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Maverick
Maverick, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  20 years of professional experience
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In Wisconsin; a person owns a car and has title to that car

Customer Question

In Wisconsin; a person owns a car and has title to that car sells that car for $100.00 and gives the buyer a receipt but does not sign the title…who owns the car?
In Wisconsin; a person owns shares of stock (not publicly traded) and has the stock certificate to that stock sells that stock for $100.00 and gives the buyer a receipt but does not sign off on the required transfer of stock certificate…who owns the stock?
Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

Hello! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney with more than 18 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help

Also, if you would like to chat on the phone, let me know and I can make that happen.

Under WI law, ownership of a motor vehicle is reflected by title. So to get "ownership" you need to have title.

In the example you provide, there is a contract for sale, and the seller has breached the contract (by not signing over title). Buyer can sue to force the seller to transfer title...once that happens (title transfers) then buyer will be the owner. Not before.

Under Federal law, there is a requirement that the seller transfer ownership of stocks to buyer. The same logic as above applies...the ownership will not change until the transfer happens. If the seller refuses to transfer, the buyer can sue to force the issue

Please let me know if you have more questions. I am happy to help if I can. Otherwise, please rate the answer so I may get credit for my work.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Philip for your answer received this past Friday.I used the ‘car ownership’ as an analogy. My main concern is the ‘stock ownership’. I believe that I am still the owner of stock in a corporation, having been issued shares 24 years ago. I never signed the original (or any facsimile) stock certificate associated with my shares as far as transferring ownership. However, I also never received any dividends, tax forms, communications either nor did I take any action or interest in the corporation (having thought the corporation had gone belly-up).However, I did sign a ‘Assignment of Stock Interest” back in 1993 that is currently in dispute. Today, I believe that ‘Assignment’ had flaws. By signing this ‘Assignment’ without signing the original certificate, (per your logic) I believe am the owner of the stock but I may have breached the ‘Assignment’ and could be sued. I believe these flaws in the ‘Assignment’ can be proven in my favor.Again, this alleged “transfer” took place over 20 years ago. If the ‘buyer’ brings this up, could / would statute of limitations apply? Would statute of limitations be against the buyer? Would the ‘buyer’ have to prove the accuracy of the ‘Assignment’?In your reply on Friday, you stated Federal law. Can you either be more specific or tell me the statute that I may look up.Thank you again for your insight and help. Please advise me if there are additional costs involved.Mike
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.

IF you assigned your interests in the stocks to another, they can rely on that (and use that to negotiate) the stocks.

But you are raising a somewhat complex question, particularly with regard to the statute of limitations.

Let me opt out and allow others who may have more experience assist with this

Expert:  Maverick replied 1 year ago.

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Need a clarification:

In Wisconsin; a person owns shares of stock (not publicly traded) and has the stock certificate to that stock sells that stock for $100.00 and gives the buyer a receipt but does not sign off on the required transfer of stock certificate…who owns the stock?

1. When you transfer stock certificates, you usually fill out a stock transfer form and endorse the certificates. The corporate officer, usually the secretary or treasurer, then issues a new certificate in the name of the buyer. Did this happen?

2. Was the assignment of interest you signed in 1993 a substitute for the above process or is that related to something else?

3. How is this assignment of interest in dispute now?

4. What recent actions have taken place by the corporation [such as dividend payments or notice of meetings] that would tend to show that the shares are owned by the buyer?