We are licensed to access California DMV records to verify vessel ownership, encumbrances, and pertinent vessel details. We have limited access to certain other States as well. We can expeditiously perform title searches for you.
Abstracts of Title are maintained by the National Vessel Documentation Center and contain a history of events relevant to vessel ownership, mortgages, and lien recordings. We can efficiently order the Abstract for you.
A Preferred Ship Mortgage is an instrument recorded against a vessel documented with the United States Coast Guard to secure a lender’s interest. As such, it has certain protections under the Ship Mortgage Act of 1920, giving it priority over many maritime liens. We will prepare and file this Mortgage.
Supplements to mortgages can be recorded and include such instruments as amendments, assignments, assumptions, and subordinations. We have forms to support these changes and can prepare them with your instruction.
The NCL can be filed against any vessel that is actively documented. The NCL does not afford validity to a claim, but it does cloud the Abstract of Title. We can prepare the NCL upon your instruction.
Initial Documentation is a Coast Guard process for first-time documentation of a vessel, whether it is new or previously registered. The owner must be a U.S. citizen and provide an application, Builder’s Certification or State title/registration. Upon application, the Coast Guard will issue an official number to the vessel and ultimately issue the Certificate of Documentation. We will oversee the process by preparing and filing the application and other pertinent documents to ensure issuance of the Certificate of Documentation.
A Coast Guard process for changes to a Certificate of Documentation, this includes changes to a vessel’s ownership, name, hailing port, trade endorsements and/or vessel specifications. We will oversee the process by preparing and filing the application and other pertinent documents to ensure issuance of a new Certificate of Documentation.
Certificates of Documentation must be renewed on an annual basis whereupon a new Certificate is issued. Although the Coast Guard will notify the vessel owner of renewal, many times these notices are lost or overlooked when the owner is out of town. We can manage renewals so our client’s don’t have to be concerned. (Note: legislation is pending to extend the renewal period.)
This form is used when a lender must repossess the vessel. For documented vessels, this procedure is referred to as the “self-help” method if the lender does not pursue legal action through Federal District Court. The lender must also provide a bill of sale, release of mortgage, a demand letter to the debtor and a copy of the Mortgage. We can provide forms that comply with Coast Guard regulations.
An Affidavit of Repossession is used by lending institutions (a.k.a. lien holders) when a vehicle is repossessed. In most instances, the vehicle is seized because the owner could not meet monthly payments as agreed upon in the original loan contract. The lending institution uses this form to legally take over ownership.
Each state DMV office provides this form. Most forms are self-explanatory, requiring the name of the debtor, vehicle description (make, model, VIN), and the repossessed vehicle’s title number. Some state affidavits also require notarization. Often the affidavit must be submitted along with a bill of sale and a copy of the final demand letter sent to the debtor. If all the information checks out correctly, the lienholder is then granted ownership. We are able to assist our clients through this often-arduous process, handling the forms, notary services and submission of all documents.
A Preferred Ship Mortgage or Claim of Lien is discharged by submitting a release or satisfaction to the Coast Guard for recording. We will prepare and file this form upon instruction.