Buying Used Concrete Equipment? Beware of Hidden Liens

Purchasing used equipment is not as easy as it appears, especially when from a private seller or not an authorized dealer.

May 1, 2024

1 Min Read

Used equipment can represent an excellent value for companies in any industry. In the concrete industry, this is particularly true as the cost of heavy equipment like agitator trucks and concrete pumping trucks can be quite high. Being that used equipment is popular, I’d like to discuss an uncommon-but-real issue that could crop up when buying any type of used equipment, and that’s buying equipment that unknowingly has a lien on it. Because that could have serious ramifications.

Here’s an example of what could happen: imagine you want to add a used agitator truck to your fleet. You look around and find one another company is selling. You go see it, it’s in great shape, and the seller has a payoff letter showing the loan has been satisfied. Everything looks to be in order, so you buy it. Six months later, you are contacted by the seller’s bank.

It seems the seller has had some financial issues, and defaulted on a different loan from several years ago. Part of that seemingly-unrelated loan was a blanket lien that included the agitator truck you bought. The bank says they legally own the agitator truck, and are notifying you they plan to repossess it. A quick call to your lawyer confirms this—the bank has a legal right to the agitator truck and can take it. And worse, you’re probably not getting a refund, unless you feel the financially-in-trouble seller will make good. Don’t count on it. 

Related:The Pros and Cons of Leasing Heavy Machinery

This example is rare, but it does show that purchasing used equipment is not as upfront as it initially appears. This is especially true when purchasing from a private party seller (and not an authorized dealer).

To read the rest of this story from For Construction Pros click here.

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