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Old 07-24-2013, 12:40 PM   #1
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Yacht Purchase Not Yet Complete

I signed the Yacht Purchase & Sale Agreement last week on a trawler located 400 miles away. The survey went extremely well and the broker prepared a Bill of Sale and had the sellers sign it, then he notarized it. The problem is the broker misspelled my name then tried to strike-over and "blend-in" the mistake. Of course, his documentation service kicked it back and I had already left to go back home, as had the sellers, who live locally. The broker has my check(s), deposit and full purchase balance in his file. I have all that I need to get the boat registered in Maryland, except a properly executed, original Bill of Sale. The vessel is insured and I had to buy a separate rider to operate the boat outside Maryland waters. Of course, I have called the broker every day, as well as the sellers to get the necessary papers. The broker is making excuses and promises but I need to get the boat home. My question, is there an intervening authority that I can contact to get this broker moving in the right direction?
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:03 PM   #2
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Lots of them. They go by the title of "lawyers"
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:12 PM   #3
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You probably don't own the boat until a properly executed bill of sale is made, ie good title is offered. First call the brokerage and ask to speak to the manager/owner. I'll bet he will get it straightened out quickly. When I have had trouble with a broker not doing his job in the past a call to the manager quickly resolved it.

In the mean time send the broker a registered letter telling him that you do not have good title documents and he is not authorized to transfer the money to the seller. That will preserve your rights (and put the broker on the hook for financial damages) while you work with the manager.

Your problem is exactly why most brokers get a power of attorney from the seller at closing which lets them sign the bill of sale on his behalf when something like this happens.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #4
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Hmm if you don't have a bill of sale, the broker should keep the funds in escrow. They can't be released with out the BOS and the closing documents
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:20 PM   #5
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Where did you buy the boat?
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:12 PM   #6
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Appreciate those replies...I bought the boat in Quincy MA and the broker is the manager/general partner of the complex so I hesitate to name him, now anyway. The checks have been cashed as I today reviewed my on-line bank statement. Thanks to dmarchand and Blue Heron I re-read my copy of the YP&SA and you are correct, "funds to be held in escrow" pending resolution is right there in paragraph 1. At the very least it's good to know the language is right there and I will send the registered letter today.
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Old 07-24-2013, 02:50 PM   #7
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Art-if have an existing relationship with an attorney, having him place a quick phone call or two should not cost much at all and will probably get better results than your calling. Your Agreement should have a "further documents" clause-one that binds both parties to completing any other documents necessary to the sale and transfer that may not have been executed at the closing. Your attorney can also notify the sellers directly (you mentioned you had called them) and advise them that, absent receiving correct docs, you will be advising your bank that the check was improperly cashed and you will be seeking recovery of funds directly from them.

The problem with the registered letter is time-it takes time and you want this resolved ASAP. It should take the Broker no more than an hour or so to get a properly executed BOS and get it to you. Your lawyer should be able to get that done for you.
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Old 07-24-2013, 04:10 PM   #8
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In most states the is boat/yacht broker association. If you get an attorney involved make sure its a maritime attorney as the law is a little different.

I always advise to use a bank finance and or a marine title company. Well worth the money.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:23 PM   #9
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this P & S agreement is dated 1/09, has 17 paragraphs and 180 lines of text and signature lines but I don't see a "further documents" clause. It probably could be improved upon altho it's a little late in the game for that...I looked for a particular kind of boat and this one meets most of my wishes but the buying process has been frustrating...if I had to do it over I'd buy closer to home...not sure of course but it may have saved some aggravation...thank you all again for your inputs...certain I'll asking for more help later on.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:47 PM   #10
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It's your boat. Don't settle. Make the broker perform. You have other recourse if they rip you off.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:46 PM   #11
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Art,
All good advise. If after the certified letter you don't get the response you had hoped for call the licensing body for brokers in MA and alert them to the situation as well as the State Attorney General's office. Is the broker accredited by AYB or CPYB if he is then you can contact them as well. Call your bank and alert them as well. All of these resources are free to you.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:29 AM   #12
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You forum participants gave me some good options and I appreciate all who took time to respond. Thank you to all.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #13
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We have paid the deposit and have the sea trials in 10 days. We will definitely be interested to hear how this plays out for you.
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Old 07-25-2013, 09:43 AM   #14
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Will advise of the outcome BruceP...
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #15
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The registered letter to the broker worked well and the boat is at its' new home in Baltimore. Quite an adventure looking for the "right" vessel, making the purchase then transiting the boat from Massachusetts to its' home port. The idea of moving the boat 540nm was daunting for this newcomer but I found lots of willing assistance along the way from fellow travelers. Thank you all, as well, for your help.
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:29 AM   #16
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Artfulltune,
Glad it worked out and you had a safe cruise home.

Was it only the certified letter that got the broker moving?
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:34 AM   #17
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Can't say for certain but I did get a call the day after sending the overnight mail. Have to believe it was more than a coincidence.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:32 PM   #18
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Congrats. Glad it worked well.
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Old 08-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #19
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Congrats and I'm glad it all worked out.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:08 PM   #20
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I'm glad to hear it worked out.

We completed our purchase and are starting to get to know our boat.
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