“I am being sued by John Deere for a tractor which I had paid $17,000 back 4 years ago. The indvidial whom I purchased it from never paid off the tractor and filed Bankruptcy. John Deere has filed a civil action against me for the tractor. I was unaware of any title on tractors and never research it to see if there was ever a lien on the tractor. I realize I technically do not own the tractor but do I have any legal recourse in this matter? I don’t believe I can go after the individual who filed bankruptcy because he has nothing. He is on S.S. and he is very ill. His son who also owned the tractor but did not have his name on the bill of sale is also filing bankruptcy.
I am going to court to fight in hopes the courts will hear my side of the story as an innocent third party and have some sympathy with my situation. John Deere is asking 7,000 this includes all legal fees including 1,000 of it to pay off the attorney for the individual who filed bankruptcy. Why? there is a civil action against Chad Little (where the tractor was purchased originally), because they told us after being notified of the bankruptcy where I could locate the individual who filed bankruptcy to get in touch with him about this matter. I did contact the individual and he got a an attorney because legally John Deere or any party involved in the bankruptcy legally had no right to tell me where I could find this individual. So, John Deere is trying not only now to recoup the money from the tractor but also because they told us where we could find him and legally they weren’t suppose to?
Question: Do I have any legal recourse in this matter? What do you see the court’s decision to be on this?”
As a bona fide purchaser for value you may have some rights here. Though the individual who sold you the tractor can discharge his legitimate debts in bankruptcy, one of the specific exemptions to discharge in United States Code Title 11 Chapter 5, Subchapter II, Section 523 is fraud. If you did not protect your rights when you had the chance, and the statute of limitations has already run then you may not have an action against the seller. There are factual questions surrounding the discovery of your harm that may have tolled (extended) the statute of limitations. I see the Court as deciding how to quiet title to the tractor. Deere can ask for whatever relief to which they believe they are entitled, but just because they ask for something (like attorney fees) does not mean that the Court would order that they receive that amount.