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When a person repairs, tows or stores a vehicle or vessel and has not been paid by the owner of the vehicle or vessel for services rendered, that person is entitled to a lien against that vehicle or vessel. A lien arises (becomes effective) at the time the registered owner is presented with a written statement of charges for completed work or service. If, however, possession is the result of a public agency or police impound, the lien arises when the vehicle is transported (towed).
A short lien is a lien on a vehicle that is valued at less than $4000 but more than $500. At least 10 days prior to the sale date the notice of pending lien sale must be posted in a conspicuous place at the lien sale location. A short lien takes between 31-40 days to clear.
A long lien is a lien on a vehicle that is valued at more than $4000 or a vehicle that is stored at a storage facility. Usually only businesses conduct this type of lien. This lien takes up to 120 days to complete. The customer must provide the public agency or name and address of the person who authorized the repairs, storage and/or towing. The DMV will reject the lien without this information.
With a long lien, Lewis Lien Sales (LLS) will submit a request for authorization to conduct a lien sale, along with the fee to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). We must wait for the authorization from the DMV before proceeding with the lien sale process. This can take approximately 30-90 days.
Then, when we receive the authorization, we prepare a lien sale package for the customer. At least five days but not more than 20 days before the sale date, the customer must give notice of the sale by advertising the sale for one day in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the vehicle is located. If there is no newspaper published in the county, notice shall be given by posting the notice of pending lien sale in three of the most public places in the town where the vehicle is located and at the place where the vehicle is to be sold for 10 consecutive days prior to and including the day of the sale. We can help you with that.
The vehicle must be available for inspection at a location easily accessible to the public for at least one hour before the sale and must be at the place of sale at the time and date specified on the Notice of Sale. If the auction price exceeds the amount of the lien, the excess amount must be sent to the Lien Sale Unit within 15 days after the sale date. After the sale, a redemption period of 10 days (not counting the date of sale) is required before the purchaser can take possession of the vehicle and apply for transfer of ownership. After the redemption period, you must give the buyer the lien sale package and a copy of the authorization letter from DMV. The license plates must be removed and destroyed at the time of the sale and you must submit to DMV within five days of the sale a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability.
Vessels are a little bit different and require more work on our part. The procedures are determined by the whether the vessel is over or under $1500.
For vessels under $1500, LLS charges a rate of $60 per lien. A short lien on a vessel must be accompanied by a written statement for fair market value from a licensed yacht/ship broker as evidence that the value of the vessel or vessel/trailer is $1,500 or less.
For vessels over $1500, LLS charges a rate of $100 per lien. A form and a filing fee must be submitted to the DMV. .This type of lien usually takes approximately 90 to 120 days to complete.
You will receive a packet of lien sale documents from us prior to the vehicle's sale date. This packet will have an invoice on top and several pages of DMV forms attached. The sale date will be printed on both the "Seller's Warranty" and the "Certificate of Lien" forms.
No. LLS is only licensed in the State of California. If the vehicle in your possession has California license plates and you are out-of-state, you must follow the lien sale laws of that state. However, if the vehicle in your possession is located within California, we can lien it even if it has out-of-state plates.
Although in other circles the lienholder is typically the finance company, for our purposes the lienholder is the person or entity who has interest in the vehicle due to storage and/or towing costs. In other words, it is the person or entity who is in possession of the vehicle also know as the possessory lienholder.
Yes. The Vehicle Code does not exempt lien sale vehicles from outstanding fees and penalties.
No. You cannot conduct a lien sale on a vehicle in which you have a monetary interest. You must apply for a duplicate title from the DMV.
That would be a conflict of interest.
A lien becomes effective at the time the registered owner is presented with a written statement of charges for completed work or services. If however, possession is the result of a public agency or police impound, the lien arises wihen the vehicle is towed.
You will need:
Vehicle Identification Number, Engine number if it is a motorcycle, hull number, if it is a vessel
Possession of the vehicle. Loss of possession immediately stops your lien.
Moving the vehicle also stops your lien.