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VIC Contract of Sale Signed by Debtor Who Can't be Found?

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by trustdeed, 1 September 2016.

  1. trustdeed

    trustdeed Member

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    I sold a unit but the deal fell through.

    The buyer left a $500 deposit. It was a 30-day settlement and the contract of sale was signed. The contract went Unconditional, but we never heard from this so called buyer again. The 10% deposit was not paid.

    The real estate agent was in touch with the buyer's "friend" (because he was answering his phone) and this friend claimed the buyer had to travel overseas because "his father had passed away" (which was a complete lie).

    The 30 days had passed and we still could not contact the buyer, so the agent and the buyer's conveyancer (who also could not contact the buyer) decided to terminate the contract.

    I hired a debt collection agency. They sent letters to the address given, made phone calls, sent a field agent to his address, hired skip tracers but we could not find him. He might have skipped town or is living with somebody else.

    According to the collection agency's lawyers, legal action could not be taken because the buyer could not be found, so nothing could be done. Is this correct or can we do something like get a court order to find this guy?

    Can a debtor be sued if they can't be located?

    Any help appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. Sophea

    Sophea Well-Known Member

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    It's true to an extent. You can sometimes get an order from the court for substituted service whereby the court allows you to serve court proceedings on someone other than the defendant, such as a friend or family member who will bring it to their attention. Then you can obtain default judgement or whatever if they fail to show up. However, even with a judgement - you can't enforce it if you can't find the defendant or their assets.
     
    Rod likes this.

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