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I live in Nebraska and an old neighbor abandoned his house. Before he disappeared, he left his mortorcycle in my garage and has never returned to get it. He does not respond to phone messages and it has now been 18 months since he fell off the earth. One of his friends told me that he does not want anything he left at his house and that I should just keep the motorcyle if I can figure out legally how to get the title. (His house went into foreclosure and has new owners.) Can I legally get the title?
What you need to do is file for a lien against the motorcycle. You would be claiming that the property is being stored on your property and that you are owed money. A lien sale would be conducted. If no sale occurs, then you would be able to claim the motorcycle, however, someone else might purchase the motorcycle during the lien sale, at which point, you would be able to only recover funds.
The easiest way to get title of the motorcycle was to somehow get in touch with the old owner and have them sign title over to you
Do I just go down to the court house to file the lien? (I've never filed a lien before.)
You can go to the following website, which will provide a detailed outline of what you need to do: http://www.dmv.ne.gov/dvr/liens/storage.html
Note though, that you would need to basically be the purchaser in the lien sale and you would only be able to keep the funds that represent a storage fee and fees for sales. Even though you would be basically paying yourself, you would need to give the excess between what you got from the sale and what you were owed for storage to the County Treasurer