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Don't you love it when someone cancels a check?

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#1
So here's the story. I've been building, fixing, and restoring older style mopeds for a few years now.. picking them up here and there for cheap, normally not running, getting them to fire up, make them reliable, and then sell them.

I ended up selling this particular moped, a 1978 Motobecane 50V to a lady in-state. I even drove it to her house and dropped it off. I started it for her, she took it for a ride, and she bought it. Her husband signed a check for the ammount of the bike, signed an as-is bill of sale, and then I went home.

A week later I get an e-mail from the woman saying she can't start the bike, so I give her detailed instructions on what to do/check. I get a confirmation e-mail back saying she'll try it out. So I'm waiting to hear back from her, and I get nothing. All the sudden I get this allert when I go to use my ATM card for a 7 dollar dinner at a local pizza shop and it's frozen. I'm like what the hell, I just put all this money in there.

I go to my bank, get a statement, and find out that not only is my account frozen, but I have four, 28 dollar over-draft charges to my account. So not only am I at Zero, I'm actually in the hole.

I look closer at the statment and sure enough, the day earlier a withdrawl of the check ammount had been made. The bank clerk and I talked it over and thought that I should get ahold of the man and let him know that his check bounced.

I call him up and say "Hey, did you know that check you wrote was bad?" and he goes... "No, I actually canceled payment on it."... I go, why did you do that? and he answered "Well, I didn't think it was right to pay for something that doesn't work."

We then got into a 15 minute argument where I basically told him that that was illegal to back out on a signed bill of sale, and he bascially called me immoral for selling a "lemon"... In turn I argued that the bike was not a lemon, it started when he purchaced it and he signed a bill of sale.

After the conversation I got a copy of his cancled check, a statment from my insurance company on the "lemon laws" in Masschusetts, and the bill of sale he signed and called him back stating that not only is he liable for payment, but he has no case under the lemon law considering it's on purchaces of vehicles 700 dollars or more.

He then called me immoral, told me to get a lawyer and that if I didn't come and get the bike off of his property that night, he would set it out on the front lawn for some neighborhood kid to take.

Upon hearing this I grabbed my brother's truck, went to his house, broke into his back yard, took the moped and all the parts I sold him, threw them in my truck, and left.

Now everyone's telling me I should sue or take him to small-claims, even get a police officer to escort me to his house with the bill of sale and cancled check as proof for his actions.

I just don't know what to do... I am now 210 dollars negative balance in my bank because of this and have a moped that I really don't need.

This just sucks... I hate people. The only reason it took it out of my account was because I cashed the check as-is for deposit only... I should've gone to his bank, got the cash, and then deposited the cash only so there was no trail to my account... however heinsight is 20/20 and I'm a moron.

Never again.

I still don't know what to do...

*Sigh*

Dan
 

Papakeith

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#2
First off, that sucks.

But, I don't know that breaking into his back yard and stealing the bike back was the best course of action. Maybe you should have waited for him to haul it out to the curb and post a "free" sign on it.
I'd work on the bank to get rid of the overdrafts. A little bit of phone work up the ladder can sometimes get those fees removed or at least reduced.
Either way, it's a crappy situation.
Good luck
 

XRpredator

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#3
I also agree that the midnight repo-man adventure may have been a little over the top. You probably could have called the local law-dogs to show up on his doorstep with you, and maybe he'd have backed down.

Or you coulda called me and I would have went with you and we could fight him.

and I gotta agree with PK on the charges. A bank you've had good dealings with over the years would probably ease your pain on the charges.
 

Papakeith

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#4
pred? that's an awfully unturdlike response. plus you are being agreeable? Wassup wiff dat yo?(is there anything worse than a suburban middle aged white man trying to talk hep?)
 

XRpredator

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#5
Papakeith said:
pred? that's an awfully unturdlike response. plus you are being agreeable? Wassup wiff dat yo?(is there anything worse than a suburban middle aged white man trying to talk hep?)
PK, you're so white you're opaque
 

Papakeith

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#6
PK notes the pasty quality of his skin tone and agrees.

Now pk returns the thread to it's original topic. check-cancelling-butt-munchers
 

Patman

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#7
So what was the issue with them calling the bike a lemon? Was there really a problem or was it operator error?
 
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#9
Ok, first off...

This wasnt a midnight escapade... This was broad daylight and I left a message on his phone that we came to take it.

Secondly, the bike ran.. As soon as I got it home I jumped on it, pedaled it, pulled the start lever and vrooom. Started right up.

Needless to say Im no longer taking checks for ANYTHING I sell... regardless of what the bill of sale says because this has been a horrible experience.

Im just still miffed as to what to do... or if I should do anything. Its only been 4 days since Ive repossesed the bike... but the underlying debt I am now in is what Im really pissed about.

*sigh* :ugg:

Dan
 

Jaybird

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#10
I think regaining possesion of the bike lets the buyer off the hook now.
Had you been in my state, the bill of sale and the stopped payment check would probably be enough to get you 3 times the amount of the check in compensation.
This is only after it's been ajudicated as a bad deal by the court.

I don't think you have any recourse at all now, unless you can break back in and return the bike.

Selling stuff, you are going to deal with idiots that pull all kinds of crap. Learn your rights and stay within the law.
 

dirt bike dave

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#11
They were jerks to stop payment in the situation described above. They probably had buyer's remorse and wanted to back out.

All cash is your best protection.

And put 'sold as is' on any bill of sale that the buyer signs. That should help protect you from the buyer claiming you made some sort of warranty.
 

RM_guy

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#12
If they had the bike and didn't pay for it you could have called the police and reported it stolen.

Good idea to always use cash.
 

Patman

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#14
Since you sold it as is and it was functional I'm a bit baffled why you would take it back. The buyer had nothing in his court. If you had taken him to court you could have easily won. On the other hand if the bike had not easly started then perhaps they had reason even though it might not have held up in court.

Oh well I guess it's a lesson learned, cash, money order or bank draft only.
 

junkjeeps

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#15
Jaybird said:
Selling stuff, you are going to deal with idiots that pull all kinds of crap. Learn your rights and stay within the law.

Jaybird said it all. If you're selling stuff on a regular basis, you WILL deal with plenty of idiots. I'd cut my losses and leave them alone. It's not worth the trouble and stress. Talk to the bank about the OD fees and resell the bike to someone else for CASH! Chalk it up as a learning experience. I've made mistakes that cost me way more than $200. Just my $.02.

Mark