If we are a deal and took a check for the purchase of a truck but it bounced, what is our recourse?

The customer still has the truck. We have title and have canceled the tags.

Asked on August 7, 2014 under Business Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If the sale or financing agreement (if there was a financing agreement) gives you the right to repossess, you may repossess and also, if you want, sue for any shortfall or deficiency between the value of the truck and what the buyer owed you under the contract (plus for other costs, such as legal fees, if the agreement(s) let you do this).

If repossession was not contemplated--such as if the check should have paid for the truck entirely--you may sue the customer for breach of contract (and also possible fraud and/or conversion, or theft, if you believe this was deliberate and not merely due to carelessly not keeping enough funds); in such a lawsuit, you could seek the return of the truck or a judgment against the buyer requiring him to pay the full amount due you.

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