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After agreeing to sell the bussiness and agreeing on the price , he backed out after consulting with his wife

North Hollywood, CA |

agreed on the down payment , and agreed on how he would receive the rest , he agreed , he came back two days later saying he misunderstood , its not everyday i go and withdraw that kind of money and give him a check made to him ,,, he asked if i would stay and work there untill he sold the place so i could pay the rent and bills and he would give me 5 thousand dollars , i said no seel it , he then changed the locks so i wouldnt get in ,everything there was mine , mind you , took him over 3 months to sell the place and he used my money without asking me to pay his personal things , i want to know if i should be given , interest for the $10,000 he used for the 3 plus months

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Attorney answers 3


I'm not sure what happened here. Apparently this would-be seller changed his mind about selling to you but did pay you back, since all you state you want is interest for 3 months on $10,000. That's very little given the relatively small amount at issue, how low interest rates are now, and the short time frame, probably not even worth a Small Claims case.

If there's more to your story --and it seems like there was "conversion" of your property, but maybe you've gotten it back-- see a business litigator.

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It seems you did not have a written contract for the sale of the business, is that correct? Unfortunately, if the terms aren't clear enough, you may have a tough time suing for your damages based upon breach of contract.

Even if you win, you will not be awarded prejudgment interest unless you can show that your damages are capable of being made certain by calculation. California Civil Code § 3287 (a) provides that “Every person who is entitled to recover damages certain, or capable of being made certain by calculation, and the right to recover which is vested in him upon a particular day, is entitled also to recover interest thereon from that day, except during such time as the debtor is prevented by law, or by the act of the creditor from paying the debt.”

Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice. This posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, consult your own attorney.


Your fact summary is very complicated and it sounds like you have a huge mess. The other two lawyers have given you excellent advice. It is probably worth meeting with an attorney to see what your rights are, if any. As Attorney Koslyn pointed out, if all you are looking at is interest for a period of 3 months, then it may not be worth it for you to pursue.

Conversion, or tortious interference with a contract, or some other torts involving the wrongful taking of your property might be worth considering when you meet with the attorney. In Michigan, some of these violations can lead to punitive damages.

James Frederick

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