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C.Fortunato, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Admitted NYS Bar, member ABA, NYSBA, NYCBA, QCBA, Licensed Real Estate Broker
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I have a car restoration business that is still in start-up

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I have a car restoration business that is still in start-up mode. I've advertised mostly on a free forum that follows the type of cars I'm most familiar with. Most everything has been verbal agreements and everyone has been very happy. Recently, one of the customers broke a bone and can't work so he is stopping the restoration. No problem. We've been paid for the restoration work we've done and we gave him a real good job, way better than he would have gotten for the price anywhere else.

Here is the big problem. In a deal separate from the restoration job, I was building him a custom engine for the same car. It's a very special engine that not everyone would want, way too much horsepower for the street. Standard procedure for us or most any other place that does custom engines is to get half up front and the remaining balance when the engine is done.

The engine is done and he can't pay the balance. I don't have the money to refund and I don't really want the engine. What do I do?
Hi gpleedod,
Why do you think you have to give him a refund?
Did you have an agreement that if he could not pay the balance, then you would refund his money?

Edited by Christina Fortunato, Esq. on 5/18/2010 at 1:03 AM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I don't think I do but I want to be sure. I've never had a problem like this before.
I have to say that you are probably the most honest businessman I have ever heard of.
The world could use a lot more businessmen like you.
In any event, you are absolutely not obligated to refund this person's money. In fact, he can be held liable for the balance, even though he is unable to pay it. This is because you had a deal with him, you performed your part of the deal, so he can be ordered to perform his part (payment).
C.Fortunato and 3 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you very much. I had a lawyer who I worked with for a long time. Just before he passed away, the last thing he said to me was that (I) see the world the way it Should be and I have to be careful not to let others take advantage of that. I guess he was right.
You're welcome! And thank you for accepting my answer!
I am the same way, and am also often told that I should not let others take advantage. That's why I recognized it in you.