Toledo, OH asked in Contracts for Ohio

Q: I sold a puppy from my litter to a guy at work on a payment plan with no paperwork. Just his word now he’s not paying me

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Ohio, if you sold a puppy on a payment plan without any written agreement, and the buyer is now not making payments, your options for recourse can be limited due to the lack of formal documentation. However, the verbal agreement you had is still a contract, albeit harder to prove in court.

Your first step should be to communicate with the buyer, reminding him of the agreement and requesting the due payments. Sometimes, a written reminder or a direct conversation can resolve such issues.

If he still does not pay, you can consider small claims court as an option for recovering the money owed. In small claims court, you can present your case without needing an attorney, and the informal setting might be more suitable for disputes involving verbal agreements.

Before filing a claim, gather any evidence you have of the agreement and the sale, such as text messages, emails, witness testimonies, or any other communication that can support your claim.

Keep in mind that going to court can be a time-consuming process and may affect your relationship with the individual. Weighing the value of the unpaid amount against the potential hassle and time commitment of a legal action is important.

In the future, for any such transactions, consider creating a written agreement, even a simple one, to clearly outline the terms and protect both parties. This can help avoid similar situations.

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