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Deposit liability

Discussion in 'Car Sales, Dealers, Repairs, Lemon Law' started by Cockadoodledo57, Oct 30, 2020.

  1. Cockadoodledo57

    Cockadoodledo57 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Kansas
    I accepted a deposit for the purchase of my deceased father’s car of $1000.00 in August 2019. I did write a receipt for the deposit. Buyer was supposed to give me the balance within 90 days. They would periodically tell me that they had the money for me but didn’t pay and at other times they said they would have it soon but have never paid. I sold the car last month for substantially less than the agreement with the first buyer. The original buyer wants their deposit back. Am I legally bound to return it to them?
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Potentially, if the person possesses a written, properly executed contract.

    If not, then he/she must go to court and sue you for the deposit.

    If she/he could prove their assertions, you MIGHT not prevail.

    You sold the car, made a few dollars you wouldn't have made had you not sold the car.

    So far, you may NOT have made as much as you desired, but you've made more than you would have had you not inherited the car.

    If you ever sell anything in the future, don't accept money down.

    Only accept what it is (or whatever you can get) for the thing you have on offer.

    Deposits aren't sales, nor do deposits make the sale.

    Cash, in full, on the barrel head before you release the goods is the ONLY way to sell anything.

    Good luck.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Possibly. Did you give the buyer written notice of a deadline to pay, that you'd sell the car if he missed the deadline, and that he'd be responsible for any shortfall that was beyond your control?

    If not, you would likely lose in court on the issue.

    In contract law, when a breach can be cured (as in this case) you must give the breaching party the opportunity to cure before you can terminate the contract.

    If the breach is not cured within the specified time, you then may resell the item making sure that you have made reasonable attempt to sell for the same price. That's called mitigation. If you are compelled to sell for less due to circumstances beyond your control then the original buyer is responsible for making up the difference.

    Questions:

    1 - Original sale price.
    2 - Did you give written notice of the breach and opportunity to cure.
    3 - When you resold the car did you advertise it at the original sale price or did you advertise it for less? If less, how much and why?

    The answers will give us a better idea of whether you owe the original buyer any money.

    PS: I agree with Army Judge. Never take deposits. Full price in cash or no sale.
     
  4. Cockadoodledo57

    Cockadoodledo57 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I didn’t notify in writing that I was no longer waiting for him to pay anything towards the balance owed. Should have. However this was not a $1000.00 car. We had agreed upon $4500.00 for a 2007 Jaguar. I didn’t advertise the car. Someone approached me after seeing it sit on my driveway for over a year. Sold it for $3000.00. Car looked nice but needed many repairs. When my son died last November and I needed money for his burial the buyer told me to keep the deposit and sell the car if I could buy not in writing.
    I thought there might be some sort of time limit that would consider the vehicle abandoned for non payment.
     
  5. Cockadoodledo57

    Cockadoodledo57 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My dad told me he was assigning his car to me upon his death. When I got the title my name wasn’t on it. I had durable power of attorney while he was living and didn’t know that terminated when he died. Is that a way out of this or do I just get in more trouble? His will does name me as his only heir. I never retitled the car in my name because I didn’t know I had to.

    I am assuming that since the amount I accepted as deposit was $1000.00 that means he would have to file in small claims court.
     
  6. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This isn't about what a 13 year old car is worth.

    This is about proof.

    You and the other party have no proof that money even changed hands, especially if you received CA$H.

    There is also no proof (in writing) that you were selling your car.

    If you had a valid contract, maybe contract aw would apply.
    Absent a written agreement, it is your word against the other person's word.
    The problem for the other person is, absent a written agreement or a receipt, that he/she ever gave you one dollar.

    This is a classic you said versus someone said.

    Let your conscience and your moral code be your guide.
     
  7. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You fouled up so badly that if he does take you to small claims court, with that story you will lose.

    Give him back is $1000 and be done with it.
     
  8. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Judge, did you miss the part that says:

     
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  9. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Yes, I did.

    Someone MIGHT have the PROOF.

    Why do people do this to themselves?

    A life well lived need not be full of unforced errors.

    Why spend your life shoveling to get out of the hole you dug for others?

    Sigh....
     
  10. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I'm glad they do. They've provided me with this enjoyable hobby for the last 19 years.
     
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