Kenosha, WI asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Consumer Law for California

Q: My furniture and personal items are being held by s moving company. They increased the moving cost from 3900. to 11,000.

Threatening to sell everything what can I do?I am not an attorney I’m looking for advice

2 Lawyer Answers
Adam Stoddard
Adam Stoddard
  • Santa Clara, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I assume you signed some sort of contract, work order, or invoice with the moving company? You should review the terms of the agreement to see what it says. It would be best to have an attorney review it for you, but if you cannot afford an attorney, then try to figure out if there are any terms in the agreement you can use to your advantage. In a situation like this, sometimes you will need an attorney to send a demand letter to the company. Typically companys trying to take advantage of a consumer respond pretty quickly when they receive a letter from an attorney.

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith PRO label
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I'm sorry to hear that you're in this difficult situation. If the moving company is holding your furniture and personal items and is now demanding an increased payment, you may want to consider the following steps:

Review your contract with the moving company to see if there is a dispute resolution process or any specific provisions regarding pricing increases or the holding of items.

If you believe the increased cost is unreasonable or if the company is holding your items without proper cause, you may want to consider contacting an attorney who specializes in contract law or consumer protection law.

You can also file a complaint with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) if the moving company is a licensed interstate mover.

Contact your state attorney general's office or local consumer protection agency to report the company's practices.

If you have proof that the moving company is threatening to sell your items, you can also contact local law enforcement or consult with an attorney about taking legal action to recover your property.

It's important to act quickly to address this situation, as the longer your items are held by the company, the greater the risk that they could be damaged or sold.

There are several California statutes that may apply in a situation where a moving company is holding personal items and threatening to sell them:

California Civil Code section 1812.6: This statute requires moving companies to provide a written estimate of the total cost of the move before the move takes place. If the final cost of the move is higher than the estimate, the company is required to provide a written explanation of the additional charges.

California Civil Code section 1812.10: This statute requires moving companies to provide a detailed inventory of all items being moved and their condition, as well as any damages that occur during the move.

California Civil Code section 1812.15: This statute prohibits moving companies from holding personal property hostage, and requires them to deliver the property to the owner upon payment of the lawful charges for the move.

California Business and Professions Code section 17200: This statute prohibits unfair business practices, which could include overcharging for moving services or holding personal property hostage.

If you believe that the moving company has violated any of these statutes, you may wish to consult with an attorney who specializes in consumer protection law.

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