What to do about a truck sale that was never completed?

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What to do about a truck sale that was never completed?

I agreed to sell my truck to a man in another state. The sale price was $4300 and he gave me $200 as a down payment; he agreed to take the truck and title when he brought me the other $4100. This all was put into writing on a scrap piece of paper. Not a bill of sale just a down payment agreement. This was 2 months ago and he has not paid for the truck and I still have it. And in last 2-3 weeks I have not heard back from him in regards to him finishing our deal. I want to now sell the truck to someone else and have offered him his $200 back but have got no response. Can I sell the truck?

Asked on January 2, 2013 under Business Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If there was a date in the agreement by which he had to pay the balance and he has not, then you'd be clear to treat the agreement as breached, sell the truck to another person, and keep the deposit.

If there was no date, the situation is less clear--that is, it's not clear when he has actually breached or violated the agreement. Send him something in writing re-iterating the date when the agreement was made and how much time has passed; letting him know that he has some reasonable time (e.g. 10 or 15 business days) to complete the transaction and pay for the truck; and that if you do not hear from him by then, you will treat the agreement as terminated. You could also let him know that within that time frame, if he notifies you of an intent to cancel, you will return his deposit, but after that, will keep it. Send the writing to him by two or three ways you can prove delivery (e.g. by certified mail with return receipt; by fedex with  tracking; by email or fax), then proceed from there.


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