How can I collect what is still owed on a car sale?

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How can I collect what is still owed on a car sale?

I am selling a car and have only received partial payment. I have the vehicle title and a signed receipt for the first payment with the balance on it. Now I can’t get a hold of the other party. I do also have our agreement in writing via text message still on my phone.

Asked on November 17, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

An agreement in writing must be signed "by the party to be charged" in order to be binding.  In other words, the text messages do not constitute a contract, although parties may try to submit them asevidence of negotiations.  But I would argue against it only because you have no idea who really wrote them. So you have an oral contract here, which is fine as long as all the elements of contract are present.  And now you want to enforce the contract.  Then you have to sue to do so.  You have a signed receipt so that is evidence of the oral agreement as well.  Will it fall under the small claims amount?  That may be your best bet. Good luck.


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