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SoloLawyer
SoloLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
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I helped someone with horses, house in foreclosure. Agreed

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I helped someone with horses, house in foreclosure. Agreed to board horses + sell them. She was to set a price point for each horse, pay for boarding and I also receive 10% commission off each horse sale. Her pricing too high, thus, only one horse sold, but she misrepresented it. The buyer returned horse upon unconditional guarantee of refund. The seller did not return the money, but rather said to the buyer that until the horse was sold again she would not return their money. She asked me to try to sell the horse for her without refunding. I refused, stating that until the money was returned I could not sell, as the buyer still legally owned the horse. She has lied and misrepresented. I gave her a 10 day notice to remove her horses [now has 8 days] and I would attempt to sell the ones for sale for fair market value. Today she refused to allow me to sell any. She gave me some items and I have some other things was supposed to sell also. She owes me thousands. What to do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Hello -

Thanks for contacting JustAnswer.

Could you explain to me a little more fully why she "owes you thousands"?

Thanks,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I agreed to board 12 of her horses until they sold. Boarding is $300/month per horse. I have had the horses for about 8 weeks. Agreed to also sell the horses for her, and accept 10% commission on each sale. Her prices were outlandishly high, so only 1 of the horses sold, but was returned within a week. As her prices were too high, and she was not willing to negotiate for a more fair market value, I have had to continue to board the horses. She refuses to pay the boarding fees, claiming she has no money and wants to ship them to Canada, where she lives, and now sell them there. Today she asked me not to sell any of her horses. I agreed to accept as gifts 4 horses, and she agreed to give them with feeders and pipe corral, etc. She also asked me to take a small mini-truck, a stove, etc., to sell for her, but again her prices are way too high. I am now stuck with the items and horses. She wants to have some people take the horses away on Sunday, which is fine, but because she owes several people thousands of dollars, and now me also, I am sure she will never pay-she now resides in Canada. I am concerned that I am losing the cost of the boarding, plus the cost of the commission for the sales.
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the response.

Unfortunately, because you don't have a written contract with her, you are probably going to be out of luck. If you ever decided to bring this to court, she would argue that there was never an agreement for boarding fees and that your payment would be straight commission.

If you have the horses, will they not cover the cost of the boarding? You said that you accepted 4 horses as gifts. I am sure the cost of these horses at least covers part of the boarding, correct?

As far as the rest, you have the option of bringing a civil suit against her for breach of implied contract. You would assert that there was a verbal or implied contract and that she has breached that by not paying you for boarding. Your damages would be the amount she owes you in boading fees.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and I hope you work it out.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The 4 horses I accepted have no value, they are all lame, very old, retired, and will not survive a trip to Canada, and have no value. They were to be euthanized, but I agreed to accept them from her and to let them live out their retirement on my ranch. So, no, they do not cover any portion of the boarding fees. Also, can I make a legal assertion to keep the pipe corral, feeders, waterers, the tipi, the little feeding truck as compensation, maybe just "call it even" so as not to spend any more energy on this? I do not believe these items add up to the amount I am owed, but I would be happy to keep them and be done with the issue. What is involved in telling her that I will keep these things rather than monetary compensation for the boarding/feeding/cleaning stalls/daily horse management/washing/grooming, as well as the expenses I have already incurred by marketing her horses for her?
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your response.

You may certainly accept all those items in lieu of payment. In fact, that sounds like the best option because it does not sound like you are going to get any money out of this lowlife, who probably never intended to pay you in the first place.

Here is what I woud do:

Tell her that you are thinking about suing her for the damages that she owes you. After that, explain that you are willing to take the items you described in lieu of the payment and call it even. Here is the important part: You are going to need to draft a contract that states something like, "I, (her name), agree to give (all the items you are getting) to (your name) in lieu of the money I owe her for boarding, grooming, etc. I acknowledge that I am liable for my debt and am giving these items in satisfaction of that debt."

Hope this helps,

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay - I can try that. If she refuses, and states that she is sending someone to my ranch to "strip" it and "take everything that is mine....." am I obligated to allow people to come onto my property and disasemble the corrals and take everything?

 

I'm okay with these people she sends in taking her horses, even the ones she gave me she can have back.

 

I just don't think I will ever be able to sue her as she lives in Canada, and has no assets here in California any more....she lost everything to foreclosure, and she has creditors lining up like flies to manure!

 

 

Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
If there was no prior agreement that you would keep the corrals and everything else in lieu of payment, you are probably not going to be able to keep her from taking her stuff back. If you do refuse to allow her to take the stuff, the worst she can do is sue you, and you can counter sue for the damages that she owes you.


If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael



Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Okay, so I am deciding to allow the horses to be trailered to wherever she decides on Sunday. I am going to refuse to allow any of the other things like the pipe corrals, etc., to be taken. I will state to the people that come that nothing other than the horses is to be removed from the property until we figure out the finances and what is owed. I will say that I am considering all of my options for remedy. I will send her a letter and/or e-mail with a specific accounting of all of my costs, etc. I will offer to make her a deal. If she does not accept then I will tell her she can just sue me and I will countersue. I realize that I could be in a bind because she refused to sign anything when she left other than make some notes on a paper. She did give me the title to the little truck, so that might be something to help my case. Thank you. Is there any other advice you can share in case this gets ugly?
Expert:  SoloLawyer replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for your response.

Unlike many of the people I deal with everyday, you sound like you have it together. It sounds like you have a good grasp on your legal options.

I think the course of action you have chosen is your best bet to get anything out of this terrible situation. The only real advice I can give you is to always PUT IT IN WRITING. And by "it" I mean any situation involving someone else and money. When money is involved, nothing is ever easy. I'm sure you know that.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX the best.

If my answer was helpful, please click ACCEPT so I may be compensated for my time. Thanks.

Regards,

Michael
SoloLawyer, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 2949
Experience: Licensed Missisippi Attorney; Criminal Law, Family Law, Personal Injury, and Civil Defense
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