Who's tractor is it?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by pointer_hunter, May 5, 2006.

  1. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    My uncle works part time as a tractor mechanic. There was an older gentleman who dropped off a tractor to be fixed. The man paid 1500.00 (I think) for a new motor. After everything, it looked like a cracked head and Uncle told him he could get one for about 800. The man didn't want to pay that and said he would find one on his own and have him put it in. Well, that was a few years ago and now Uncle is unable to contact the man. We are not even sure if he is still alive. So, with that being said, who owns the tractor? Is there some sort of legal process that needs to be put in motion? :help:
     
  2. Pony

    Pony Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I think it's your uncle's.

    Maybe you could call a local auto service place and ask them. I know that sometimes, people don't pay for or come back for cars, and the shop owner sells the cars for the cost of repairs.

    Pony!
     

  3. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused! You say the man already paid $1500 for a new motor but your Uncle could find him one for $800? Now the man hasn't been heard from for several years?

    I'd say before assuming that your Uncle has a legal right to the tractor..your Uncle should consult a competent attorney.
     
  4. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

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    It is called a mechanics lien. Your uncle who I assume has a business can apply for the lien and get title to the vechicle. You are then good to go.
     
  5. BillyGoat

    BillyGoat Well-Known Member

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    Just The 2 Years Of Storage Would Be A Big Bill.
     
  6. Windy in Kansas

    Windy in Kansas In Remembrance

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    The tractor clearly belongs to the original owner that brought it in.
    In the event that he is now deceased it belongs to his estate.

    The shop that was to do the work on the tractor (which my be your uncles shop) has legitamate expenses against the tractor for work already done, and a reasonable amount of storage. I wouldn't consider several years of storage legimate. After just a few months you uncle should have been working hard at contacting the owner to see where the needed parts were, or as to the disposition of the tractor, etc.

    If the tractor now belongs to an estate then the claim for work and storage would fall to the estate to pay. If that is the case your uncle might offer to settle his bill for work done and storage for all rights to the tractor should he wish to do so.

    There is a legal process to obtain all rights to the tractor. Your uncle or the shop doesn't simply have rights to the tractor without due process.
     
  7. Qwispea

    Qwispea Well-Known Member

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    Very well said! :)
     
  8. pointer_hunter

    pointer_hunter Well-Known Member

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    That's kind of what I was looking for, thanks! I know he kept trying to contact the man a few months after he said he would get his own parts, but he hasn't been able to contact anyone.

    The 1500 was for the motor or block, the 800 is for a head to go with it. I only ask because I tripped over the motor in the back room the other day.

    Thanks again for the info!
     
  9. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Um... no. Not even close. A Mechanic's Lien is a lien against real property (real estate), not vehicles and such (personal property).


    Windy is pretty much spot on. The holder of the title is the owner. Gaining title may vary slightly state to state, but it should not be too hard to look up.
     
  10. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

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    Just an item of note, an older tractor usually doesn't have a title.
     
  11. whodunit

    whodunit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In Idaho (and I am sure other states are similar) you must have certain paperwork to file a mechanic's lien on a vehicle. Basically, it's a signed work order that authorizes the owrk to be done and I think explains what will happen if they fail to pay their bill.

    For a vehicle without a title, one can apply for a conditional title and there are ways to research who the titled owner was/is.

    Once that's determined, the titled owner has to put in writing that they have no interest in the vehicle. The new owner can then get a title in their name.

    I would either contact your state's motor vehicle inspector and see about researching who the titled owner is and/or contact someone (like the executor of the will) from the man's estate (if he is indeed deceased) and have them write a letter that they release interest.
     
  12. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Sorry Zeal, I didn't state that as clearly as I should have. Even without a 'title doument' if you actually own something you hold title to it. I have a bad habit of using terms the way I learned them in the legal field rather than the real world. My fault, probably should have just said 'the owner that solicited the work'. :eek:

    And whodunit, a mechanic's lien is against real property, not personal property.
     
  13. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    I was in the garage business for over 25 years and here's what I know:
    1. Tractors do NOT have titles.
    2. You CAN put a mechanics lien on a vehicle and either the owner pays or you keep the vehicle to satisfy the lien.
    If the guy is still alive and wants the tractor back file a small claims case against him for the parts, labor, and storage. Document everything well and you will win, been there done that. :cowboy:
     
  14. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Sigh... from www.law.com...

    mechanic's lien
    n. the right of a craftsman, laborer, supplier, architect or other person who has worked upon improvements or delivered materials to a particular parcel of real estate (either as an employee of the owner or as a sub-contractor to a general contractor) to place a lien on that real property for the value of the services and/or materials if not paid. Numerous other technical laws surround mechanic's liens, including requirements of prompt written notice to the owner of the property (even before the general contractor has been tardy in making payment), limits on the amount collectable in some states, and various time limitations to enforce the lien. Ultimate, last-resort enforcement of the mechanic's lien is accomplished by filing a lawsuit to foreclose the lien and have the property sold in order to be paid. Property owners should make sure that their general contractors pay their employees or subcontractors to avoid a mechanic's lien, since the owner could be forced to pay the debts of a general contractor even though the owner has already paid the contractor. If the worker or supplier does not sue to enforce the mechanic's lien, he/she may still sue for the debt.

    and...

    title
    n. 1) ownership of real property or personal property, which stands against the right of anyone else to claim the property. In real property, title is evidenced by a deed, judgment of distribution from an estate or other appropriate document recorded in the public records of the county. Title to personal property is generally shown by possession, particularly when no proof or strong evidence exists showing that the property belongs to another or that it has been stolen or known to be lost by another. In the case of automobiles and other vehicles, title is registered with the state's Department of Motor Vehicles, which issues a title document ("pink slip") to the owner. 2) the name for one's position in a business or organization, such as president, general manager, mayor, governor, duke. 3) the name for a legal case, such as Eugene Chan v. Runabout Taxi Company, Inc., which is part of the "caption" of the case.

    Mmm-kay? It is NOT a "mechanic's lien" legally. What you are speaking towards are typically called storage liens, or in some few states I've seen them called possessory liens, though possesory interest is typically referenced with real property rather than personal property. It is NOT a mechanic's lien. As for filing suit, be careful, it may not be worth it to sue in just small claims court, there are limits to the amounts you can sue for in small claims court. Additionally if you sue in Civil court, or above, many states do not allow a corporation to have anyone but an attorney represent them in court.
     
  15. baddogbad

    baddogbad Active Member

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    excuse my french... --------!

    my father was a watchmaker. i worked for him most of my early years. we had to deal with this issue all of the time. all sorts of folks came in to have something repaired. most were great. paid the agreed charges. some were like this tractor dude.

    the "ticket" my father would issue to all who came into the shop was the same. "pay for the repairs or forfeit your claim after xx days."

    and before anyone jumps on me for this, there are "a lot" of folks that would let you repair their item and then come back at some later date and say "bla bla bla"... whatever.

    windy... explain this to me "After just a few months you uncle should have been working hard at contacting the owner".

    ???

    its MY responsibility to get this stiff to take responsibility and pay for my work i have done? or to look after and take care of a stiff who refuses to pay his bill?

    search him out? expend all of my resources to ensure his "estate" is taken care of? [edited]
    i did my job, i repaired his broken stuff. now he chooses to stiff me. and somehow now this is my problem? windy, you are wrong.

    dude. that tractor is yours.
     
  16. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Every state is going to have different laws. It should be fairly easy for the mechanic to claim the tractor, but all the i & t dots & crosses need to be taken care of. A visit with folks in the sherriff's office will likely put you down the proper path. It would be wrong to 'assume' you have ownership & do nothing more.

    Typically there is very little cost, but you need to follow the procedure.

    'Title' for a tractor is very odd legaleese - never heard of such a thing. Just like 'real' property - a piece of land, or a tractor - both are 'real'. :) A bunch of lawyer talk, real people probably don't care much. :) :) Some document likely needs to be filed in some pigeon hole in the courthouse, and the mechanic will gain control of the tractor after a set time.

    By whatever set of words one wishes to apply.

    --->Paul
     
  17. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    Baddogbad, it usually expected that a reasonable effort is made. What that means in some states is a certified letter, sometimes an ad in a local paper etc. I don't think it is really excessive in most states.

    Lol! Yea I know, it is a bad habit, however, I always try and get someone in the right direction when I can. Clerks at the courthouses generally are willing to help so long as you have an idea of the right thing you want to do. If I can get that much into someone's hands, it's one less laywer charging hourly fees. ;)
     
  18. baddogbad

    baddogbad Active Member

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    hey reddeviltn,

    thanks. sometimes the smallest things from my past will make me so mouthy.

    and then a voice of reason can say the simplest thing and i can shut up in a heartbeat.
     
  19. Red Devil TN

    Red Devil TN Well-Known Member

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    I take it someone screwed you over for services? Can't stand that. Bold faced stealing, yet the people typically act like they are the injured party, because, you know, your service should be free right? It's even worse when the magistrate or judge is sympathetic to their 'plight'.
     
  20. jnap31

    jnap31 garden guy

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    I would have to agree