And hopefully not just opinion. Anybody here actually a lawyer? Here's my story:
I sold a small business in December (not my dive service
.) The buyer paid 80% in cash up front with the balance to be paid in two equal installments, one at 3 months out and the other at 6 months. The purchase
included a boat trailer, to which I was to provide title. Before the purchase
agreement was signed, I disclosed to the buyer that I had not registered the trailer, the previous owner had not registered it either and I could not find the Bill of Sale
that owner had given me when I bought it. The buyer and I discussed this situation and he came to the conclusion that this was not a deal-breaker and that registering the trailer would likely not be a big problem at the DMV. For my part, I agreed to pay all registration
costs and even accompany the buyer to the DMV to smooth the way if necessary. The purchase agreement was not altered to reflect any of this.
The day the first installment was due, the buyer e-mailed me to say that because I hadn't provided the pink slip to the trailer and he had been unable to register it, he wanted me to forgive one of the installments so that he could buy a different one (This was his first communication with me in several months. I had no knowledge of this alleged difficulty in registering the trailer.) I replied that that was unacceptable and offered to forgive the purchase price
of the trailer (purchase price
is specified in the purchase agreement) and let him keep the trailer if he wished. We have gone back and forth for the last couple of weeks with no resolution. The purchase agreement states that in the event of a dispute, we will go to a mutually agreeable arbitrator.
So here are my questions:
Am I in breach of contract
as the buyer now claims?
Am I bound by the purchase agreement to go to arbitration or can I sue in small claims?
Can I take possession of the boat trailer as collateral?
What is the drill for registering a trailer with no pink slip and no Bill of Sale