Weird Lien Situation
I did my homework. Asked the seller for the VIN to run a lien check. He showed me the registration paper / title from Access NS that had the VIN number on it. I took a pic of the title (in his name) and ran the lien check. Came back clean. Seller said he isn't surprised because he went to the bank and "paid it off" already.
I go ahead, negotiate a price and buy the four wheeler. I call my insurance co to get it insured and they tell me the VIN is not valid, so I go and look on the bike and the vin on the registration paper / ownership is missing a single character. Likely a typo at Access NS (how their systems even allow that to happen is beyond me - do they manually type VIN's on to those forms?).
Being suspicious, I run the corrected VIN through lien search and bang, TD Auto Finance has a lien on the bike.
I contacted the seller, he said he "paid it off" at the bank and will get me a letter the next day. Fast forward two weeks and its excuse after excuse. Now he is in the hospital apparently. I thought ok, maybe they just didn't deregister the lien - so I searched it again and nope, still a lien registered to him on the bike.
What do I do now? I feel like I exercised due diligence - EXCEPT not checking to make sure the VIN on the ownership paper he had matched the VIN on the actual vehicle. How many people actually do that? The form had the guys name, the year and model of the vehicle, it all checked out. I didn't even check to make sure the VIN matched. What also pisses me off is that the VIN search website in NS for liens even says it searched "similar" vin's incase there is an error. Well in my case, there was an error - and it still said no liens found.
I am afraid to even use the bike because if anything happens to it, or it gets stolen, insurance will pay the lien first and then I am out the value of the bike. It's just a really weird situation. I am trying to be nice to the guy with the hopes that my skepticism is unfounded and he really has paid it off. I also don't want to call the bank and be like "hey, did this guy pay of his loan? Oh, no? well... ummmmm. don't come to my house and repossess it please."