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I recently worked with a 'reputable' breeder and went through the interview process and left a depoist. I was clear that I was working with one other breeder at the time. She clearly stated that the deposit was refundable and the paperwork she provided also stated that it is refundable prior to the birth of the puppies. At the time they had not confirmed pregancy. I opted to go with the other breeder and notified this breeder prior to the birth of the puppies and requested my deposit After 2 months (and one email stating they were sending it), she notified me that had I told her I was working with another breeder as well she would have not accepted my deposit and it is instantly non-refundable. I sent a nice email and a copy of the original terms but no response. Any suggestions on how to work with her to get my deposit back. I am prepared to take her to small claims court if necessay but I hate for it to come to that.
 

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I would respond back to her via certified letter, letting her know that if she did not return your deposit, you would have no choice but to take her to small claims court. As long as you have everything in writing...such as the agreement to refund prior to puppies' birth and that your request for refund was dated prior to their birth, I believe you have a good case. Too bad.
 

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Doesn't sound like from the information you provided that the breeder is dealing with you as per your agreement. Small claims is the way to go. If the breeder doesn't show up you will get a default judgement. Collecting can be another matter, but there are ways to make that happen. If you are not already aware of this, you need to file in the jurisdiction where the breeder is located.
 

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I recently worked with a 'reputable' breeder and went through the interview process and left a depoist. I was clear that I was working with one other breeder at the time. She clearly stated that the deposit was refundable and the paperwork she provided also stated that it is refundable prior to the birth of the puppies. At the time they had not confirmed pregancy. I opted to go with the other breeder and notified this breeder prior to the birth of the puppies and requested my deposit After 2 months (and one email stating they were sending it), she notified me that had I told her I was working with another breeder as well she would have not accepted my deposit and it is instantly non-refundable. I sent a nice email and a copy of the original terms but no response. Any suggestions on how to work with her to get my deposit back. I am prepared to take her to small claims court if necessay but I hate for it to come to that.
Take her to small claims court! If all is what you say, she will have no chance! Sometimes, just being notified you are doing this will influence her to return your money...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you all so much for the feedback and path to make this right. I will pusue a certified letter and filing in small claims court. I have all of the email correspondence, written terms stating refundable deposit etc.
 

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Good luck....at least you will help others who try and purchase from this breeder. You could also post a notice/ warning to others on dog websites about this breeders breach of her contract!
 

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It won't help anyone if the breeder is not named.
And the whole 'instantly becomes non-refundable' is crazy. Refundability depends on the state law where you live. FL allows nonrefundable deposits if it is noted on the front end but in direct conflict w that, puppies are not supposed to be sold prior to 8 weeks here so ...
 

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It won't help anyone if the breeder is not named.
And the whole 'instantly becomes non-refundable' is crazy. Refundability depends on the state law where you live. FL allows nonrefundable deposits if it is noted on the front end but in direct conflict w that, puppies are not supposed to be sold prior to 8 weeks here so ...
It is my understanding that a signed contract that offers a refund overrides any local laws...
 

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that's what I meant- IF on the front end PP signs a contract or agreement that directly says non-refundable, then the law matters not. But if not, most deposits are state law refundable.
 

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I recently worked with a 'reputable' breeder and went through the interview process and left a depoist. I was clear that I was working with one other breeder at the time. She clearly stated that the deposit was refundable and the paperwork she provided also stated that it is refundable prior to the birth of the puppies. At the time they had not confirmed pregancy. I opted to go with the other breeder and notified this breeder prior to the birth of the puppies and requested my deposit After 2 months (and one email stating they were sending it), she notified me that had I told her I was working with another breeder as well she would have not accepted my deposit and it is instantly non-refundable. I sent a nice email and a copy of the original terms but no response. Any suggestions on how to work with her to get my deposit back. I am prepared to take her to small claims court if necessay but I hate for it to come to that.
I would try one more time nicely. If she still refuses I would advise I’m notifying the better business bureau and dept if consumer affairs. If she still refuses, than small claims is your last resort
 

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Yeah, judgements are useless- but they do help hurt an offenders credit record.
 

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If you have the time and patience..there ARE ways to collect!
From: legalzoom.com

"How to Get Your Money
If your debtor is unwilling to pay and you know they have the means, it's time to use your local sheriff. You have three options to collect: a bank levy, wage garnishment, or a real estate lien.
First, you must obtain proof from your small claims court that you have the right to collect. While the name of the court-issued document varies, it is typically called a writ of execution, writ of garnishment, or writ of attachment. Once you have your writ, give it to your local sheriff with instructions on your collection method. Your sheriff will serve papers on the appropriate institution and collect from your debtor.
Seizing money from your debtor's bank accounts is called a bank levy. For this, you need the name of the bank, the account number and the exact name on the account. If the cause of your suit was a business transaction, you may have this information on a credit application. Debtor laws exempt certain accounts from collection. Those include wages, retirement funds and public funds (social security, unemployment). The issue can get even more complicated if the account is joint or shared.
The next method to consider is a real estate lien. If the debtor has property, you can claim part of its value. You can create a lien by registering your judgment with the land records office in the county where the debtor owns real estate. A lien requires patience. You won't get any money until the property is sold or transferred since you will be paid from those proceeds. However, if the owner sells the property, you can collect the judgment, plus post-judgment costs and interests. It should be noted that some states limit the amount that can be collected on a real estate lien.
The third and easiest way to collect is wage garnishment. If the debtor has a job, you can collect up to 25% of his or her wages until the judgment is paid. Give your sheriff or other local official (known as a levying officer) information about the judgment and where the debtor works. This officer will collect the money and give it to you. There are restrictions, however. If the person can prove the money is being used for basic support, you can't garnish his or her wages. The same goes if they are already subject to another garnishment, are a federal or military employee or are on public support.
Just Ask, or Just call for Help
The simplest way to collect is the one mentioned in the beginning: ask for your money. Make the request in a professional manner. For some debtors, a formal request letter mentioning the judgment and the fact that it will show up on a credit report is 'inspiration' enough to get them to pay. If the person is truly in a financial crisis, consider accepting a lower amount. Settling for less now, may save you time and countless headaches later.
If you don't want to settle for less and none of the other methods appeal to you, there is one final option. You can call a professional. A collection agency will keep track of the debtor and collect your judgment for you. However, you will have to pay a fee. That means you will have to decide whether getting your judgment is worth the expense."
 

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I was shocked to learn that law enforcement will not get involved in civil matters. Reporting to BBB doesn't help even if they are a member, if they are not they won't even take a report. If you get a judgement you can take it to the next level, putting liens and the such but the expense for legal to achieve all this will exceed the cost of what they owe you. A lien is only effective when they sell the property. It can be tedious and frustrating to prove you are right.
I had a client that owed me for extended house/pet sitting and found that making a BIG sign and sitting in a lawn chair in their front yard to be very effective. The 1st 4 feet belonged to the city :) Embarrassing, yup... for us both but very effective when the neighbors came to ask questions. They provided me with a money order in less than an hour strongly telling me they would never use me again! Yeah, that hurt.

What I'm saying if you want results go public. Post the breeder information. Include the document that states "refundable deposit if" and the documentation showing you met the requirements verifying dates and indeed deserve the refund. A good breeder doesn't want this and should resolve quickly. LOL but then a good breeder would not make you go through all this to get what's due.
If you don't have this documentation you won't get anywhere with small claims court either. It's not enough to feel you are due a refund, you have to prove it. In court anyway.
 

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My experience:
1. Get a court order
2. Court order presented to person.
3. Person refuses to pay.
4. Back to court for contempt of court order.
5. Next step---to the Marshall to make an attempt to collect.
6. Marshall garnishes person's paycheck if he can.

This is just one experience. Another experience showed me it would cost more money to collect than the money I was owed. Sorry, I really didn't want to get started. But my experiences taught me a lot about contracts, the legal system and collection.
 

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If you use small claims court the initial costs will be minimal. If you win, the court will give you an 'order'! If the guy you are going after shows up, the court will serve that warrant in court. If he does not show up, you will have to get someone else to 'serve' the court order. Every state is different. Many states would use that initial court order as the document you can use with a U. S. Marshall or even a local Sherriff's office to serve the order for you. If he does not then pay you, the Marshalls office will garnish his pay.
 

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This is why I do'nt take deposits until week five, and not at all for show puppies. I have some sympathy for the breeder. It probably hurt her feelings , and she likely said no to good homes counting on you. Nevertheless , he/she must return it, and it sounds like you are in the right.
 
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