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Where, Oh Where, Can The Title Be…


I used to be so organized. Every utility company had their own separate file in a filing cabinet and they were even organized with the newest bills towards the front. Not anymore. I lost count how many “tornadoes” went through my house and scattered my papers all over the place.

There’s some in a box in the kitchen. There’s some on a desk in my husband’s office. There’s some in my bedroom. There’s some in my home office. The one room where I know there isn’t any paperwork is the basement because I cleaned that out beyond recognition when we prepared for our garage sales.

It’s no wonder that I cannot find the one piece of paperwork that I am needing right now. That one piece of paper has the ability to get us some money and get a hunk of junk out of our garage. It’s the title to the old non-running truck that is parked in our garage. That’s the truck we purchased with a credit card cash advance check two years ago, so it’s one of those constant reminders of our past indiscretions with credit card spending.

I want that truck gone like you wouldn’t believe. With recently ridding our lives of the unnecessary stuff, it is the last huge piece to get rid of. Today while in the garage, I looked at that truck and the flat rear tire gave it a sort of tilt that made it look like it’s smirking at me. It knows that I have no idea where the title went.

I’ve searched every pile I can think of. I even pulled out the box in the kitchen that holds 2006 items that I gave up on filing and just piled them all in a box. I found other things of interest (like paperwork for a credit card we have to cancel), but I didn’t find the title.

The funny thing is that my husband and I both remember where it used to be. It was in one of those letter holders we had on the wall. Not so funny is that the letter holder is gone and I have no idea what happened to the title. Wow, that letter holder has been gone for at least a year now and we both looked for the title there. It’s amazing sometimes what your mind does and doesn’t remember.

I’m hoping that by writing this down right before I go to bed, my subconscious mind will think about that title through the night and when I wake up I will know where to look to find it. I sure hope the garbage didn’t eat it 😛


  • Reply Tricia |

    I’m sure I could order a duplicate. The only catch might be that we haven’t renewed the registration on the vehicle since we aren’t using it. I’m not sure if they’d make me come up with that money to register it.

    It is the morning, and I didn’t find it. However, I do seem to remember that it is folded in a drawer. I’m not sure what drawer, since I don’t normally keep paperwork in them, so I guess I’ll check them all tonight LOL.

  • Reply Kathryn |

    Calm down … it’s okay. If the trash ate it — well, there’s not much you can do about it now except get a replacement. If it is still someplace at home — it will eventually be unearthed as you continue to knock out piles.

    How long do you want the truck to continue to smirk at you? Call your local county’s tax and title office and see what you need to do to get a copy. It shouldn’t be too expensive. I had to get one a few years ago for a car I was giving to a relative. The replacement was less than $10 in Texas. I don’t remember if I got the replacement on the spot or if it came in the mail. Call and ask — getting info is never a bad idea.

  • Reply Jen |

    I know how you feel. When I paid off my car loan I was between apartments, and I think the title got sent to my brother’s, where I was having my mail sent. Well, it either never showed or they lost it. I was in the process of getting the bank to look into where the title went on 9/10/2001. After the events of the next day, my title was the last thing on my mind…

    I finally got around to getting the duplicate 2 years ago. The hardest part was tracking down the bank that bought the bank that bought the bank that bought the savings and loan that held my car loan to get the lien waiver.

  • Reply Kathryn |

    If you haven’t driven the truck since the registration lapsed you don’t have to pay a fine or penalty.

    If the truck is to be donated I know you don’t have to get the tags current.

    And, in Texas – I don’t know about Michigan, it is possible to transfer the title to a non-working vehicle with expired tags. Good luck.

  • Reply Bethany |

    In Maine, if the vehicle is over 15 years old you no longer need a title. Worth investigating for your area? Also, getting a copy of the title shouldn’t entail registering the vehicle.

  • Reply DJ |

    I have a theory and for the most part, I find it’s true: people who are unorganized (ie. messy) are overweight, have money issues, and have social problems. I’ve seen this so many times now that I believe it to be true. I hope you get organized!

  • Reply Jim ~ mydebtblog.com |

    I keep all the important documents like birth certificates, SSN cards, copy of marriage license, copy of the deed to my house, the title to my car, insurance documents and inventory of property throughout the house, and such in a water/fire proof 2 inch thick safe. My other stuff like bank statements, account statements, paycheck stubs, paid bills, and other paperwork is in my file cabinet.

    My advice to you would be to get a duplicate title so you can transfer it to the new owner when you sell it. The truck may be old but I’m sure it has a VIN on it somewhere. Do you plan to fix the truck before you sell it? Is it worth selling it to a new owner or could a junkyard take it off your hands as scrap metal? Hope you will be able to find it though.

  • Reply Shay |

    I find when you stop looking for it and start looking for something else you will find it…stop looking at it as a peice of money for you and that way the importance is taken off that item. You will find once you calm down and stop thinking about it constantly you will probley find it shows up..but if you are in a hurry for it I suggest you do what some of the others have suggested get a copy of the title for your motor registery office (sorry don’t know what they are called over there I am in australia!)

    Keep up the good work with the blog I love reading it and it has helped me along the way to finacial freedom!

    Shay in Australia

  • Reply Mrs. Micah |

    Shay’s got a point. I often give up and then the thing finally pops up. Good luck acquiring it, whether by diligent searching or by sheer luck!

  • Reply Dasha |

    Just reading about the piles of papers makes me hyperventilate (I’m a bit ocd… just a bit…)

    I hope you find it!

  • Reply Tricia |

    Dasha – funny thing is, I do a lot of filing at work and everything has to be perfect. If someone else happens to be helping me and files something a little bit off, I’m right there changing it to how it should be. It drives me nuts sometimes. But, my home filing leaves much to be desired and I’m not sure why. It’s only since 2006, though, that everything became a mess with home filing.

    As for getting a new title, I’m going to wait until after this weekend. We’ll be doing some rearranging and maybe it will pop up. But come Monday I’m not sure if our Secretary of State (where I’d get the title) will be open. Michigan is having budget problems and if they can’t reach a budget agreement, non-essential services (like the Secretary of State) will be shut down until further notice.

  • Reply Mandi |

    Tricia, after last nights news cast I’d push for going up the the Secretary of State today. That is unless you don’t mind waiting until “further notice” is over.

    Good luck.


  • Reply DC Smith |

    You can also get an “instant” title at some Sec. of State (SOS) branches if you need it fast. It’s about $15 (maybe $20 now), and you just need the VIN off the car and every person listed on the title to sign the app. and you can walk out with a title same day. You shouldn’t need to register it unless you want to drive/insure it.

    Unfortunately, not every SOS branch does this. I think in the U.P only Marquette offers the service. And it might not be open Monday, which is too bad because with most of the State Police furloughed you could get there really fast.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Mandi – I saw the news as well, and it wasn’t looking good for Michigan. I had to work Friday so I didn’t get a chance to go to town to get it. I can only imagine how busy it probably was!

    DC Smith – Thanks for the info. I checked and it looks like it is $15 for the instant title, which is only $5 more than the regular one. I was really worried about having to register it, though so I appreciate the info.

    I guess when Michigan is back up and running we’ll go get a title. I still looked this weekend and couldn’t find it.

So, what do you think ?