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Item purchased by friend, NOW wants it back after I have made him one of the scheduled payments. Do I have to return it?

Los Angeles, CA |

I asked my friend who I was working for if he would buy me a laptop, he said sure and said it is the least I can do for you. We went to the apple store he bought it and handed it too me and said pay me back when you can.Since then we had a falling out, I have made him one payment and one is coming up... He is demanding for the laptop back now, even after I partially paid him for it, I bought a warranty and accessories for it as well. Lastly, I have an email from him about the payment plan as well as him asking me how the laptop is working out, etc. He is now threatening me with filing a criminal report saying I stole it from his company since I guess he paid for with his company credit card (which I had no idea he did). What do I do? Do I give it back? What about my money I paid him?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

If the facts you state can be established, you have a contract for the purchase of the laptop, and he cannot simply ignore its terms and force you to return it as long as you do not breach the terms of the contract. That means making your payments on time.

Keep in mind that verbal contracts are fully enforceable. The difficulty with verbal contracts is proving their terms. If your former friend files a criminal report, you need only show the police your documentation and tell them about your deal, and they will not prosecute.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.



Well the thing is he told me to only pay him back 1/2 the total and the rest he did as a gift to me for working so hard for him.



Oh lastly, I had paid him partial cash as one of my payments and now he is telling me I didn't pay him. When I handed it too him a sealed envelope. I just don't want to be sued for something that I have been promised and paid for. Just because he is upset. He also held my office furniture that I paid for as hostage for payments, he will not let me get my desk or chair. He emails me asking when I am picking up the furniture and dropping off the laptop and I keep informing him of the agreement, he ignores it completely.


Mr. Pederson offers good advice to you. A contract has been established and you can prove your facts if you have the evidence to do so.


Here is a sample response (based solely on the facts your post):
Sorry we had a falling out. Perhaps one day we will get past it.
I intend to continue to make payments to you as promised.

Good luck with it.

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