their estates). If a single person has the right to alienate the title, the claims by others are irrelevant to the buyer.

Further, if the yacht was listed for sale by the presumptive title holder and you acted in reliance on his/her representation to the selling broker and you as to his/her ability to transfer a clear title but such representation was false, whether by intention or otherwise, you have a right, at the least, to recover the costs you incurred. Considering that, I would get yourself a local attorney versed in Admiralty Law that could file a Notice and Demand for the repayment of your money damages and file a Maritime Lien on the ship to make it stick. I would also put the selling broker on notice that, while you might regret having to do so, you will be using a shotgun approach to recovering your costs, if necessary, even though he/she may be no less a victim of the presumptive title holder/seller's misrepresentation(s) than you which, in all likelihood, will motivate him/her to work with you to either clear the title or recover your costs. In no case would I simply walk away.

Lastly, as to your comment about not insuring the yacht, unless you have the means to self insure, both for hazard and liability, doing without insurance in Florida would be unwise IMHO.

FWIW...
02-03-2013 07:08 AM
Navigator Wannabe
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Definitely walk, or have that mess cleared:

Any of the four owners could make claims to the boat at any time, up to a repossession, if they still are holding (part of) the legal title.

Especially now that you officially know of their status, things could get nasty for you if you still buy from only one of them.
(claims of fraudulent purchase, knowingly purchasing stolen goods, etc., etc.; you don't know what the relations between those four are.)

Unless the seller or broker can supply a clean title, I would not touch that deal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by benschleifer View Post
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
02-02-2013 09:25 PM
SloopJonB
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Rudolf View Post
I think that this post is a bit of a general overstatement. The Italian legal system is no different than anywhere else in the world but you need to get accustomed to the Italian way of doing things! ;-)

where is your brother selling the restaurant?
Firenze - and from everything my sister told me over the course of more than 30 years, it isn't an overstatement. It is an endemically corrupt society - much like the stereotypes of Latin American countries.

She had endless stories about ordinary life and business activities that would draw serious jail time here - they were the accepted norm there. Not bribing cops & judges but God help you if you needed renovations approved for occupancy and didn't know who to "deal with". All business skimmed their cash before declaring for tax purposes. Everyone cheated on currency controls. Unless they factor the underground economy into GDP and employment figures, the Italian economy is about 40% larger than published figures - that's how much cheating goes on.

Note: my sister had our values about this sort of thing so I believed her - she only participated in it out of necessity - it went against her nature.
02-02-2013 09:00 PM
John Rudolf
Re: Wow.. I need some advise here...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SloopJonB View Post
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.
I think that this post is a bit of a general overstatement. The Italian legal system is no different than anywhere else in the world but you need to get accustomed to the Italian way of doing things! ;-)

where is your brother selling the restaurant?
02-02-2013 08:58 PM
John Rudolf
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 Ä3000 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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