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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 55594
Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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My boyfriend signed a paper accepting a deposit for 2 jetskis

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My boyfriend signed a paper accepting a deposit for 2 jetski's we were selling. The buyer was planning to come back in 2 days to test drive them in the water. In the meantime I accepted an offer and sold the jetski's for the asking price and now the first buyer is threating to sue of for "specific performance" and "breach of contract". My boyfriend offered to give the man back his deposit multiple times, but he refuses. Also my boyfriend not the legal owner of the jetskis, so would him signing the paper accepting the deposit be legal?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good evening. This prospective buyer has no claim. You can give him his deposit back and need not worry about him prevailing in any suit. You can never prevent anyone from filing a suit, but the buyer would not prevail for several reasons: i) your boyfriend did not own what was being sold; ii) there is no written contract; iii) specific performance is going to be required to be referenced in a contract to be awarded; and iv) there was never any full accord and satisfaction evidencing a binding and enforceable contract...i.e., the buyer was not obligated to buy the jet skis.....had the buyer decided not to buy them, he certainly would be wanting his deposit back. So, you can tell the first buyer he can file suit if he wants, but that based on information you have received from a lawyer, he has no chance of prevailing.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I just want to clarify that since my boyfriend did sign a paper accepting the $50 deposit would this constitute as a written contract?

Thanks so much for your reply. He simply needs to return the deposit....that makes the prospective buyer whole. The prospective buyer had no obligation to purchase the jet skis. And, since there is nothing in writing, there is no enforceable contract because without one there is no evidence of what the terms and conditions of what such a contract were.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just to clarify that what was put in writing that "he accepted $50 to hold the jetskis" would not constitute as a legally binding contract? I know that since the jetskis are not even in his name that negates the entire transaction; however, I just want to be certain that the buyer can not sue him for the cost of the sale. We have offered his money back several times and he had refused.

He could not contract to do something with jetskis he did not own. He cannot sue for the cost of the sale because he isn't out the cost of the sale? He has no damages...all there would have been was the exchange of one asset for another type of asset. This buyer is only out $50 and that's the extent of his damages...and if he is given that back, he has no damages. Your bf could not have sold jet skis he did not own, so the fact that he took $50 to hold them so he could come look at something he had no legal right to buy is meaningless.
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