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morgaine481

Store out of business

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Do we still owe payments to a furniture store that went out of business at the end of last year? They did not file for bankruptcy, but did liquidate via auction of their merchandise. We were not notified of the liquidation and only found out they were out of business because my husband just happened by the store one day and it was vacant with out of business signs on the door.

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Do we still owe payments to a furniture store that went out of business at the end of last year?

Yes, unless there is a provision in the contract that says you no longer have to pay if the store goes out of business. The fact that the storefront closed doesn't relieve you of your contractual obligation to pay for the furniture you purchased. The owner is still entitled to his money, even if he doesn’t have the store anymore.

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Do we still owe payments to a furniture store that went out of business at the end of last year? They did not file for bankruptcy, but did liquidate via auction of their merchandise. We were not notified of the liquidation and only found out they were out of business because my husband just happened by the store one day and it was vacant with out of business signs on the door.

Yes, you owe it. And somebody (the owner or his successor) has a right to the money. If you don't pay it you will be in breach of contract and subject to a lawsuit and judgment and all sorts of unpleasantness.

My suggestion: Send your usual payment (on time) to the same address that you've been sending them to. I can pretty much guarantee that it'll be forwarded to where it needs to go. Keep copies of the check and the envelope. Get a certificate of mailing from the post office.

If the payment comes back, keep the check and the envelope and don't spend the money. For the remaining months of your contract set aside the money each money because sooner or later somebody will realize that the money is out there and they'll come after it. Trust me, you do not want to be in the position of not having it when somebody comes along and asks for it.

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Here's the thing. You do not and never did owe money to a "store." Rather, you owe money to an entity. Whether that entity is a human being (if the store was a sole proprietorship) or a partnership or a corporation, etc., that entity did not cease to exist simply because the store that the entity previously operated has closed its doors. Thus, the store closing has no impact on your obligation to pay the debt.

You said there is no written contract, but I find it hard to believe that someone would sell you furniture on credit without anything in writing specifying the terms of the credit, when payments are due, where you need to send the payments, etc. In any event, your obligation to pay the debt continues as before. If a different person/entity has succeeded to the original creditor, it is incumbent on him/her/it to notify you.

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we did not sign a contract. Does that matter?

Not really. You do not have to sign a contract to have a contract. An oral agreement is just as binding as a written agreement.

And, as PG wrote, there is likely something in writing memorializing the agreement even if it's the store's copy of the invoice that you got when you bought the furniture.

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