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Green v. Arcadia Financial Ltd.

663 N.Y.S.2d 944, 174 Misc. 2d 411 (1997)

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Green v. Arcadia Financial Ltd.

New York Supreme Court

663 N.Y.S.2d 944, 174 Misc. 2d 411 (1997)

Facts

Antwan Anderson purchased a vehicle from a dealership through financing from Arcadia Financial Ltd. (Arcadia) (defendant). Arcadia secured the loan with a lien, which was filed with the department of motor vehicles (DMV) and included on Anderson’s certificate of title. A few months after the purchase, Anderson submitted a forged release of lien to the DMV. The DMV issued Anderson a new certificate of title that did not include Arcadia’s lien. Anderson sold the vehicle with the clean certificate of title to a dealership, Four M (defendant), which sold the vehicle to Richard C. Green, Sr. (plaintiff). Green financed his purchase with a loan from Pentagon. Arcadia repossessed the vehicle. Green filed a lawsuit in state court against Arcadia and Four M, seeking a return of the vehicle. Green claimed that he purchased the vehicle from Four M without Arcadia’s lien on the certificate of title. Arcadia moved to dismiss the case, claiming that its lien on the vehicle continued because it did not release the lien. To support its argument, Arcadia cited the New York Uniform Vehicle Certificate of Title Act (the act), which provided that a lienholder’s security interest in a vehicle was perfected upon filing with the DMV. The act also provided that the security interest continued to exist until the lienholder filed a release of the lien.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Mintz, J.)

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