Is a bill of sale a contract?

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Is a bill of sale a contract?

I sold a car private party, filled out and signed a bill of sale. Ireported it to the state and because it was a friend and I knew they got the loan allowed them to take the car without the cash in my hand. We have the same bank and had planned to meet first thing Monday morning. Sunday they changed their mind and dropped the car off at my house and told me they cancelled the loan. Isn’t the signed bill of sale a legal contract?

Asked on November 21, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A bill of sale in general is typically quite different than a contract to buy or sell something. A contract sets forth an offer, acceptance and consideration for a transaction that may occur in the future or may not.

A bill of sale is evidence that an actual transaction occurred and was performed. In your situation, the bill of sale concerning the car is evidence in and of itself that the sale went through and possession of the car went from the seller to the buyer and the buyer then gave something presumably of value to the seller, such as money. The bill of sale's language would set forth what was the specific transaction.

The bill of sale is evidence that there was a contract.


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