Does the memo line of a check constitute a binding agreement of sale?

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Does the memo line of a check constitute a binding agreement of sale?

I purchased a motorcycle and clearly noted in the memo line what the check was for. The check has been cashed and I have not received the motorcycle. I have no other written purchase and sale agreement.

Asked on September 5, 2011 under General Practice, Vermont

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It's not that the check itself (its memo line) is necessarily an agreement of sale, but rather that the check (including its memo line) can be evidence that there was an agreement between the parties. Agreements to sell goods, like a motorcycle, are enforceable, even if those agreements were verbal or oral. If there was an agreement to sell the motorcycle and you honored your obligation by paying the money--and both the existence of an agreement and your fulfillment of your obligations would seem to be evidenced by the check--then you should be able to sue to enforce the contract. Depending on the exact circumstances, you could force the sale of the motorcyclce; or rescind the agreement and get your money back; or sue for some other compensation or damages.


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