Financial Advice Q&A

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Posts: 2
Can I sell my brother's motorcycle without his signature?
[ Edited ]

I am the co signer on my brother's motorcycle loan. Last year, 3 months after buying the bike my brother underwent brain surgery to remove a tumor and as a result he is not allowed to drive anymore because he might have seizures. He has moved out of state(where the original loan was signed) and now I'm trying to sell the bike. The loan is from GE Capital Retail bank. My question is, how do I sell a vehicle that still has a loan? And can I, as the co signer sell it without my brother's signature?

Posted: 2014-04-24 08:30 AM
Other Answers: 1
Community Manager
Posts: 398

I hope your brother is doing well following his surgery.  Since his name is on the title and loan he will need to be involved and sign some paperwork during the sales process.  He could seek out the assistance of an attorney and create a limited power of attorney naming you as his agent in the sale of the motorcycle.  So, your brother will have to be involved in one way or another.


Since there is a loan on the motorcycle, the lender will not issue the title until the loan is paid off. This means some portion (if not all) of the buyer's purchase price will have to go to the lender.  After the loan is paid off, typically the lender will release the title to your brother who will then (or you as his agent) sign the title over to the buyer.  Furthermore, if you and your brother owe more than the bike will sell for, you'll have to come up with money out of pocket to pay off the loan.


It's kind of complicated, but as a co-signer, you're liable for the loan, so you'll want to see the process through to avoid credit problems for both you and your brother.  Here are a few other things to consider:


Pay-it off first?  If you and/or your brother have the financial capacity, you may want to consider paying off the loan in advance of the sale.  That way you'll have the title in hand and the sales process will be a lot easier (and maybe more attractive from the buyer's perspective).


Talk to a dealership. Since they are in this business and work through the paperwork and title transfer process on a daily basis a dealer may be able to assist. I have seen situations, with automobiles, where for a small fee, a dealer acted as an intermediary between a seller and buyer in situations similar to yours.  Heck, they might be willing to buy the bike back although typically you would get a better price from a private party.


Check with the lender. Check with your lender they may be able to facilitate the sales process or even recommend a service in your area that could do the same. At the very least, they'll be able to provide tips to make the process go smoothly. There are also escrow services that could act as the middleman in a transaction like yours, but unlike if your lender is doing it, you'll have to be cautious, research, and find a reputable service.


Be cautious as you move forward.  If you have additional questions during the process consider contacting an attorney.  Good luck.









Posted: 2014-04-24 11:22 AM


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