Is there any way to get back a non-refundable deposit?

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Is there any way to get back a non-refundable deposit?

Earlier this year (around Feb), I contacted a small motorcycle dealer who had a motorcycle that I really liked. I called the owner and asked if I could put money on the bike and pay it off over 45-60 days. He said yes and the agreement was made. I put $1000 on the cycle and paid $2000 more over the next 60 days. I had issues at work and was struggling a little to pay the rest of the bike off. I communicated with the owner and eventually lost my job. He eventually sold the bike (which I understand because I was unable to keep my end of the agreement). I talked to him about a month ago and asked what we could do because I had paid him this money. He said he’d keep like $400 and give me the $2500 as credit once I’m ready to purchase and have the rest of the money. My question is if the bill of sale said $1000 non-refundable deposit, can I get the rest of my money back or can he keep it?

Asked on August 19, 2010 under Business Law, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If I read your question correctly you are actually getting back $600 of the deposit that was claimed to be non-refundable, correct?  If you entered in to a contract for the purchase of the cycle and you agreed to the terms then you are bound by them.  What bothers me here is that he sold the bike but it does not seem to bother you.  Did the contract allow for him to sell it?  Not that I want to bring the issue up if you feel ok with it but you really need to read your contract and see what remedies each of you had or have in this situation.  Good luck.


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