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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 23841
Experience:  14 years practicing attorney, MBA
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I made an investment of about $40K that involved purchasing

Customer Question

I made an investment of about $40K that involved purchasing a semi-truck and trailer and a partnership with a truck driver. I KNOW this is stupid, but I did not create any written contracts. We had a verbal agreement along with email and text messages about what was expected as far as getting things off the ground and repayment of my investment. We are months past expectations with zero progress. We titled the truck and trailer in the driver's name with me as lien holder. He also has about $4K of my cash. He is not cooperating with me to exit the "business"--which means selling the rig. I want to repo the truck. What are my legal options?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Is there any type of established agreement for payments to be made to you?
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And he has breached that agreement to repay you?
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Have you made formal demand in writing for him to repay you the money he owes you?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It was definitely just a verbal agreement with a few aspects agreed upon via email, but nothing formal. He definitely understood the arrangement and expectations--that were mostly set by him. There was not a strict payment schedule--just the idea that we buy a load of square hay bales in KS or MO and sell them in the Denver area. I would get a percentage of each load sold with the expectation that we'd be buying our first load by early June and haul 7 to 9 loads per month. He also understood an August 1st deadline to at least get our first load purchased. (Communicated on phone and in text messages...again, no formal contract.) I also gave him $3,360 cash to buy the first load of hay. That was over a month ago. He keeps having excuses for why he can't go pick up our first load. Everything from he got injured from being bucked off a horse to high blood pressure and now "the hay market is not good so we need to wait". ...and I might even be OK with all of that if he would simply shoot me straight and communicate. He went 14 days without responding to my text and voice mail. It has become obvious that he is lying to me about most everything. I know I'm going to lose big time, but I'm hoping there is at least a way for me to repo the rig.


 


So I would say yes the agreement was "established" in that no doubt we both understood the plan and expectations. So yes, he has breached that agreement. I have not made a formal written demand. Is that my next step? Do I have an attorney help me write that?

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Ok, in order for there to be a breach, there has to be an agreement for him to do something that he has not done. If there was an agreement for him to make some type of payment to you and he has failed to do so, that is a breach. If he was supposed to go pick up a load of hay and deliver it and has failed to do so, that is a breach.
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If he has breached and put your collateral at risk, then you could legally retake possession of the vehicle as a secured creditor. But without a formal agreement to point to, I would suggest sending a formal demand letter certified mail stating that since the hay has not been purchased as agreed, you are requesting the $3,360 back for the hay within 5 days. When he ignores your letter or can't deliver the money, then you would have solid grounds to repo the truck.
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You don't need an attorney to write the letter, you just need to make it clear you are requesting money back and send it certified mail. Then you can retake possession of the truck to protect you investment.
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Excellent. This is what I will do. Can you help me understand how to start a repo process? Does this start with an attorney? I mean, I assume the repossessor has to have something solid that lets them know I have legal right to reposess the rig.

Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Once you send the demand letter and it is ignored, then you would contact a local civil litigation attorney to file suit for breach of contract and ask for a positive injunction to seize the truck since you are a secured creditor. Then once you get a judgment against the other party, you can sell the truck in a "commercially reasonable" manner and apply the money towards any judgment. Then you can pursue him personally for any deficiency if the truck doesn't sell for enough to pay off the debt.
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If you had a written agreement, then you could immediately seize the truck and repo it just like a car lot does. But without a formal agreement that gives you that power, I don't think you could retake possession without a court order.
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.
Thanks
Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 23841
Experience: 14 years practicing attorney, MBA
Barrister and 8 other Business Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much for the positive rating and generous bonus, it is very much appreciated!

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. Please feel free to ask for me if you need help with anything in the future and I will do everything I can to help or get you to someone who can.

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Barrister

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