Is it legal to trade merchandise that is under a contract and that is not paid off yet for something else?

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Is it legal to trade merchandise that is under a contract and that is not paid off yet for something else?

My husband traded a teenager a toolbox, a gun, and a snap on computer for a fourwheeler. Well the snap on computer is not yet paid off but we tend to pay it off. The guy wrote us a bill of sale/trade when we traded. And now is not happy with the trade. So is it illegal to trade an item that is under a contract and not paid off yet?

Asked on August 3, 2012 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the item is not yet paid off--if you were buying it over time--then you would not have had clean title to it yet. That means that you could not trade it to someone else, because you may not trade (or sell) items you do not yet own. You could have contracted that you *would* sell it once you had paid it off, but you could not transfer title if you did not have title yet.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the item is not yet paid off--if you were buying it over time--then you would not have had clean title to it yet. That means that you could not trade it to someone else, because you may not trade (or sell) items you do not yet own. You could have contracted that you *would* sell it once you had paid it off, but you could not transfer title if you did not have title yet.


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