Kinston, NC asked in Collections, Small Claims and Civil Litigation for North Carolina

Q: Can a home furniture store have someone arrested in North Carolina?

My mom rented a tv and bed from a buddies home furniture store, she has made all her payments on time but she was in a wreck and has missed 3. She is going to catch them up but needs time but the store manager isn’t very nice and is demanding the payment or item or he will press criminal charges. Is that possible ? Or is it a threat tactic

2 Lawyer Answers
Barry W. Kaufman
Barry W. Kaufman
  • Collections Lawyer
  • Jacksonville, FL

A: Yes it's possible. She hasn't made all her payments; she's missed 3. If you want to make certain that nothing happens to mom, make the payments on her behalf.

Lynn Ellen Coleman
Lynn Ellen Coleman
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Criminal charges can be brought for intentional failure to return rent to own property. Intent may be presumed if she has disposed of the property, or has encumbered the property by

allowing a security interest to be placed on the property or by delivering the property to a

pawnbroker; or she has refused to deliver the property to the sheriff or other officer

charged with the execution of process directed to him for its seizure, after a judgment for

possession of the property or a claim and delivery order for the property has been issued; or that she has moved the rented property out of state and has failed to notify the owner of the new location of the property.

Simple failure to pay the rent doesn't seem to fit the criminal statute. Yes they can bring the charges against her, and then it is up to her to rebut these presumptions. She needs to return the items now as the contract requires her to do. If they refuse to accept them, that's good proof of lack of intent. Or, she needs to catch up on the payments and continue to make them on time.

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