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July 24,2017 I posted an ad online for a trailer for sale, asking price 2000.00. On July 25th I agreed to sell for 1300.00 and received a payment of 500.00 and another 500.00 paid during the summer. It was to moved by winter and final payment when they moved it. Just today Jan. 31, 2018 I received a text message saying they were getting a divorce and wanted their money back. My question is after all of this time am I obligated to pay them back any money. I have nothing in writing other than text messages back and forth between the two of us.
Asked on January 31, 2018 under Business Law, Pennsylvania
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 3 years ago | Contributor
No, you do not have to return their money. They agreed to buy it (oral or unwritten agreements, as well as agreements shown by text messages, are enforceable and valid: you don't need a formal written contract) and once they agreed to buy it, they are obligated to the purchase so long as you are ready, willing, and able to carry through it (i.e. sell them the trailer). They have no right to cancel the deal and get their money back; in fact, you could in theory sue them for the remaining $300 (though it's not likely worthwhile doing so).