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being threatened by boat buyer!

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Robin
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being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby Robin » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:29 pm

Well we sold the boat In Sept 2016 13 months ago.  today we received a threatening letter from the a-hole's attorney saying pay $3970 within 10 days OR be sued for the $75,000 sale price plus another $35,000 for other work a-hole claims to have done since.  He claims we were contracted to fix a faulty windlass and flat battery before completion and handover.  The windlass wasn't working as the battery it ran from was DEAD.  A new battery was installed and lo and behold all was OK, verified by our boat mechanic and an email stating so sent to the buyer, who neither visited nor hsad anyone else do so before he authorised the final payment to be made via the selling broker.  In the next 3 months I was besieged several times daily with dumb questions via text or email which I patiently answered before eventually saying enough was enough, warranty ceased on handover.  IN between was hurricane Matthew and being a kind sould I kept watch over the boat and took pics of it and sent him.those immediately the storm was past, showing no damage not even a scratch. I heard later he tried to get his surveyor to visit and document damage so he could make a claim on his insurance, but the surveyor refused flat out.(there was NO damage)  3 months on and he says the windlass was not working as it was severely corroded- our fault because it should have been replaced but was not. He says it cost$3970 to replace then, some 3 months after the sale and money handover.

This is a nightmare! what to do.  Ignore his attorney and call his bluff?  pay up?  flee the country? (we are going to leave as soon as our home sells anyway)  Or get an attorney ourselves at a cost of course to respond?   I left a message for hiss attorney to call me but am unsure if that was even wise, I was merely planning to explain the circumstances in the hope he would see the futility of a claim.  I still retain copies of the A-holes texts on my phone and his emails' plus have copies of bills for work we had done including the new battery for the windlass/engine and an email confirming that the windlass was now fully operational.

I should also add that we gave away near $2000 worth of extra stuff, free of charge as we were giving up. That included a brand new spare autopilot, all kinds of tools inc cordless drills and accessories, multiple charts and pilot guides etc. and a host of tool boxes with multiple electrical spares and tools, even our complete music collection on MP3 memory sticks.

This is causing us severe stress.

Any helpful ideas please? 
Mark my words, it will be dark again by nightfall :)

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CaptForce
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby CaptForce » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:08 pm

Robin, 'number one,- relax! Next, don't be pressed to respond. An aggressive initial contact is often made with the greatest flurry of unsupported threat to put you in the very worry that you have now along with your eagerness to comply in some manner. Keep a file of all your documentation, but I don't think that you are required to take any action. Relax,-'enjoy a nice lunch! 'take care and joy!
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby tex » Wed Oct 18, 2017 12:10 pm

Need a legal mind for this one but based on what you’ve stated, without some written guarantee or warranty agreement, I sure don’t see how he has a case. If the average costs of post-purchase expences were known, I’m sure $3970 wouldn’t raise anyones eyebrows, including the Judge’s. I’m puzzled why an Attorney would putsue it, but it might be worth paying some guy with a law degree $100 to send a letter. I’ve also done it, but with no intention to pursue a settlement outside of sending the letter itself. Seems like a “bark” with no teeth behind it.
Fixing, spending, and occasional cruising in FL

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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby Robin » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:36 pm

Thanks guys. I tried to phone the lawyer last night but got an answering service. His 'secretary called and left a voicemail this morning ( I do not take calls when driving so phone was disabled) she said '' does not want a conversation, write to him.

His argument is we were supposed to repair or replace the windlass. All we did was to replace a dead battery which then had the windlass working, confired to me by email from our boat maintence company and a copy forwarded to the buyer on that basis he released the funds for the purchase. 3 months on he says the windlass doesn't work and because it is all corroded and was not repaired or replaced like he said after the survey. He had opportunity to inspect before completing the sale 20th sept 2016 BUT CHOSE NOT TO OR employ somebody els to do so. Infact as far as i'm aware he didn't go near the boat for many weeks,untl January this year. He tried it on with the broker too I heard and with the surveyor, both told him to go forth and multiply.

I feel inclined t ignore ignore ignore as I do not know any attorney with marine experience nor any really
Mark my words, it will be dark again by nightfall :)
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby tex » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:59 pm

Since any further action is likely to be billed to the new owner, I think “ignore” is the appropriate policy.
Fixing, spending, and occasional cruising in FL
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby scallywag » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:52 pm

Did you sign the contract with the windlass identified as being replaced by seller? Many contracts are "as is". If the engine goes bad after the sea trial, it is on the buyer. Hurricane damage is on the new owner. Did the salt water damage the windlass?

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Robin
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby Robin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:34 pm

the contract was signed but with a proviso from the broker that th a couple of things needed attention a) the outboard on the tender was not run by the surveyor 'because the old gas in the tank might contain water'b) there was mould on the baseboard under one aircon c) the engine battery was dead d) the windlass did not operate.

We had the gas tank emptied and refilled with ethanol free gas then videoed whilst running on the tender in the dock. The mouldy baseboard was replaced completely with a brand new star board rot free one. The engine battery was replaced with a brand new one and ALL batteries engine and service load tested. ONCE the cranking battery was replaced the windlass was tested and ran perfectly. We sent the outboard running video to the broker along with a statement of the other corrections and that the windlass was operational. At this point the buyer decided not to visit and check nor to ask anyone else like his surveyor to do so. He then cleared the balance of monies owing to be transferred from the brokers (escrow?)account into our bank, sale completed. sometime after that he contacted the broker accusing THEM of wrongly describing the boat, but they replied ''foxtrot oscar or similar'.'HE then tried to persuade his surveyor to revisit and collude with him claiming hurricane damage like windlass and or control switch corrosion, crack in a toe rail under a deckcleat etc. Understandably the surveyor also said foxtrot oscar. All this was some 3 months after the sale had closed, the first time this berk had actually visited the boat post sale. I discussed this online with an attorney this morning and have now written to his ambulance chaser lawyer refuting all claims 100%.

This is a real mess and souring any good feelings we had of boating in the USA. right now I just want to get on a plane home. :(
Mark my words, it will be dark again by nightfall :)
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby scallywag » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:34 pm

Sounds like buyer's remiss. The block got in over his head. He can not afford the vessel. His broker verified the items working and he told the buyer to get lost.

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Robin
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby Robin » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:53 pm

scallywag wrote:Source of the post Sounds like buyer's remiss. The block got in over his head. He can not afford the vessel. His broker verified the items working and he told the buyer to get lost.


by 'he' I assume you mean the broker told him to get lost -yes that is correct. They too were threatened with lawsuits some months back they told me but simply decided to ignore the man as they carry insurance against such spurious opportunistic attacks anyway, sadly we are at risk personally.
Mark my words, it will be dark again by nightfall :)
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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby scallywag » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:18 am

Who represented you in the sale? I would ask his broker about your liability. If the current owner takes his broker to court, the outcome his on his broker's shoulders. Seems your come back would be, "I corrected all items, his broker verified that the items were corrected".

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Re: being threatened by boat buyer!

Postby Robin » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:01 pm

scallywag wrote:Source of the post Who represented you in the sale? I would ask his broker about your liability. If the current owner takes his broker to court, the outcome his on his broker's shoulders. Seems your come back would be, "I corrected all items, his broker verified that the items were corrected".


Our broker, engaged by us for the sale, said ignore it, the idiot had already tried similar threats with them but then they have insurance cover against such risks, that we do not if push comes to shove. THis is how theses scum work, hope the victim pays rather than risk running up a big legal bill. :x
Mark my words, it will be dark again by nightfall :)

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