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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 99492
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I am selling my boat and received a deposit on Sept 7th. The

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I am selling my boat and received a deposit on Sept 7th. The deposit receipt simply stated received X amount of dollars as deposit on (year/model of boat) and signed by buyer and seller. It's been 2 Can I refund their deposit and cancel the sale now? What is a reasonable amount of time to wait? They have moved the payment date twice.
Hello friend and thank you for requesting me.

You state "It's been 2...." Two - what? Days? Weeks? Months?

Does the deposit OR a contract state what date the closing day is going to be? What is the reason for the hold up?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

oh sorry it's been about 2 weeks (well not quite yet). The buyer said he would give me a cashiers check on Sept 12th but he had problems getting the cashiers check because the bank said he had to wait 3 days (I think the money was just deposited so they have a waiting period). So we moved it to tomorrow Sept 17th. Now he emails me and wants to change it again because he has to work. He's in the next state so to help him out I ageed to to drive 500 miles and meet him halfway at a branch of my bank. So I think I have been very accomodating but my patience is wearing thin.

Thank you. Was the date of the original Sept. 12th in writing and signed by them, or email, or text, or verbal?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The deposit receipt is dated Sept 7th and at that tme they verbally told me that I would receive payment in full on September 12th (but I was alone so no witnesses to that). After that he changed it to tomorrow Sept 16th. And now today the guy emailed me saying he wanted to change it again because he has to work tomorrow.


Thank you. If the date of closing (so to speak) was only verbal, then as of now, it is your word against his.

What someone in your situation wants to do (if they wish to void the contract) is to send them a CERTIFIED LETTER...

-giving them reasonable notice to PICK a closing date,and
-to respond to you via postal mail with choice of that date.

IF they fail to make payment on that date, then the seller may void the contract for non-performance and refund.

The issue is that as of now, he has not defaulted on payment - yet - since no closing date has been set in writing for sure. Emails are subjective. One needs a hard letter with a chosen date.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'll give them one more chance and if they don't go through then I'll send a certified letter telling them to pick a day in 5 days after receipt of certified mail or the sale is cancelled. And that they have to come here to pay me and pick up the boat. How would that be?

Sounds good. It would be best if you can get them to commit without an ultimatum, of course, and pick their own date.

The whole point is to have a history to show that one gave them ample time to "perform," and they did not.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks your the best!!!

You are quite welcome.

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