Lien Enforcement, Inc.

Lien Sale Process

This is a general guide and not intended as legal advice.

Why Did A Lien Sale Happen
?

Your vehicle was legally towed and stored/impounded by a towing facility and then left unclaimed by you until declared abandoned property and disposed of pursuant to the Storage Lien Limitations CVC 22851CC 3068.1[b]; CC §3068.1[c].

The towing service (or its agent) applied for a lien against your vehicle and legally disposed of your vehicle once Storage Lien Limitations expired. Your vehicle was sold or disposed by the the towing service (or its agent) to recover revenue lost and/or prevent future revenue losses from incurring.
 

The proceeds received from the sale of your vehicle did not satisfy costs involved with obtaining the lien as outlined in the California Civil Code (CCC) and the remaining balance was then forwarded to Lien Enforcement, Inc. to begin the collection process.

Below are the steps taken in the Lien sale process that led to the auction, sale and/or disposal of your vehicle. These steps also explained the subsequent deficient balance that now remains.

Current Market Value Of Your Vehicle Is Determined
There are three types of vehicle lien sales

  • Lien Sales for vehicles valued over $4,000 or stored at a self-storage facility (CCC 3071).
  • Lien Sales for vehicles valued at $4,000 or less (CCC 3072).
  • Lien Sales for vehicles valued at $500 or less (CVC 22851.8).

When the market value of a vehicle is considered to be $4,000 or less, the following steps are taken to ensure the legal seizure and disposal of your abandoned property.

Vehicle's Owner Is Located
Within 15 days of the date the lien sale arose, the towing service completed a form called Registration Information Request for Lien Sale (INF 1126) and submitted it to the DMV.  After which, the DMV provided the towing service with a vehicle history record that contained the Registered Owner, Interested Parties and Legal Owner(s) of record. Any owners identified from incomplete transfers were included as interested parties.

If there was a Vehicle License and Title “stop” on record, the towing service would have sent a copy of the printout to the Lien Sales Unit along with the lien sale possession date and the name and address of the person conducting that was the lien sale. The Lien Sales Unit would have reviewed the “stop” to determine if a lien sale could be processed. A letter would have been mailed to the company and/or individual conducting the lien sale to advise them if it was OK to proceed with the lien sale or not. If the lien sale could not be conducted, the Lien sale unit would provide contact information so that the necessary steps could be taken to remove the “stop” and proceed with the lien sale.

In the event of an improperly identified vehicle the lien sale would have been considered invalid and would have required the lien holder to reapply for a lien sale even if the vehicle had already been sold.

Lien Sale Process Begins
At least 31 days, but no more than 41 days before the sale date (not counting the day the notice is mailed), the towing service sent a Notice of Pending Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 668) by certified mail or  U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing to all of the following: 

  • Registered owner(s)
  • Legal owner(s)
  • Any known interested parties
  • To DMV by certified mail only

This notification was mailed to each of the parties listed above and included a copy of the REG 668 notice as well as a return envelope that was pre-addressed to DMV.

If DMV had no record of your vehicle, the towing service or lien holder was required to only send a REG 668 to each interested party known to the towing service or lien holder and include a notification to the DMV at the following address:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Lien Sales Unit
P.O. Box 932317
Sacramento, CA 94232-3170

Sale Notice Was Posted
The only requirement stipulated by the DMV is that the towing service or lien holder post in a conspicuous place at their business office, at least 10 days prior to, and including the sale date, a REG 668. If the sale occurred at the location other than their business office the only requirement stipulated by the DMV is that the, a REG 668 be posted at the sale site. The REG 668 postings were folded so that the registered owner, legal owner, and interested party addresses were not visible.

Lien Sale Opposition
In the event that there is an opposition to the Lien sale process the department would have denied the lien sale or canceled the authorization requested by the towing service (or its agent) in possession of the vehicle when it received the declaration of opposition.  When such cases arise, the towing service (or its agent) may pursue continuation of the lien sale by obtaining and submitting any one (1) of the following to the department’s Lien Sales Unit:

After receiving the documents, DMV will send a letter allowing the sale to continue.

The Day Your Vehicle Was Lien Sold
In most cases on the sale date, your vehicle was made available for inspection at least one hour prior to the sale and sold to the highest bidder.

If your vehicle was sold the towing service (or its agent) completed a form called the Certification of Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 168A) and gave it to the buyer along with the DMV vehicle record history information and postal receipts or the U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing and Posting.

If excess money had been received from the sale of the vehicle, the towing service (or its agent) would have made a copy of the REG 168A and mailed the form with the excess money to the Lien Sales Unit within five days of the sale date and you would not have been sent to collections.

The towing service (or its agent) would have also removed and destroyed the license plates on the vehicle as well as submit a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability to DMV informing them of the new buyer’s information.

If Your Vehicle Sold For More Than Owed
If your vehicle was sold at auction, private sale, or to a junk or scrap metal yard, the towing service (or its agent) would have completed the Certification of Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 168A) and given the form to the buyer along with the DMV vehicle record history information and the postal receipts or the U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing and Posting so that they could complete the title transfer.

 

In the event your vehicle sold for more than the lien, storage, and all other associated fees, the towing service (or its agent) would have made a copy of the REG 168A and mailed the form with the excess money to the Lien Sales Unit within five days of the sale date as well as removed and destroyed the license plates on the vehicle.

 

Finally they would have submitted a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) (REG 138) to DMV within five business days of the sale.

 

If Your Vehicle Sold For Less Than Owed
If your vehicle was sold at auction, private sale, or to a junk or scrap metal yard, the towing service (or its agent) would have completed the Certification of Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 168A) and given the form to the buyer along with the DMV vehicle record history information and the postal receipts or the U.S. Postal Service Certificate of Mailing and Posting so that they could complete the title transfer.

 

In the event your vehicle sold for less than the lien, storage, and all other associated fees, the towing service (or its agent) would have prepared the paperwork for collections and reduced the deficient balance by the amount the vehicle sold for as well as removed and destroyed the license plates on the vehicle.

 

Finally they would have submitted a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (NRL) (REG 138) to DMV within five business days of the sale.

If No One Bid On Your Vehicle
If no one placed a qualifying bid on your vehicle the towing service (or its agent) would have completed the Certification of Lien Sale for Vehicle Valued $4,000 or Less (REG 168A) showing the towing service (or its agent) as both the buyer and seller.

The towing service (or its agent) would have prepared the paperwork for collections as well as removed and destroyed the license plates on the vehicle and submited a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability to DMV informing them that the towing service (or its agent) is now the new owner of the vehicle.

If the towing service (or its agent) sold the vehicle at a later date, they are only are required to give the new buyer a bill of sale with the lien sale documents.

Assignment Of Your Deficient Balance To Lien Enforcement, Inc. For Collection
Once the vehicle cleared the Lien sale process, your vehicle became the rightful property of the towing service.  That vehicle was sold at public auction, private sale, or to a Junk or Scrap Metal Yard.  The proceeds from that sale did not cover the costs incurred by the towing service for tow, storage, and lien of your vehicle.

The deficient balance that remained is your responsibility to pay.

That towing service then forwarded your debt to Lien Enforcement, Inc. to recover this debt for them.
 
Your Options for Timely Resolution:

  • Go to Make a Payment located on our web site to pay your account balance now.
  • Mail your payment in full to PO Box 3000E, San Jose, CA 95156.  Remember to include your customer number so we can apply your payment to the correct account.
  • Contact our office at (877) 757-2296 to negotiate the terms of your payment
  • Contact our office at (877) 757-2296 and notify us of the individual(s) you believe to be the true and correct registered owner at the time your vehicle was impounded.

If you do not take action in one of the above mentioned ways your credit may be negatively affected.

To resolve any possible liability or if you believe there to be an inaccuracy with regard to your liability please immediately contact us at (877) 757-2296 to resolve this issue in a timely manner.

Please have available our collection notice and/or your customer ID number to assist us with finding your account quickly in our system.

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