What can I do if I sold a vehicle to someone and before they paid me in full they tradedit to someone else?

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What can I do if I sold a vehicle to someone and before they paid me in full they tradedit to someone else?

I sold a vehicle to a friend of a friend for $4500. He paid $500 on the spot, then gave me $500 for miscellaneous items and made a payment of $100. I signed over title when this person took the truck the day he paid the initial $500. I didn’t want to be responsible if he had an accident. This sale took place 7 months ago and he has since traded that vehicle to another party. Do I have any legal grounds to collect my money? I do have a witnesses.

Asked on July 7, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Do you have a written or oral contract for the amount owed on the vehicle you sold for $4,500 where $1,100 has been paid to date? If you have a written agreement, the buyer has the burden of showing all payments made.

If you have an oral agreement, and the buyer denies the amount of the sales price (contract should not be denied because you transferred title to the friend) you will have a battle as to the amount unless you have a witness to testify about the sales price figure.

What were the terms for the balance to be paid you? Have you written your friend about when you will be paid the balance of the purchase price for your vehicle? If not, do so and ask for monthly installments. If your request gets ignored, you have the option to sue your friend in court for the balance of the contract price not paid and accrued interest on that amount.


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