Read this BEFORE buying a Used Boat

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Posted by Steve Ball, Attorney at Law on July 11, 2003 at 21:12:20:

Hi, fellow fisher(wo)men,

Here's a little story that might interest y'all:

Today, in my office, I had to call a man in Winston County and tell him that "his" ski boat, which he bought used from an individual in Morgan County and paid $17,000 cash for, actually must be returned to my client, a local credit union. The credit union had loaned money to the first owner to enable the first owner to purchase the boat from the dealer. The man who purchased the used ski boat now has only the right to sue the first owner, but no longer has a superior right to keep "his" $17,000 ski boat.

The credit union had a Security Agreement with the first owner by which the boat was pledged as collateral for the loan. The credit union also subsequently filed a UCC-1 financing statement at the Morgan County Courthouse. Because a boat is a consumer good, and because money was loaned for its purchase and security taken in the boat, the credit union has a right to repossess this boat from ANY purchaser. Code of Alabama, 1975

Here's the skinny: Boats aren't titled in Alabama. (They're registered.) Therefore, there's no title on which the purchaser of a used boat can find any lien which may exist. PURCHASERS OF USED BOATS IN ALABAMA MUST GO TO THE COUNTY OF RESIDENCE OF THE INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS FROM WHICH THEY ARE PURCHASING A USED BOAT AND "RUN" THE NAME OF THAT INDIVIDUAL OR BUSINESS FOR ANY UCC-1 FINANCING STATEMENTS THAT MAY EXIST.

Be aware, the existence of a filed, unsatisfied UCC-1 means that YOU, the purchaser of a used boat, are "constructively put on notice" that an unsatisfied lien exists. IF YOU FAIL TO CHECK, AND YOU BUY A BOAT WITH A LIEN ON IT, I MIGHT GET TO CALL YOU, TOO!

This message is placed to make everyone aware of this seemingly unknown fact. This message is not placed as or meant to be construed as legal advice, nor is this an advertisement. Anyone contemplating the purchase of a used boat should consult their attorney regarding a check for outstanding liens. Steve Ball, Attorney at Law, Decatur, AL (256) 355-9517

This helpful public service message is dedicated to one of my old fishin' buddies..."Young Man!!!"

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