Sold my car, but...

jrz

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 12, 2012
33
0
Ok- I sold my car to a lady. On day one, she agreed to pay my asking price $6800. Day 2 she sent me a text asking if I would take $6600 because she had all these other expenses. I said I understand, and asked if she would agree to pay me $6600 now & $200 later (in a month). She said yes. It’s $200, it’s a small amount in comparison to the whole…. but we both signed a contract. She got off paying $6600 and is now avoiding payment (another month has passed). What options do I have? Am I just to accept she is not likely to pay? Is it worth hiring a lawyer? She is avoiding calls too.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
At some point you have to weigh how much your time and energy spent in such an endeavor are worth to you? I.e. How much do you make an hour and how many hours are you willing to invest to recoup $200?

Sorry mate; just a thought.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,741
146
Place a lien on the vehicle
Except it is really only feasible with a court order. Otherwise, the title holder has to agree to the lien and I cannot see how she would do that. She may not know that but google is likely a lot of peoples' friends and it is easy to figure out.


OP, I completely understand your point but the cost of pursing this may exceed the $200 you're owed and while you can probably get her to pay court costs, it is not guaranteed. You can send her a demand, certified mail, and see what happens. If that doesn't get her attention then you have to decide what to do next or if you should do anything next. You wanted $6800, she offered $6000 after previously agreeing to $6800, and gave you $6600. Maybe this ends up being a situation where you cut your losses?
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,300
8,162
Here(-ish)
...You can send her a demand, certified mail, and see what happens. If that doesn't get her attention then you have to decide what to do next or if you should do anything next....
I would do this with the threat of a lien/further action. If it works, great. If not, cut your losses.
 

dukebound85

macrumors P6
Jul 17, 2005
18,155
1,501
5045 feet above sea level
Except it is really only feasible with a court order. Otherwise, the title holder has to agree to the lien and I cannot see how she would do that. She may not know that but google is likely a lot of peoples' friends and it is easy to figure out.


OP, I completely understand your point but the cost of pursing this may exceed the $200 you're owed and while you can probably get her to pay court costs, it is not guaranteed. You can send her a demand, certified mail, and see what happens. If that doesn't get her attention then you have to decide what to do next or if you should do anything next. You wanted $6800, she offered $6000 after previously agreeing to $6800, and gave you $6600. Maybe this ends up being a situation where you cut your losses?
Maybe you can do something akin to a mechanics lien? where they can place a lien if you don't pay for your repairs. Admittiadly, not sure how this compares to a lender lean or what not

Seems to be the same principle and they have a contract in writing to that effect (of outstanding balance)
 

ucfgrad93

macrumors P6
Aug 17, 2007
17,949
8,929
Colorado
At some point you have to weigh how much your time and energy spent in such an endeavor are worth to you? I.e. How much do you make an hour and how many hours are you willing to invest to recoup $200?

Sorry mate; just a thought.
Agreed. To me, it wouldn't be worth the time and effort it would take to get the $200. You got 97% of what you were asking for, I would take it and move on.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,047
127
Canada, eh?
It's sad to see how little some people value their integrity.

I had a friend who I'd known for many years. I babysat his kids, went to their hockey games, that sort of thing. He needed a loan of $500, which I gave him. He even offered to sign a contract with repayment terms. I declined, saying I'd trust him to repay it.

Within six months he'd essentially disappeared from my life and that of all of our mutual friends. The texts stopped, we were no longer friends on Facebook.

Who sells out on a pile of friends for $500?!
 

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
36,414
25,233
Behind the Lens, UK
$200? Easy $50 a wheel. You have a wheel brace right? She can have the wheels back when she pays.
And yes I am being sarcastic. This would be breaking the law. Like the other guy said how much effort is $200 worth. Chalk it up to life experience and next time get cash up front.
 

Synchromesh

macrumors 6502a
Jul 15, 2009
578
48
SF
It's sad to see how little some people value their integrity.

I had a friend who I'd known for many years. I babysat his kids, went to their hockey games, that sort of thing. He needed a loan of $500, which I gave him. He even offered to sign a contract with repayment terms. I declined, saying I'd trust him to repay it.

Within six months he'd essentially disappeared from my life and that of all of our mutual friends. The texts stopped, we were no longer friends on Facebook.

Who sells out on a pile of friends for $500?!
That's sad. On the bright side you only paid $500 to find out this person is not worth dealing with in the future. Some people pay a much higher price on occasion for the same lesson.
 

snberk103

macrumors 603
Oct 22, 2007
5,503
87
An Island in the Salish Sea
Small claims court. There will be a fee for filing, but it's usually nominal. Once she is served with the papers, she may take your claim more seriously. The usual arrangement is that you will accept the $200 plus the costs to file. As the case proceeds through the system, the keep paying fees.... which she will need to pay to make it go away (so there is an incentive for her to pay up early). If you have a contract, if you actually end up sitting in front of a judge, it's pretty cut and dried. You have a contract, she can't prove she paid, she owes.

Before you file the claim, start writing down everything you've done to collect, sort of like a diary. You don't necessarily need written proof at this stage. But... things like - "Called X today, left a message at 4:12pm. Asked to hear back by [date]." Then, a couple of days after that date, write in your diary that you hadn't heard back, and that you called again. Then send a non-registered letter asking for payment (Politely! You don't want to lose the case based on harassment) ... be kind, make a joke, tell her you understand her situation, but you really need the money. Show the judge that you are being more than reasonable, and nice person. Put a copy of the letter in your file. Then send another, similar letter, by registered mail. Put the receipt that you sent it in your file.

As the case gets closer to court, she will likely be more inclined to settle. Be firm... demand the full $200 plus your court fees to date. If she wants to negotiate, maybe take $25 off. Some people just need that little victory to feel like they've won - but don't knock more than that off.

In court, you will have a thick file, full of papers, with the dates you tried to contact her. The contents of the letters, the expenses you incurred sending registered letters. It will show you tried to be sympathetic and a nice person. And she will have vague memories, extenuating circumstances, and excuses.

Documentation wins 95% of the time in a case like this. In this kind of court, the judge does not have to find in your favour "beyond a shadow of a doubt". In civil cases, it is simply the balance of probabilities.

You'll probably find that she will settle in the lobby of the court house when she sees you, and your file folder. Feel free to pad the folder with some brochures about the car. It will make the folder look more imposing, and if the judge asks to see the file the padding is still relevant to the case. Few people want to go in front of a judge when they think they will lose.

Good Luck.

For the good of society, take the time to show her that people shouldn't behave this way.
 

boss.king

macrumors 68040
Apr 8, 2009
3,270
127
Tell her you want the full amount. Be nice about it, but point out that if you don't get the full amount you'll see her in court. See if that gets her attention. Otherwise I'm not sure what else to do short of actually going to court.
 

brentmore

macrumors 6502
Jul 19, 2002
263
1
ATX
You have a contract, she can't prove she paid, she owes.

Before you file the claim, start writing down everything you've done to collect, sort of like a diary. You don't necessarily need written proof at this stage. But... things like - "Called X today, left a message at 4:12pm. Asked to hear back by [date]." Then, a couple of days after that date, write in your diary that you hadn't heard back, and that you called again. Then send a non-registered letter asking for payment (Politely! You don't want to lose the case based on harassment) ... be kind, make a joke, tell her you understand her situation, but you really need the money. Show the judge that you are being more than reasonable, and nice person. Put a copy of the letter in your file. Then send another, similar letter, by registered mail. Put the receipt that you sent it in your file.

In court, you will have a thick file, full of papers, with the dates you tried to contact her. The contents of the letters, the expenses you incurred sending registered letters. It will show you tried to be sympathetic and a nice person. And she will have vague memories, extenuating circumstances, and excuses.

Documentation wins 95% of the time in a case like this. In this kind of court, the judge does not have to find in your favour "beyond a shadow of a doubt". In civil cases, it is simply the balance of probabilities.
Good advice. In the US, the burden you must meet is by preponderance of the evidence; if your version of the event is superior to hers by way of documentation or credibility, as it seems to be, then you can win this case. Not sure of the rules anywhere else.

I support holding her accountable, not only pecuniarily, but also morally.
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,047
127
Canada, eh?
I support holding her accountable, not only pecuniarily, but also morally.
Yeah, like others have said, it's the principle of the thing now. If I was in the OP's shoes and the buyer stayed in contact with me and told me a convincing sob story about how difficult it would be to come up with that last $200, I might be inclined to let it go. But to ignore contact and try to simply make it go away is both dishonest and rude.
 

senseless

macrumors 68000
Apr 23, 2008
1,805
211
Pennsylvania, USA
It's sad to see how little some people value their integrity.

I had a friend who I'd known for many years. I babysat his kids, went to their hockey games, that sort of thing. He needed a loan of $500, which I gave him. He even offered to sign a contract with repayment terms. I declined, saying I'd trust him to repay it.

Within six months he'd essentially disappeared from my life and that of all of our mutual friends. The texts stopped, we were no longer friends on Facebook.

Who sells out on a pile of friends for $500?!
Yup, happened to me for $400, but it was a relief to be rid of him. :)
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,154
1,324
Always a day away
Maybe you can do something akin to a mechanics lien? where they can place a lien if you don't pay for your repairs. Admittiadly, not sure how this compares to a lender lean or what not
I'm pretty sure that in order for this to stick somebody has to have signed something agreeing to allow a lien in the event of an unpaid debt.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,123
1,000
Pennsylvania
I'm pretty sure that in order for this to stick somebody has to have signed something agreeing to allow a lien in the event of an unpaid debt.
If the OP still has the text stating that $6600 is payable now, and $200 in a month from now, that should hold up in court as well as anything else. It may not have a handwritten signature, however the text clearly comes from the lady, and the is directed towards the OP. Any reasonable person would conclude that the lady had the intent to pay $200 later.

IAMAL, however, especially in small claims court, it shouldn't be an issue. However, instead of doing that, I would take screenshots of the texts, format it in a word document, explaining everything, and mail it to her. Tell her that if she doesn't pay, you'll have no choice but to involve the courts*. Usually a legal threat is good enough.

*you don't need to mention small claims
 

Tomorrow

macrumors 604
Mar 2, 2008
7,154
1,324
Always a day away
If the OP still has the text stating that $6600 is payable now, and $200 in a month from now, that should hold up in court as well as anything else.
It would hold up if he wanted to sue, but I don't think it could get him a lien.

Now, if he sued and won, then perhaps the judge could then order a lien - but for only $200? Doesn't seem worth the trouble to me.
 

rei101

macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
976
1
Leave it like that...

It would be more the trouble getting the $200 than the money itself. You got a great deal, is not $800 or $1000.

Is bad karma for her and a lesson for you by just letting go, peace is your reward and good things will come back to you from other sources. She will gte bad karma.

Call her in 3 months just in case. She will feel you won't let go that easy and may pay you the $200. Probably she does not have the money now any way. Give her time. But let go, do not fall into the game of anxiety and those things.
 

725032

Guest
Aug 5, 2012
724
0
I'd put a wheel lock on the car and leave until full payment is made.

Or calling someone at work a lot always helps!
 
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