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Roger
Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31028
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I went through a bancruptcy with a motor cycle shop i

Customer Question

I went through a bancruptcy with a motor cycle shop i opened. I had a customer leave his bike at my shop for approximately 3 years. When i was completing my bankruptcy all my creditors and customers were sent several letters to make claim against what monies were available. This included the customer that left his bike for so long and refused to pay what he owed. My bankruptcy was finalized in January of 2015. I sold the motorcycle for what i had invested in it. The person i sold it to signed a bill of sale that stated he would be responsible for tagging the Motorcycle. I have all the documentation from the bancruptcy along with the bill of sale. I was served with a small claims suit. What do i need to do, and can the plaintiff try to also file criminal charges. The small claims amount is $4300.00 i sent a certified letter to the plaintiff and a text message to settle this case
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

Hi - my name is ***** ***** I'll be glad to assist.

Did you go through an abandonment proceeding or a mechanic's lien procedure that gave you title to the motorcycle?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The owner never responded to my calls to come get the motorcycle and pay me what be owed. Then he filed a small claim suit against me. I filed bancruptcy and that stopped that suit and 2 others. Then after the bancruptcy was final i had the Motorcycle 6 months after it was final. The attorney that completed the bancruptcy told me when I asked the owner had been sent several letters to make a claim on the bancruptcy and never returned a answer to him or the bancruptcy court in Oklahoma. The attorney said the bancruptcy was final and the owner bad made no claim, so i could do what i wanted with it
Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

Ok. Thanks.

IF you didn't take title to the motorcycle through a legal proceeding, then you likely have an issue.......the motorcycle wouldn't have been a part of your bankruptcy because you didn't own the property. So, the bankruptcy would be ineffective or inconsequential to the bike's status and any ownership interest would not change.

Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

So, if you sold the guys motorcycle without being on the title, you've probably got an issue.......and you would either have to go to the buyer and get the bike back/give him his money back and return the bike to the owner or pay the owner for the bike.

I don't see how you get around any of that because of the bankruptcy filing.......as bankruptcy doesn't allow you to acquire ownership of property (unless there's a legal proceeding that you wen through).

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I've tried to make contact with the guy i sold the m l motorcycle to to pay im can't get an answer. Court is on Monday so do i just take the money to court and advise the court about my attempts to pay the plaintiff to resolve this
Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

Yes, you can tell the judge that you've got his money and that you've tried several times to pay the debt. That may make the judge unhappy with the plaintiff for coming to court and wasting his/her time.

Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

You've still got a big problem since you sold the motorcycle without being on the title / without being the owner, but if you've offered to make good on this, the judge should recognize that.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Would i not have claim on the motorcycle for repairs and storage from the owner, after i pay the plaintiff
Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

Thats what I was asking about earlier......you likely had a mechanic's lien on the repairs and storage, and if you go through a legal process, you could sell the bike and collect the money owed to you.....but since you didn't go through that process, it's not likely you have much of a claim - especially since you sold the bike without actually owning it. So, you're probably better off not to press anything like that because it may backfire on you.

Expert:  Roger replied 9 months ago.

......as the judge could assess damages against your for selling property you didn't own (civil conversion) or it could even prompt criminal charges for theft or criminal conversion.