If an item is left for repair and not paid for after 14 months, can it be sold to recoup repair costs?

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If an item is left for repair and not paid for after 14 months, can it be sold to recoup repair costs?

Customer shipped instrument to me from OH to IN. I did repairs and invoiced him 9/13/09. I received repeated promises of payment and claims of computer problems, on-line account problems, etc. The last communication I received was 2/23/10, in which he said his computer and on line account problems were resolved and he would make payment first thing in the morning. Did not receive payment, or response to my reminders. 6/16/10 I sent an email to him stating I needed payment in 10 days or the instrument would be sold, no response. Still have instrument; I think he moved; now I only have his e-mail.

Asked on January 27, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

No, I would not advise that you take that route here.  At least not at this juncture.  What you need to do is to sue the person for the money owed to you, obtain a judgement against him or her and then you can levy the judgement against them by any means that the law will allow. Now, the law almost always allow that you are able to levy personal property, which would be the instrument that have in your possession.  But I might see about turning it over tothe Marshall or Sherrif to contact the owner and let them know that they are turning the instrument over to you within a certain period of time or ask the court outright to let you have it as payment.  But be aware that you can only sell it for the amount owed and any excess is the property of the original owner.  Good luck. 


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