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Old 10-08-2015, 12:38   #1
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USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I need some advice here.

I bought my boat back in January from someone in California. Her father finished out the boat back in the late 70's, and apparently took out a loan to do so. The loan has long since been satisfied.

Well, when I went to file for documentation exchange, my application was rejected on the grounds that there was no "satisfaction of mortgage" from the lender. After two failed attempts to file the documentation - including a notarized and signed statement of satisfaction by the previous owner - the USCG has once again rejected my documentation.

So apparently, the [I]Lender[I] has to fill out the satisfaction form, and it turns out that bank was closed in 2008...

A couple of questions:

- What the hell do I do now?

- What are the implications of registering the boat with the state of Texas? I intend to go cruising in two or three years, and I'm uncertain if a state-registered boat will be acceptable in foreign waters.

- I've heard of firms that can act as an agent handling USCG documentation matters. Does anyone have experience doing this?
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:27   #2
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I don't have any thing specific, but can you try and track down the inheritor of the banks assets? They may be able to provide you a satisfaction letter. Or get someone on the phone at the documentation office and try to work it out through them.
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Old 10-08-2015, 16:49   #3
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb1685 View Post
, and it turns out that bank was closed in 2008...
What bank are you talking about?

Was it acquired/merged into another bank (in which case you need to talk to the surviving entity)

or was it liquidated (in which the FDIC may help; see https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consu...lien/Boat.html)
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Old 10-08-2015, 17:34   #4
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I would call them, explain the situation. I think there is a process by which you can apply for a waiver (another form) for $15 or so wherein you can explain your situation.

Then you hope they will be reasonable.
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Old 10-08-2015, 17:47   #5
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I would look at the state registration option. I could not document my boat, as the boat was owned by an LLC and the sole owner of the LLC passed away. I purchased the boat from the estate.

I used a documentation agent to process my paperwork for the state registration and it went very smoothly. I am not worried about not being documented. I know several people who have cruised nearly everywhere with a state registered boat.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:14   #6
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

Not exactly the same, but some years ago I bought a property from an older woman and she financed it. I paid it off and was told by her attorney that the satisfaction of lien had been filed. A few years later I went to sell it and found out that the papers had been filed wrong. The woman had died by then and it ended up costing me over $1,000 to get everything straightened out.

The point is that as the seller it was my obligation to provide clear title to the property that I was selling. I had to eat the expense of doing that. If I were you, I would be going back to the seller and asking them how they intend to clear this up. It is their responsibility to provide you with a clear title.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:36   #7
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stumble View Post
I don't have any thing specific, but can you try and track down the inheritor of the banks assets? They may be able to provide you a satisfaction letter. Or get someone on the phone at the documentation office and try to work it out through them.
Yes, the FDIC has a number I can call, and I believe I know who the inheriting bank is. The problem is, they will probably require the original mortgagor (owner) to request the paperwork. He is in a nursing home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by svlamorocha View Post
What bank are you talking about?

Was it acquired/merged into another bank (in which case you need to talk to the surviving entity)

or was it liquidated (in which the FDIC may help; see https://www.fdic.gov/consumers/consu...lien/Boat.html)
The bank was called Security Pacific National Bank. The FDIC has a number I can call, and I think the inheriting bank was Pacific Western Bank. However, some other sources on the web say that Bank of America inherited the assets. I'll probably try both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal Reynolds View Post
I would call them, explain the situation. I think there is a process by which you can apply for a waiver (another form) for $15 or so wherein you can explain your situation.

Then you hope they will be reasonable.
After the first rejection, I called asking for alternate options. Being a government agency, there is no logic or reasoning with them. The bureaucracy is strong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cpa View Post
I would look at the state registration option. I could not document my boat, as the boat was owned by an LLC and the sole owner of the LLC passed away. I purchased the boat from the estate.

I used a documentation agent to process my paperwork for the state registration and it went very smoothly. I am not worried about not being documented. I know several people who have cruised nearly everywhere with a state registered boat.
State registration is my last resort, but I'll keep this in mind. Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Not exactly the same, but some years ago I bought a property from an older woman and she financed it. I paid it off and was told by her attorney that the satisfaction of lien had been filed. A few years later I went to sell it and found out that the papers had been filed wrong. The woman had died by then and it ended up costing me over $1,000 to get everything straightened out.

The point is that as the seller it was my obligation to provide clear title to the property that I was selling. I had to eat the expense of doing that. If I were you, I would be going back to the seller and asking them how they intend to clear this up. It is their responsibility to provide you with a clear title.
Yeah I've had similar experiences in the past with car titles. Unfortunately, the old man, and official owner of the title, is in a nursing home/assisted living situation. I'm not sure I'll get much from him.
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Old 11-08-2015, 06:44   #8
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I would consult with a Documentation Agency to see if they can expedite the process. If used during the purchase, they would have done a USCG Abstract search and would have discovered the issue. As far as cruising and documentation, I knew of a few instances in the French Islands where undocumented vessels could not clear in. Also, only by what was said on this forum, Mexico seems to get a little testy at times. This issue, I imagine, would need to be cleared up before you could resell your boat.
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Old 11-08-2015, 08:58   #9
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

We had similar problems with a vessel that had been purchased in a foreclosure sale. It took almost two years of effort with the CG to finally
get the documentation transferred.

This documentation agent in Ft. Lauderdale may be able to assist you:

Gerri Miccio
Specialized Yacht Services Inc.
3900 NE 18th Ave., #46
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33334-5483

Phone: 954-563-6380
Fax: 954-563-6392

Gerri Miccio <gmiccio@msn.com>
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:20   #10
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I had a similar situation, purchased a boat without the paper work that would satisfy the man [had been documented before] and upon their suggestion registered with the DMV, obtained the Pinkslip [legal ownership], sent this in and obtained my Documentation, problem is you have to keep it up on a Yearly basis, pain in the ass, there is no international law that states the vessel has to be registered, one just needs to show ownership, i went to the US embassy and obtained a "certificate of american ownership" a quite impressive document with a seal and Red ribbon attached, lastly you can not have the vessel registered with the state AND have her documented. United States code annotated 1999 title 46 shipping # 12124 " a documented vessel shall not be titled by a state or required to display numbers under chapter 123 [46USCA& 12301 et seq:] and any certificate of tittle issued by a state for a documented vessel shall be surrendered in accordance with regulations prescribed by the secretary of transportation." I know about this because a friend of mine moved his boat to Alaska and they tried to force them to register, he took the State to court, the Judge thru it out quoting the above Federal regulation, in fact the Fed could take your vessel if they wished [probably would never happen]
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:26   #11
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but I’ve had some issues with the national homeland security office of the Coast Guard that keeps track of registration. They told me their funds had been cut and they were six months getting a renewal to me. When I told them the address had changed and I needed to have my documentation accurate to sail into Mexico, they said they did not issue new documents just because an address changed. I too am concerned what the Mexican government will have to say about this. The Answer? I do not know!
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:44   #12
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb1685 View Post
I need some advice here.

I bought my boat back in January from someone in California. Her father finished out the boat back in the late 70's, and apparently took out a loan to do so. The loan has long since been satisfied.

Well, when I went to file for documentation exchange, my application was rejected on the grounds that there was no "satisfaction of mortgage" from the lender. After two failed attempts to file the documentation - including a notarized and signed statement of satisfaction by the previous owner - the USCG has once again rejected my documentation.

So apparently, the [I]Lender[I] has to fill out the satisfaction form, and it turns out that bank was closed in 2008...

A couple of questions:

- What the hell do I do now?

- What are the implications of registering the boat with the state of Texas? I intend to go cruising in two or three years, and I'm uncertain if a state-registered boat will be acceptable in foreign waters.

- I've heard of firms that can act as an agent handling USCG documentation matters. Does anyone have experience doing this?
Lord help you. Banks change hands like we do underwear and the government.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:57   #13
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

I had a similar experience with a registered vessel here in canada. The boat had a loan on it when purchased new. The loan was paid off in full, but the bank never sent the "letter of satisfaction" to the registrar of ships as required. When I persued this, I found that the bank branch had closed. Fortunately for me, another branch of the bank had assumed all their accounts and paperwork. It was a happy moment when a bank clerk phoned to say they had found the file, and the letter of satisfaction was in the file, ready to be mailed, but somehow someone forgot to mail it. The letter sat there over a decade.

I had been in contact with the registrar of ships several times, and it was obvious to their office that there was no outstanding mortgage, but they needed that letter from the lender. It was also obvious that the boat had changed hands several times without the change of ownership being filed with them.

Once they received the letter from the bank, the registrar transferred ownership to me, and issued a new "Blue Book" (canadian ownership papers).

I recall many hours on the phone, long distance (before cheap long distance), telling my story again and again to bank employees who had no idea how to handle my situation...until I finally got the one clerk who had a clue....because she was an old lady who had actually worked at the previous branch before it closed.

My only advice would be to pursue the closed bank...there are rules for banks, so the records must be someplace.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:58   #14
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

Quote:
Originally Posted by rb1685 View Post
Yes, the FDIC has a number I can call, and I believe I know who the inheriting bank is. The problem is, they will probably require the original mortgagor (owner) to request the paperwork. He is in a nursing home.
If he is in a nursing home, someone likely has Power Of Attorney. Perhaps the person you bought the boat from? That person can request the paperwork on his behalf. The bank would need a copy of the POA though.
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Old 11-08-2015, 12:38   #15
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Re: USCG Documentation Gone Awry

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Originally Posted by Dougtiff View Post
you can not have the vessel registered with the state AND have her documented.
Careful with the wording here. You can't have a boat *titled* by a state and also documented, but most states (including mine) require you to *register* your boat, documented or not. It is true you don't have to display numbers, but at least in my state you do have to display the decal showing proof of registration.
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