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The Adventure of The Insolvent Buyer

From American Horologist magazine, March, 1945

The Adventure of The Insolvent Buyer
Leslie Solitaire

"That silver service sells for $500", Sterling Plate told the prospective buyer.

"That price seems right, if you can't do better for a steady customer.

I suppose my line of credit is. still good," the buyer suggested.

"Good as gold---used to be," Plate assured him.

Before the silver service was ready for delivery, Plate ascertained that his customer was insolvent, and refused to deliver the plate or any part thereof.

"But you agreed to sell on credit." 

''I'm not bound to deliver to an insolvent buyer, according to our original agreement," Plate contended.

"Is it that you do not want to sell to an insolvent customer?" the customer queried.

Certainly, it's hard enough to get full payment from those who are legally solvent," Plate maintained, "and I do know I can legally demand cash from you in spite of the credit sale." The customer laid the required cash on the counter, and took delivery of his silver service.

Whether the customer listed the silver service as part of his assets was no concern of Sterling Plate, who was a successful jeweler and better than the average amateur lawyer, as his law has been upheld by the courts of N ew York, Iowa, Ohio and Massachusetts and also by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Florence Mining Company vs. Brown, 124 U. S. 385.

"The mere insolvency of the buyer does not excuse the seller from performance, since the assignee or trustee of the insolvent may elect to complete the contract; but, in the case of the insolvency of the buyer, the seller may require payment of cash on delivery, although he may have agreed to give credit," is a concise summary of the rule in proper legal form. 

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