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Selling my Mitsubishi Eclipse

Discussion in 'Automobile & Car Insurance' started by dwetz89, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. dwetz89

    dwetz89 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I'm selling my Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder GT for $2,399.
    The buyer came and drove the vehicle (burning up the clutch in the process) and loved the car.
    Since the bank was closed, he got $400 out as a down payment/for me to hold the car for him with a bill of sale/document stating he has paid $400 and owes $1,999. Im pretty sure he still wants the car, but if he decides not to go through with the deal do I owe him the $400 back?

    I normally wouldn't be asking this, but he has been extremely unpleasant after the first day of meeting him. Day 1 was great, day 2, 3 and 4 have been a nightmare almost like hes bipolar.
    Can the $400 be used for a new clutch in the car or does he deserve the money back?

    Thank you
     
  2. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    It's his money.
    Yes, since you have it you could keep it, but he could turn around and sue you for it and it will end up costing you more in the long run.

    If you don't like him just offer the money back and find a new buyer.

    You aren't going to be able to convince anyone that one test drive destroyed your clutch and he has to pay for a brand new one. It was already a used vehicle with a used clutch.
     
    dwetz89 likes this.
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I agree that you can't use the $400 for a new clutch. Your car is from the early 2000s and likely has 150,000 miles on it or more. If you need a new clutch, you needed it before this guy ever drove.

    If he decides he doesn't want the car, the easiest solution is to give him back his money and resell the car unless you want to be stuck with the car for a few months while you argue the issue in court.

    The lesson here is never take a deposit or down payment. If somebody wants the car, it's cash in full and drive it away. Otherwise it gets sold to the first person who brings the cash in full.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    Taking any partial payment makes a seller appear desperate to sell.

    Cash in full in your hands, use a counterfeit detecting pen to verify the cash is LEGIT, or do nothing.

    You're trying to sell a car, not carry the note for a deadbeat.
     
  5. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Not based on what you've written (at least not immediately). You told us that you have "a bill of sale/document stating he has paid $400 and owes $1,999." As described, that's an enforceable contract. If the buyer breaches the contract and fails to go through with the deal, then your remedy is to find another buyer. If you're able to find a buyer willing to pay the same price, then you will have suffered no damages and would be obligated to return the $400. On on the other hand, if you cannot reasonably find a buyer willing to pay the same price, then you can keep as much of the $400 as is necessary to cover the shortfall.

    I don't care to pile hypothetical on top of hypothetical. However, I have an observation about the clutch. You told us that, while the buyer was test driving the car, he "burn[ed] up the clutch." Unless the clutch was already on the breaking point, that wouldn't happen after only one or two applications of the clutch. If he was misusing the clutch, then you should have terminated the test drive to prevent damage. Since you apparently didn't do that, any damage may be on you.
     

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