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Richard, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 55699
Experience:  32 years of experience practicing law and a businessman.
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Hi... Im in South Florida... I gave a private piano seller

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Hi... I'm in South Florida...
I gave a private piano seller $5300 to get me an used organ Oct 2012. He has stalled forever and has not provided the product. In June 2013, I told him that I would not be waiting to the organ anymore and that I would like to get my money back. He has given me back $700 but still owes me $4600. He once again keeps stalling and it's been two months I haven't received the rest of my balance. I told him that if I didn't get my balance by tomorrow Friday 8/2 that I would take legal action. He seemed to have taken notice and said that we would meet tomorrow at my work to give my money back. I highly doubt that he would have the rest of the remaining balance tomorrow and I would like to know what are my legal options to try to get me money back. Thanks so much.
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good afternoon. If he won't pay you voluntarily, you will have to sue him for what he owes. But, in order to get him to pay you voluntarily, you want to raise the stakes on him so that he knows that not complying with your demands is going to cost him far more in the end than simply giving you your refund now. You should let him know if he does not refund your money immediately, you will have no choice but to file a suit against them for your damages. Be sure to specifically mention that you will be filing this claim not only as a breach of contract case, but also as deceptive trade practice and fraud actions, which will entitle you not only to your damages, but also an additional amount equal to multiple times your actual damages as punitive damages. That should provide plenty of incentive to comply with your demands; but, if it does not, file your suit. Upon winning your judgment, you can then attach any assets and/or garnish wages to collect that judgment.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

im not sure if im doing this right... I would like to ask a follow-up question... when filing a suit, do I file with a lawyer or small claims or it doesn't matter?

Thanks so much for following up. You're doing great! The small claims court limit in Florida is $5,000. So, any claim within that amount can be filed there without the need for an attorney. Otherwise, the case would need to be filed in a state civil district court. You can represent yourself there as well, but it's a little more complicated and usually the aid of an attorney is helpful. But, this is not a complicated case so you would only need a 1-2 year lawyer rather than a more experienced lawyer with the higher billing rate that comes with that experience. Under my terms of service with JustAnswer, I'm not allowed to make a specific recommendation, but I can give you direction. You would want to either contact the state bar association or your nearest law school for a referral. I prefer the latter because they take great pride in their graduates and will take a more personal interest in making sure your referral is a good one because it will be a reflection of the school.