10-28-2011, 09:06 AM
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Welcome to the forum.
You are right in that it is an extremely risky proposal but there may be several way to protect yourself.
First off, I'm not an attorney so my suggestions are not to be taken for law.
I would have a contract set up by an attorney similar to an installment sales contract which spells out the terms and conditions of the sale - especially as to when the payments are due and the remedy by you if they are not paid within the specified time.
Another way, and one in which I have used, is to have a bill of sale with the terms and conditions on it plus a series of checks dated for the proper amount and the dates they are to be deposited. If a check bounces or is stopped, you have legal rights. (I used to live in PA and if it is still the same, if you bounce a check you can call the Constables and they will call on the person - it is a crime to bounce a check in PA).
In all cases, especially if the horse is registered, I would hold on to the papers until the final payment has cleared the bank. There would also be a stipulation that the horse will not leave the place where it is going without written permission from you. If the horse is going to be sold, you are to be paid in full before.
All bills of sale should state that once the horse leaves your possession, that the horse becomes their responsibility for anything that happens. That they had the right to a vet check and the horse is being sold "as is where is" and no guaranty is made as to it's fitness for any purpose the new owner intends.