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How to pay for private sale vehicle?
Old 02-16-2019, 10:34 AM   #1
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How to pay for private sale vehicle?

I'm planning on buying a camper from someone about 3 hours away in the next state. I'm 99% sure I'll buy it, but if I change my mind when I see it, I don't want to be stuck with a certified check made out to them. It is $11,000, so cash seems impractical. I use a credit union and they have no branches in this city.

I doubt they'd take a personal check - I wouldn't. The sellers look good as they are long time members of a trailer forum that I frequent, so no worries there.

Any suggestions?
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
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make the certified check out to yourself.
If you buy the vehicle, go to the bank with them and sign it over to them at the bank.
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Old 02-16-2019, 10:54 AM   #3
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The credit union we belong to has places where we can transact business that are not their location. It’s a shared service between various credit unions. Call your credit union and ask them if there is something like that. Also, maybe you can set up a wire transfer and do the final process on your phone at the time of the sale. I think DW moves money to DD’s account on the fly.

Mainly, do not transport that much cash. Obviously, you could get robbed, but more troubling is that if you get pulled over, that much cash is “suspicious” and could be confiscated under forfeiture laws. You’ll spend more to get your money back than the money.

Call your credit union. Have the name of the bank/credit union that the sellers want to deal with so you can ask about your options with your credit union.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:13 AM   #4
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I went with the seller to a local branch of my bank to withdraw cash for the transaction. The cash was counted by the clerk in front of both parties.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:40 AM   #5
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Can your CU do wire transfer online? If so, after looking at the RV and deciding on the final price (you might still like it, but at a better price), do a wire transfer. Give it a couple of hours, the wire is done. But only during business hours.
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Old 02-16-2019, 11:55 AM   #6
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I went with the seller to a local branch of my bank to withdraw cash for the transaction. The cash was counted by the clerk in front of both parties.
For more than $10K, I did the transaction at the bank, but bought the certified check there in front of the seller so he knew it was not bogus.
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Old 02-16-2019, 12:28 PM   #7
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make the certified check out to yourself.
If you buy the vehicle, go to the bank with them and sign it over to them at the bank.
How would the sellers or the bank know it was a good check before I left?
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:02 PM   #8
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I appreciate all these concerns about taking cash but it makes me smile because I had a relevant experience. I just won an auction for a piece of property for $10500 (about a 3 hour drive from where I live). It was a sheriff’s auction. There was an upset bid period, so I had to wait 10 days before the auction was final. Got a call from the sheriff who told me “you got it: come on in to pay - and, by the way, we accept cash only”. I guess HE wasn’t too concerned about me being robbed or stopped by a cop....

Luckily, me and my 10k cash made it safely to the sheriff 3 hours away.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:12 PM   #9
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I bought a camper last year. Got a cashiers check from my CU and he took it to his bank.
Originally he wanted cash but I didn't want to do that.
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Old 02-16-2019, 04:54 PM   #10
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It's so easy to go to your local bank and get them ready to do a wire transfer--$29 charge.
You may can call your banker and tell him to process it for "$X" to the gentleman's bank account.

They can process the wire transfer sometimes in minutes.

Many banks don't like to take cashier's checks today because modern printers are capable of printing bogus documents--including cashier's checks. And to carry over $10K can cause trouble with police due to money laundering and drug money. Any deposit $10K and more requires a form to be filled in at all banks--notifying the authorities.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:29 PM   #11
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I sold a Harley a few years back. The guy came to my house with $14K in mainly 20's. It was a big stack of money to count. After the buyer left, DW was concerned they might come back and rob us! I tried unsuccessfully to convince her of the illogic of someone giving us money only to come back and rob us.
A few years later I sold my aircraft to a guy in a neighboring state. We went to his credit union where the cashier drafted a bank check for me. I felt much better transacting a sale in a public institution.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:37 PM   #12
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Last time I sold a car privately, I drove it to the buyer's bank. He got a cashier's check while I watched and handed it to me. Nothing could be simpler.

But none of this helps the OP. I think what I would do is get the price in $100 bills, which wouldn't take up that much room in a pocket. If the seller asked, I would say I was bringing a cashier's check, and if I decided to buy it I would confess that I actually brought cash. Surely he couldn't object to that.
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Old 02-16-2019, 06:25 PM   #13
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Last time I sold a car privately, I drove it to the buyer's bank. He got a cashier's check while I watched and handed it to me. Nothing could be simpler.

But none of this helps the OP. I think what I would do is get the price in $100 bills, which wouldn't take up that much room in a pocket. If the seller asked, I would say I was bringing a cashier's check, and if I decided to buy it I would confess that I actually brought cash. Surely he couldn't object to that.
We sold a trailer a few years back. Showed it to the buyer, agreed on a price, and he said, "I assume you will take Benjamins?". $6,000 cash in $100 bills. DW was shaking.

For OP, if you DO decide to go cash, take it out in several transactions. The $10k reporting issue COULD be a hassle.

OTOH, why is there a problem with conducting business in US cash?
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:43 PM   #14
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We sold a trailer a few years back. Showed it to the buyer, agreed on a price, and he said, "I assume you will take Benjamins?". $6,000 cash in $100 bills. DW was shaking.

For OP, if you DO decide to go cash, take it out in several transactions. The $10k reporting issue COULD be a hassle.

OTOH, why is there a problem with conducting business in US cash?
Doing it in several transactions could be even more suspicious if anyone noticed. I don't think it's that big a deal for the bank to do the reporting of a 10k transaction.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:47 PM   #15
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OP here. This is what the seller suggested:



Quote:
We bank with XXX credit Union. I just called them and they said that (my credit union) is in their network, so you can have a cashier's check written here by XXX CU. They said you would need a photo ID and I need to go with you to verify that I'm a member. Also, since the amount is large they may need to call your credit union to verify that you have the funds.

Does this sound right?
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:10 PM   #16
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Does this sound right?
Sounds logical. Credit unions formed these networks to remain competitive since they aren't into "branch banking". Call your credit union to confirm.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:24 PM   #17
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OP here. This is what the seller suggested:

Does this sound right?
This is also how it works at my credit union.
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Old 02-16-2019, 08:54 PM   #18
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A few years back I sold a car that was more than the OP's situation. To add to my concern, the buyer was from Canada and that con. I wanted to be certain that the funds could not be reversed. I asked my bank the safest way. The answer was surprising. Just about any transaction could be reversed by the buyer, or the bank if they found that the cashier's check, bank draft, etc were fraudulent. Even an ACH or other bank transfer could, under certain circumstances, be reversed.

I ended up accepting a bank draft. I did a lot of background checks on the buyer and talked directly to his banker. He gave me the check number he was issuing and the security printing to look for on the check. It would have his signature on it. It all went smoothly but I was very tentative throughout the process.

My more recent transactions, either buying or selling, have been in cash!
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:27 AM   #19
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Pre-911, and before banking law changes, I had a guy buy a house and bring a briefcase to closing with $80k in $20's and $50's (like a scene from a Hollywood drug deal). We took it, and scrambled, looking for a bank to convert it to a cashiers' check so we would not need to keep the cash in the office (our bank had closed already-early evening).

A month later the IRS showed up and fined us a couple of hundred $ for accepting that much cash....

BTW, the house buyer was formerly employed as a liquor salesman. He saved the money from his per-Diem over a couple of years of travel. That was his story....

Of course, he owned a bar at the time of the purchase....
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Old 02-17-2019, 07:24 AM   #20
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Ignoring the logistics of how, both my bank and my credit union recommend I as the seller only except cold hard cash as in green colored pictures of dead presidents.
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