If you own your vehicle and your bank, credit union or original lien holder is still stamped on your title, get it removed now! It could cause some massive headaches in the future. Here's why.

My friend, Nicole Fowler, deals with issues like this every day. If you need your original title for any reason it can be easy to get it from your lien holder who would be your bank or financial firm who loaned you the money to pay for your car. However, if that lien holder is now out of business and their name is still on it, you might be SOL.

Here's how it works, straight from Nicole:

If you have the title, it's as simple as bringing it in to a licensing office. The fee is $31, and you don't have to wait until your tabs are due. You can do it any time.

We all know things happen. You lose your title in a fire or it was stolen or simply been misplaced. Or, maybe, the bank holding onto it forgot to send it back after you paid them back from the loan - it happens. If they still have it, get it back! But, if they're not around anymore, bad things can happen to your vehicle. Since original documents are needed (not copies) you have to mail it the old fashioned way which also stands for risk of getting lost in the mail. Worse, yet, is when that financial firm goes out of business.

You have to track down who bought their assets and figure out who has authority to sign on behalf of the closed bank. And sometimes no one does.

I've actually seen a case in Vancouver where someone lost a title to a truck they'd paid of 20 years ago. The bank was still on the title, but they'd been out of business for 10 years. No one could sign for them. That customer either had to produce receipts or canceled checks in the amount of the loan, or else they couldn't get a title. They had to abandon the truck instead of being able to sell it. So, a quick, easy $31 can save you a LOT of grief down the road.

Take it from Nicole who has seen cases like this. Make sure you have your title in a safe place and, if you have paid back your financial firm, they sent the title back to you and their stamp is still on it, a quick $31 investment will save you a lot of headache and possible heartbreak in the future.

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