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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111489
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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How do I take ownership of an abandoned motor vehicle in

Customer Question

How do I take ownership of an abandoned motor vehicle in Mass? The car is in a home that has been abandoned for 5 years and the home is in foreclosure. the car is on blocks in the garage with no title or key. I checked with the local police department and the NICB and the vehicle is not stolen and has a clean title. I believe the original owner may have died in 2010. How can I obtain a title and have the vehicle moved so I can be the owner?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 9 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Unfortunately, under MA law this is relatively complicated. First, the law on obtaining title to abandoned vehicles is for a mechanic's lien on the vehicle to then enforce it to foreclose in court. So in order to do this, you would have to file a suit in court for storage of the vehicle on your property for all this time and seek possession of the car and ownership for the costs of the storage. You would need to try to serve the last registered owner or their heirs and this is going to require a local attorney to get involved and try to track them down to serve them. Once served, or if they cannot be located and service must be made by publication, then the court will order you as owner of the vehicle and will order the registry to issue you a title in your name.
If you do not want to go through that, then under MA GL 90:22B, (https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXIV/Chapter90/Section22b) you need to call the police and have them remove it and seek to file charges against the owner or auction the vehicle at public auction.

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