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TJ, Esq.
TJ, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  JD, MBA
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3 YearS Ago I Looked At A House To Buy Long Story Short Zi

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3 YearS Ago I Looked At A House To Buy Long Story Short Zi Signed A Five Year Lease Option To Buy Instead At That Time The Guy Had A Camper Sitting In His Drive Way. I Offered To Buy It He Stated Hr Owed $26000 On It. I Said I'd Take Over Payments And Have It Paid OfF In A Year. He Said No He'd Like CaSh To Get It Out Of His Name. He Ended Up Moving Out Of State And Parked The Camper North Of Town Here At A Friends House With A For SaLe Sign In The Window. Six Months Later He Calls Me Says He's Brooke, Can't Make The Camper Payments To Go Get It And Take Over Payments. I Went And Got The Camper And Have Been Paying His Payment To The Local Bank Where Its Financed Now For 2 1/2 Years. Last WWeek He Called And Wants The Camper Back But Refuses To Give Me MoneY. I Have $12000 Invested In It Now. What Do I Do? Do I Make The Payment Due Monday? Can He Come On The Property And Take It Legally? Need Advise....Thanks!!
Hello and thank you for allowing me the opportunity to assist you.

What exactly was your deal regarding the camper? And was this arrangement written down, or was it entirely oral?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Exact Deal Is Described Above I Was To Take Over Payments When Paid OFf I'd Receive The Title. He Sent Me His Payment Book, I Have Receipts For All Payments. NoW He's Saying I Was Supposed To PAy It OffIn A Yr But That Was First Agreement He Said No To SeCond Aggrement He Was Broke Couldn't Make The Payments. Now 2 1/2 Yrs Latee He Says He's Coming To Get It#! All Verbal No Written

Hi again.

There are two issues here: (1) Who is legally correct, and (2) what can be proved.

With regard to the first issue, you are legally correct. You've made an oral contract (please note that "oral" is not the same as "verbal" -- "verbal" refers to either oral or communication). Ordinarily, oral contracts for the sale of goods cannot be enforced if they are over $500. But there is an exception when the seller accepts the benefits of the bargain. Here, the seller has allowed you to pay for the camper, so he has accepted the benefit. Accordingly, assuming that you can prove the terms of the oral contract, you should win in court if it comes to that.

The second issue, however, could be a problem. What can you prove? It may be rather difficult to convince a judge that you had a oral contract if your only evidence is your own testimony. Granted, you do (presumably) have proof that you've been making payments, and that should go a long way because it probably wouldn't make sense that you would make payments out of the goodness of your heart. At the same time, the other party can argue that your payments were merely an agreed upon "rent" for using the camper, and that he never intended to sell you the camper. Since the title is in his name, he'll have the right to take the camper from you (though he cannot trespass to get it). Ultimately, if a lawsuit is filed, you would have the burden of proving the existence of the oral contract. So, while the law is on your side, I'm not sure that the facts are on your side. It just depends on how convincing you are in court.

As for Monday's payment, I would not make it until you have straightened this out with the other party.

Does that answer your question? Please let me know if you need clarification, as I am happy to continue helping you until you are satisfied. Also, your positive feedback is much appreciated. Thank you for using our service!

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Why Else Would He Send Me Payment Book? Which I Can ShoW. Also Lady ThatWorksInThe Courts Was Where The Camper Was Parked.I Think Only Dispute Here I He Is Now Saying One Yr To Pay Off Well If That Was The Case Y Have I Made Payments For 2 1/2 Yrs? He Just Text Me N Said I Could Get Loan N Buy It. Well I Can't Get Another Loan Right Now. We Had Agreement I Think I Should Just Keep Making Payments Tell Him Go To Hell Or I'll SuE Him For The 12000 I've Invested Already. DOes This Sound Good To Do?

Hi again.

You make good points, and maybe you'd be able to convince a judge of the oral contract. What you suggest sounds feasible. But I'll point out that when the loan is paid off, you'll need to get the title from him. It may be worthwhile to tell him that you want all of this in writing now, before the relationship sours even more.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Good Point About Written!! BUT heWants Camper SO I Doubt Hell Do It. If He DOnt, Just Make Payments? IfHe Comes N GetsIt Press Trespass Charges N SuE Him? What U Think?

Hi again.

Yes, it sounds doubtful that he'll agree to sign, but it's worth a shot. Otherwise, I'd do as you suggest ... keep paying and threaten legal action for trespassing if he shoes up. But you still must deal with getting the title eventually. That may be difficult.