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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
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Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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I am a used car dealer in houston. I mainly sell used school

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I am a used car dealer in houston. I mainly sell used school buses for use here in the states and export.
I had a customer come in May 2011, she had called me several times about the purchase of a used bus for export to Africa. She came in and settled on a bus, ($ 3,500), gave me $500 cash as a down payment and said she needed some time for the rest of her money to come from her partner in Africa. I told her I could give her until the 18th of June 20011 to pay the remainder, she assured me that was fine. 3 weeks passed, 1 week before the 18th of June and she called and said she was on her way to my office, I assumed to pick up her bus. When she got there she started telling me that her partner wasn't forthcomming with the money and she wanted her down payment returned. I told her I couldn't return her money but would give her until the end of June to come up with the rest of the money. She said no she just wanted her money back or some tires. Anyway am I legally responsible for the return of her $500. I lost 2 possible sales on that bus during that 3 week period because I told those customers it was already sold. All I have for documents is a bill of sale and it doesn't address the return of deposits or down payments but this was a sale not a layaway. Thank you for your help and advise
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good afternoon. The deposit was to hold the bus for her so she could buy it. Then, she did not buy it. Holding it for her cause you to be damaged so you are entitled to retain the security deposit. I would explain this to the law firm and tell them you have consulted your own counsel, been told you have the right to retain it to cover your damages, and have no intention of returning it. Let them know if they want to proceed, you'll see them in court.



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