How to Sell a Truck with a Lien

January 27, 2012

You will be able to sell your truck with a lien, if you follow a few important guidelines. A lien is type of security interest. It endorses a claim that the lien holder has on any particular vehicle. If you’ve taken an auto loan from a bank or lender, you will have to obtain an auto lien release document from the lien holder before you sell your truck. However, to obtain the auto lien release document, you will have to fully pay the lien holder the sum of money you borrowed or loaned. If you fail to do so and sell the truck to a new buyer, the lien holder has the right to repossess the vehicle you sold. Moreover, the new buyer will be able to take legal action against you. In order to avoid these consequences, it’s important to bear a few tips in mind when selling your truck under lien.

Selling Under Lien:

  • If you are able to pay the remainder of your auto loan amount, contact the bank or the lender you’re dealing with, and pay off the entire amount. Both you and the bank representative will have to sign the auto lien release document in the presence of a notary. After you obtain the auto lien release document, your truck will have a clear title and you will be able to sell your vehicle without any concerns.
  • On the other hand, if you won’t be able to pay off your loan amount, look for a buyer who is willing to pay the amount to the bank to acquire the vehicle. If you owe the bank less than the sale price of your car, the buyer will have to first pay the bank and you will obtain the difference, a little later. If you owe the bank more than the sale price of the truck, you will have to pay the bank the difference.  
  • As a general guideline, the new buyer will have to make a certified check payable to the lender and to you.
  • You must make sure the truck has a clear title before you put it up for sale. Some buyers may also choose to refinance the loan with your bank or lender when buying the vehicle.
  • Since most buyers would obtain a vehicle history report to verify the truck title, make sure you follow the correct procedure when selling your vehicle.
  • To find buyers for your truck under lien, post ads on several websites such as, craigslist and eBay Motors. You could also put up a ‘For Sale’ sign on your truck to attract potential customers.

Although most car buyers are skeptical about purchasing a vehicle that doesn’t have a clear title, you will be able to sell the truck if you abide by the law. Since the law regarding vehicle sales, titles and registration varies in every state, it’s advisable to research your state DMV website to obtain all pertinent details.