If I loaned equipment to someone who then sold it, how do I get it back?

I loaned a backhoe to someone in my family. He decided to sell it to a construction company. He said it was his, not mine. I have a bill of sale in my name from when I bought it.How do I get my equipment back?

Asked on August 12, 2012 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney. It is possible that you may not be able to get the backhoe back from the buyer, if the buyer purchased it for fair value, in good faith, on a reasonable belief that the seller had the right to sell it--the law may not, in that case, let you penalize the buyer, who did everything right. However, you certainly would have grounds to sue the family member to recover either the then-current value of the backhoe or the amount he/she received for it, whichever is greater, plus other costs you incurred.

However, if you report this as a theft, then you may be able to recover the backhoe itself--the law does not generally allow people to keep stolen property. (The buyer could then sue your family member.)  Of course, you'd  have to report this family member to the police for theft; on the other hand, that is what he or she did.

So you do have rights, to either the backhoe or money; your attorney can evaluate the situation and advise you as to your best options.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.