Columbus, GA asked in Business Law for Georgia

Q: We purchased a business from a family member without getting an agreement in writing. What are my options?

In 2012 my husband bought a lingerie botique from his parents. The agreement was that we would pay $600.00 per month until we paid a total of $60,000.00 ! To date we have paid them $50,400.00.

Now that we are close to being paid off , my father in law is claiming he never agreed to the $60,000.

and says he wants more money ? My husbands mom will verify that was the original agreement. What can I do to protect myself from my father in law? My husband never got anything in writing . It was a verbal agreement. We have paid them by check every month since we took over in 2012 so I do have that as proof of payment.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nicole Theodore
Nicole Theodore
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: Even though you have been making timely payments, it will be difficult to prove that you are almost “paid off” without a signed written agreement showing what the total agreed upon price was. You may also have a Statute of Frauds issue, as Georgia requires all contracts that cannot be completed within one year to be in writing, unless you fit into one of the exceptions. It does help your case that you have a witness willing to corroborate your side of the story, but it still wouldn’t necessarily be a slam dunk if you were to sue for specific performance. In my opinion your best bet would be to hire an attorney to try to and either negotiate a settlement or be willing to initiate a lawsuit for specific performance.

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