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Old 10 December 2011, 17:19   #11
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I will almost certainly see a solicitor next week, and as you say before I reply to the solicitor who sent me the demanding letter...

RYA may be a good option too. Thanks
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Old 10 December 2011, 18:30   #12
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Provided this isn't a scam, I think you are out of luck. The boat will belong to someone, the owner before it was stolen or perhaps their insurance company if they paid out. But, it never belonged to you to sell so you have taken money from a person in exchange for something which you didn't own. I reckon you'll owe that money back. The fact that you did this innocently won't matter. You, of course, are due your money back from the person who sold it to you. The boat can be removed from the present holder by it's rightful owner or the police on their behalf.

There may be a possible settlement available. If the boat belongs to an insurance company they may be willing to sell it to the present holder. The cost of this purchase may be very reasonable and it might be that you could pay the present holder this money (Or the insurance company on his/her behalf.) and that may prove to be a cheaper option. Alternatively, you may be able to buy the boat from the insurance company and reimberse the present holder their money which you wrongly took from them. At least you'll then have a boat to sell to cut your losses. That's all a bit less likely though.

Be creative, I'm pretty sure an insurance company won't particularly want it. If the present holder is creative, he/she may sting you for their money, buy the boat from the insurance company and sell it with some profit. The person from whom it was stolen may want it back, though, if it wasn't insured, so you may end up up shit creek. It's a bit of a messy situation. Good luck.
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Old 10 December 2011, 18:38   #13
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if it wasn't insured so you may end up up shit creek.
Do you mean that he'll have to pay the original owner the balance of the value of the RIB at the time of the theft AND reimburse the current "owner" for his loss too?
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Old 10 December 2011, 18:45   #14
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Do you mean that he'll have to pay the original owner the balance of the value of the RIB at the time of the theft AND reimburse the current "owner" for his loss too?
No, the original owner gets his rib back but I think the chain of payment from each illegal owner would be repayable one to the next. I guess each would be handling stolen goods but if it was all done innocently no action is likely to be taken... except the actual thief.
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Old 10 December 2011, 18:46   #15
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So if it is not on the register then how did new buyer find out is was stolen? I'd want to know, I've used it to check three motors and a rib so if there are registered stolen boats not on it then it's completely useless.

Since I've got into RIBs I've come across more scams than any other field, they're everywhere, wouldn't surprise me at all if someone it trying it on - before you lay out any legal costs I'd ask to see some proof of ownership and a crime number for when the boat was originally stolen.

Really hope you get it sorted, good luck.
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Old 11 December 2011, 02:41   #16
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I would also be asking if there is a statute of time to reclaim. There must be stated cases over the time period in relation to innocent buyers
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Old 11 December 2011, 07:20   #17
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Theft is a criminal offence not a civil matter ..... why are the police not involved?

You have proof of purchase, do they have proof of theft?

Many boats are identical in design and general arrangement and unless they have inspected the boat, checking HIN and serial numbers they can't possibly have proof its the stolen boat.

Don't forget if an insurance company paid out then they should be instructing the solicitor not the original owner. The original owner got his money and has no claim over it.

Be careful they aint taking the piss.....there are bent solicitors out there!

Also as a top tip make sure you are "reasonable" when dealing with the matter. Listen to the solicitor and don't get drawn into their wild and sensational claims. I regularly deal with a solicitor about criminal matters at work but he has a civil background and his letters are a joke working on the throwing mud approach.

I would suggest you are best getting legal advice, maybe even talk to the police but firstly you would be perfectly within your rights asking them to provide you with details of their claim - ie why do they think you've got a stolen boat and who do they represent?

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Old 11 December 2011, 07:26   #18
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Hang on do you still have the boat?

If you've sold it on why aren't they after the current owner?

Pursuing you as an innocent buyer is a bit vindictive and waste of time if you took reasonable steps to buy it after carrying out checks.

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Old 11 December 2011, 08:15   #19
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Hang on do you still have the boat?

If you've sold it on why aren't they after the current owner?

Pursuing you as an innocent buyer is a bit vindictive and waste of time if you took reasonable steps to buy it after carrying out checks.

Chris
Chris your missing the point. The current owner has tried to sell it and it's been proven to be a stolen boat. If we assume that's correct (rather than a scam) then the current owner has to sue the person/business he bought it from. They then have to sue who they got it from and so on, until the chain leads back to either the person that stole it or the one that handled the first stolen sale, wittingly or not!

It's not a police matter as the OP did not steal it so will not face any convictional charge. That being said he's liable to his buyer once it's proven to be a stolen boat at the time of his sale. His proof of ownership is worthless (other than to prove he bought it in good faith) as it was never his to sell, likewise with the current owner.

The real owner (either the loss adjuster if insurance paid out or the person that owned it when it was stolen if no insurance was in place) can simply come and claim legal rights to it at any time in the future provided they can prove beyond doubt legal ownership. Sold as seen means nothing.

First you need to confirm the solicitor letter is genuine, then that the boat is indeed a stolen one AND was at the time of your sale. Next that the letter is from the Buyer you sold it to (as he may have sold it on and that buyer is using your sales receipt as somebody to claim from) .

As others have advised you may be able to make an agreement with the insurance etc but only if (don't accept any liability until seeking legal advice) your buyer gets his purchase price (or his selling target price if he's reasonable) back from you, until then it's your buyer that has the legal right to buy the boat back as its him that's going to loss out if the boat is recovered, not you as you got your money back on it when you sold it. I say that as he could lose the boat and the money he paid you, at least until you are made to pay him back. At that point you then become the one that's out of pocket, so can either sue the guy you bought it from or offer to buy it back from the L/A at a much reduced price. If you sue the guy you got it from then he can do as above, and so on. It's a Mess!
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Old 11 December 2011, 10:58   #20
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So if it is not on the register then how did new buyer find out is was stolen?
Thats my question too ?
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