What are my options if buyer does not make final payment?

Thang

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Apr 15, 2019
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Hello everyone, I have been a long time lurker of this site, and now I face a problem and want to know my options. I sold a website in 2014, we put together a very basic purchase agreement that listed out the basic details of the transaction. The bulk of the purchase price was made using Escrow.com, and the domain and website was transferred over, and Escrow.com released payment.

For the remainder of the purchase price, an annual payment schedule was created. Every year, the buyer has never missed a payment, and everything has gone according to the schedule. There is now one payment remaining, and the buyer has missed the payment. What are my options if he doesn't pay?

The total amount still due is $3,000 USD. I am a resident of Europe, and the buyer is a US resident. There is nothing in the purchase agreement about what happens if payment is missed. And there is nothing about where legal jurisdiction should be in the event of a dispute.

What are my options if the buyer does not make payment?

Does this void the purchase agreement and can I force them to return the website?
 

Thang

Neophyte
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Apr 15, 2019
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3
Demand the payment.
Yes I have done this and the buyer continues to communicate with me, but says he does not have the money to make the final payment. A few months have gone by and it has been the same repeat story.
 

we_are_borg

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If its US you can ask a lawyer what your options are. You can take him to small claims court but ask advice from a lawyer first.
 

doubt

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Yes I have done this and the buyer continues to communicate with me, but says he does not have the money to make the final payment.
Unfortunately that's a risk you took when did not demand full payment through Escort.com.
Lawyers, courts are very expensive, could cost more than that final payment of $3,000
 

Alfa1

Administrator
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May 28, 2007
Messages
3,997
You can ask them to setup a payment arrangement. Keep sending reminders, which note that if the outstanding invoice will be handed to cash collectors and all incurred costs are at the expense of the buyer. You can then opt to use an international debt collection agency. I have successfully done so in the past.
 

mysiteguy

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Yes I have done this and the buyer continues to communicate with me, but says he does not have the money to make the final payment. A few months have gone by and it has been the same repeat story.
If they don't have the money, you can't get blood from a stone, even if you do win a judgment.

Find a way to make this work for both of you. Ask them how much they can afford to send you each month, insist on a reasonable interest rate, keep the lines of communication open, and see what happens.
 

overcast

Adherent
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Mar 17, 2019
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Usually people use facebook pixel to continue to target such buyers. And once they go to the post payment page, that pixel can then be disabled to stop the tracking and targeting for that product. It takes a lot of efforts to do this though.
 

LeadCrow

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Jun 29, 2008
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If the buyer was diligent paying in installments so far, it might suffice to let him know the latest was not received. If he says ge's unable to pay at once, he could simply take a loan, repay you at once and repay his loan at his convenience.

Does this void the purchase agreement and can I force them to return the website?
You're just owed the remaining sum, so retaking the website would be an inappropriate recourse unless you return all money exchanged so far (assuming the good's worth has neither depreciated or risen). Either way the buyer's cooperation is necessary.
If the site's value decreased since the takeover, you might be able to buy it back for a lower price than what you were promised. Just remove 3k from your offer and he's liable to accept it if he's fallen in hard times since, as long as it exceeds 3k and then some.

The proper terms to include in your agreement would've been a buyback clause, where you specify that failing specific obligations (preserve reputation, retakn staff for minimum duration...) may carry consequences like reverting ownership and a certain sum being non-refundable.
 

Thang

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Apr 15, 2019
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There are some very good suggestions in this thread that I had not thought of. Thanks for the comments and feedback!
 

Chokkol

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Dec 19, 2019
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The court and lawyers will cost more than the amount of the last payment.
 

fixer

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send a "debt collector" ... pay $500 to get $2500 cheaper than a lawyer

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Kevin

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Totally off-topic.... I'm scrolling through this thread, read the below (bold added) and thought "Wait, payment from where?! That's a whole different kind of legal problem! :eek:".

Unfortunately that's a risk you took when did not demand full payment through Escort.com.
Lawyers, courts are very expensive, could cost more than that final payment of $3,000
 
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