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  1. #1
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    Aug. 2, 2010
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    Default Transfer of Ownership with USEF

    I recently sold a horse on payments - 50% down and 50% in 6 months. Without my knowledge, the buyer changed the horse's name and ownership with USEF. I understood that ownership couldn't be transferred without a bill of sale showing payment in full, which won't be until Oct. 2012. This is the only horse I've ever owned or sold. Am I right to be upset?



  2. #2
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    Jan. 30, 2010
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    Selling on payments doesn't in itself mean ownership doesn't transfer until the final payment is made...what did your contract say about the transfer of ownership? USEF may consider the payment contract + possession to equal ownership.

    (an example would be buying a car with the dealership financing...you still own the car and can put it in your name).

    So you may or may not have a legit complaint...it just depends on your contract.

    Now if they don't make the final payments and you take back the horse, then take the cost of the transfer out of any refund you have stipulated in the contract.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
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    Default

    That is not a transfer, but rather a new identity (provided horse was registered with USEF under a different name while you had it). Do you have a written Purchase Agreement regarding the transaction? Can you prove you own the horse in the first place? Is the horse now located in another state? Are you afraid for some reason to contact the Buyer or his agent?
    Does the horse have a prior show record that would prevent it from showing in green divisions if the name were not changed?
    USEF won't go for that.



  4. #4
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    Nov. 14, 2003
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    Redmond, WA
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    Default

    You can make up a new name without proof of anything. One can do that online. That means the horse has a new number and the old show record will not appear under new name. Unless you alert USEF to what happened, "new" horse will be eligible everything. USEF doesn't normally catch on to these things by themselves.



  5. #5
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    Aug. 2, 2010
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    Default

    They did a transfer of ownership and change of name. The horse's ID# is the same. The bill of sale clearly showed that horse would not be paid in full until Oct. 2012. The horse has an extensive show record over two years in the jumpers. I asked if they planned to do rated shows and he said he'd use my name as owner. I know his daughter wanted to change the name, but I didn't think they had the right to do so until they had paid full price for the horse.

    I have an email into the agent. I just discovered this tonight and wanted to get some perspective from those who know a lot more than I.

    Thanks!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2007
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    Default

    USEF isn't an ownership registry.
    They could have simply gotten a new ID and it looks like the new owners did the right thing by doing a transfer.

    If they hadn't done a transfer then you would have to sign every entry blank and be liable for any USEF fines ( bad checks, owner sanctions for drug violations) for a horse you have no control over.
    And you'd be responsible for USEF recording fees for the horse and be required to maintain USEF membership as an owner.
    Be glad they followed the rules.

    I doubt USEF looked at the fine print in the bill of sale.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 26, 2007
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    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA
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    Default

    I thought both the previous owner and new owner were required to sign the transfer of ownership form? Has this changed?

    When I bought my mare, it was from a very good friend and we had no bill of sale. We still completed the transfer of ownership without the bill of sale - we have just both signed the form.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
    Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggle Mom View Post
    I recently sold a horse on payments - 50% down and 50% in 6 months. Without my knowledge, the buyer changed the horse's name and ownership with USEF. I understood that ownership couldn't be transferred without a bill of sale showing payment in full, which won't be until Oct. 2012. This is the only horse I've ever owned or sold. Am I right to be upset?
    USEF doesn't require a bill of sale, actually. Did your agent sign the transfer on your behalf, perhaps?

    If you have a contract which details the terms of the sale but not when the transfer takes place, I'd say there is some grey area here. The transfer certainly simplifies things from a showing standpoint for the new owners; absent that change, you would have to sign their entries, after all. Do you want to do that?

    I can understand why you are upset but would encourage you to take a deep breath here and think about what will really serve you best in this situation. As long as your contract is correctly written, allowing the new owner to put the horse in their name for USEF purposes is probably not that big of a deal.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  9. #9
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    Mar. 5, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    USEF doesn't require a bill of sale, actually. Did your agent sign the transfer on your behalf, perhaps?

    If you have a contract which details the terms of the sale but not when the transfer takes place, I'd say there is some grey area here. The transfer certainly simplifies things from a showing standpoint for the new owners; absent that change, you would have to sign their entries, after all. Do you want to do that?

    I can understand why you are upset but would encourage you to take a deep breath here and think about what will really serve you best in this situation. As long as your contract is correctly written, allowing the new owner to put the horse in their name for USEF purposes is probably not that big of a deal.
    The transfer form requires either the prior owner signature or a copy of the bill of sale.
    Agent signature have not been permitted for at least 5 years.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
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    Default

    When you release a horse before it is paid for you are taking risks. There is often a bit of desperation on both ends. What you are experiencing is not atypical under the circumstances. Next time you will either request payment in full before releasing a horse, or you will get an agreement that the horse will not be registered with USEF until it is paid in full. But good luck getting USEF to get off its butt. Last time I bought a horse that was a life member, I changed the name and did a transfer. I used a BOS. I did it thru the horse show secretary. The good ones know how to walk you through. I wouldn't sweat it, as long as they keep paying you. If you want to be nasty, you can them to pay the balance now or you will contact USEF. And yes, the whole "signature" thing at shows is a PITA. One reason you might want them to have the horse showing in the new owner's name is that it releases you from liability from, say, drug testing, injury to others, etc. I, for one, believe in getting the horse out of may name once it is no longer under my physical control.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 1, 2001
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    Quote Originally Posted by S A McKee View Post
    The transfer form requires either the prior owner signature or a copy of the bill of sale.
    Agent signature have not been permitted for at least 5 years.
    Actually you can do an affidavit where a bill of sale is not available... although the USEF only grants the transfer if they find the explanation reasonable. In the type of situation the OP describes, for example, the buyer could send a copy of the (one) cancelled check as "proof" that they had purchased the horse. (NOT saying this is what happened, just that it's the kind of thing that could happen.)

    http://www.usef.org/documents/member...nershipAff.pdf
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  12. #12
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    Mar. 20, 2011
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    Default

    Well if they offered a sworn affidavit they would be perjuring themselves if the horse was in fact not theirs.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 8, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
    Well if they offered a sworn affidavit they would be perjuring themselves if the horse was in fact not theirs.

    But they have purchased the horse (even though payments are being made). Unless, the contract says otherwise, the horse is theirs just like anything else purchased on payments. Key word "purchased"'

    Op, usef does not prove ownership. They specifically say that on the transfer form. Horses are transferred into other peoples names all the time for logistical or finacial reasons. Maybe this person wants to show in the a/o's?? Regardless, they are excited about their new horse and after signatures are done and first payment is made, he is theirs. Only after a default and you use the law to regain ownership will he ever be yours again (I know, tough to let them go!) the fact that they are using you as credit doesn't make you his owner or part owner. It make you a cash lender; what they owe you is cash.

    I understand that you thought the horse would show under your name, but in my opinion that is a huge risk to you!! They have done you a favor by assuming all liability for a horse they own.



  14. #14
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    Nov. 6, 2001
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    Fairfax
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    Not sure what paperwork you did exchange with the buyer. In many cases I've dealt with, they got the horse and the seller got a piece of paper saying they owe the seller money. The horse is collateral for the debt. Much like in a mortgage. You may owe the bank a bunch of money, but you still listed as the owner for of the house and are responsible for the bills and upkeep. Again, in these cases, ownership transferred immediately. The new owner responsible for all bills, insurance etc and the seller owned a piece of paper that entitles them to money. In fact, in one contested arrangement that I know of along these lines, a lawyer called in looked at the simple promissory note that was done and deemed that the seller was entitled to cash based on the note, but had no say in decisions related to the horses training, location, or care.

    All of this depends on the structure and specific arrangements in your paperwork. Unless you specifically specified that ownership transferred only at final payment, you may not have a leg to stand on.

    I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm not sure what your concern is. You sold the horse, even if the final payment has not yet been made. USEF ownership records have no legal standing and can't be used to invalidate your claim to the outstanding balance. I think this really is a non-issue. Unless there was specific language in your agreement saying that ownership did not transfer until final payment, I think the new owner has every right to transfer ownership into their name. Are you going to be available at every horse show or other event to sign the entry form as the owner? Do you want to be responsible if they do something that puts you on the hook for censure as the owner of the horse? Are you willing from a liability perspective, to be responsible if the horse injures someone while in their care? It is in YOUR BEST INTEREST if your agreement considers the horse theirs once the horse is out of your care!!!!!!



  15. #15
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    May. 12, 2010
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    Westchester County, NY
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    Default

    I had a similar situation with a horse I let someone use. The horse had had an injury and could not jump 3"6" anymore. I was showing my other horses in the AO's. Without my knowledge they changed his name and ownership - leased him to a third party. After two years of legal expenses and a bad trailer accident where the horse was injured - I lost track of him. I was never able to find him again. The USEF (then AHSA) never would take any proactive steps to help recover the horse even though he could be positively identified from his previous injury.
    I hope you have everything in WRITING.
    http://STA551.com
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  16. #16
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    Aug. 2, 2010
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    Default So I called USEF ...

    I anonymously contacted USEF and the Director of Horse Services said that they should not have transferred ownership with our sales contract because there were payment terms that had not yet been satisfied. He said this was a mistake on their part and they would be happy to rescind the transfer. He said that the clerks "often don't read a bill of sale, but they should." He said the proper way to do a USEF transfer of ownership when the horse has not yet been paid for is to get a letter from the seller agreeing to the transfer, despite the fact that full payment has not been made.

    The reason I'm concerned is that I wouldn't want hassles proving I'm the rightful owner to USEF if the purchaser defaults and I have to retake possession of the horse. I view this similar to a car title - the lien holder is listed on the title and on the insurance until the lien is satisfied to protect the lender's interests.

    Honestly, the possibility of default is pretty remote in this case and I'm sure USEF status would be the least of my problems if it happened.

    Letting go of this horse is not an issue for me and she is in a very good situation. I will leave things as they are with USEF, but I will submit the letter citing the debt. I guess I'm old fashioned in thinking that you don't own something until you pay for it.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice and for helping me keep this in perspective.



  17. #17
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    Aug. 2, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by STA View Post
    I had a similar situation with a horse I let someone use. The horse had had an injury and could not jump 3"6" anymore. I was showing my other horses in the AO's. Without my knowledge they changed his name and ownership - leased him to a third party. After two years of legal expenses and a bad trailer accident where the horse was injured - I lost track of him. I was never able to find him again. The USEF (then AHSA) never would take any proactive steps to help recover the horse even though he could be positively identified from his previous injury.
    I hope you have everything in WRITING.
    I'm really sorry this happened to you - what a nightmare! I do have everything in writing, but getting USEF to read it is another matter.

    Thanks for sharing your experience. It's often hard to know who to trust or count on in the horse world!



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
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    415

    Default

    It isn't a bad idea to hire an equine lawyer in the future. We've seen it all.



  19. #19
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    Mar. 5, 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muggle Mom View Post
    I anonymously contacted USEF and the Director of Horse Services said that they should not have transferred ownership with our sales contract because there were payment terms that had not yet been satisfied. He said this was a mistake on their part and they would be happy to rescind the transfer. He said that the clerks "often don't read a bill of sale, but they should." He said the proper way to do a USEF transfer of ownership when the horse has not yet been paid for is to get a letter from the seller agreeing to the transfer, despite the fact that full payment has not been made.

    The reason I'm concerned is that I wouldn't want hassles proving I'm the rightful owner to USEF if the purchaser defaults and I have to retake possession of the horse. I view this similar to a car title - the lien holder is listed on the title and on the insurance until the lien is satisfied to protect the lender's interests.

    Honestly, the possibility of default is pretty remote in this case and I'm sure USEF status would be the least of my problems if it happened.

    Letting go of this horse is not an issue for me and she is in a very good situation. I will leave things as they are with USEF, but I will submit the letter citing the debt. I guess I'm old fashioned in thinking that you don't own something until you pay for it.

    Thanks to everyone for your advice and for helping me keep this in perspective.
    So what.
    All they have to do is apply for another number with a new name for the horse.
    It's really sad that you felt obligated to do this. One of the ideas behind recording transfers is to protect the record of the horse and prevent duplicate numbers.
    And you've forced the buyer to either get a new number or you have prevented them from ever showing the horse.
    I wonder if they have grounds to vacate the sale as a result of this?

    But a question. Would you have been willing to pay all the USEF member and horse fees, sign all entry blanks and take owner responsibility for drug test issues or are you just trying to jam up the buyer?

    Oh, if you contacted them in an anonymous manner how did they kn0w which horse to cancel the transfer on?
    Something is wrong with this 'story'.



  20. #20
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    Aug. 2, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by S A McKee View Post
    So what.
    All they have to do is apply for another number with a new name for the horse.
    It's really sad that you felt obligated to do this. One of the ideas behind recording transfers is to protect the record of the horse and prevent duplicate numbers.
    And you've forced the buyer to either get a new number or you have prevented them from ever showing the horse.
    I wonder if they have grounds to vacate the sale as a result of this?

    But a question. Would you have been willing to pay all the USEF member and horse fees, sign all entry blanks and take owner responsibility for drug test issues or are you just trying to jam up the buyer?

    Oh, if you contacted them in an anonymous manner how did they kn0w which horse to cancel the transfer on?
    Something is wrong with this 'story'.
    I contacted USEF anonymously and asked for the protocol for this particular issue. As I stated in my previous post, I haven't rescinded the transfer and have no intention to do so. I do want USEF to acknowledge that money is owed on the horse and that I have the right to have USEF records changed back in the event that the buyer doesn't pay off the horse within the terms of the contract.

    To answer your questions, I paid for the horse's lifetime recording when I purchased the horse. I purposely renewed my USEF membership fees so that they could show the horse if they wanted. We had already agreed that I would sign the entry blanks if they wanted to show the horse. Considering the classes they would be showing the horse in, it's not at all likely that she would be tested, and I don't have any reason to believe she wouldn't pass.

    I think the purchaser did this because the daughter didn't like the name of the horse, and I really don't care what they call her. Why should they care if USEF has record that they still owe money on the horse?

    If this causes a little inconvenience for the purchaser, so what? It's little price to pay for a six-month interest-free loan.



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