Seattle, WA asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Collections for Oregon

Q: Rent a center threats

Rent a center is harassing me threating me with jail and being arrested I paid on time every time I recently went on fmla 4weeks ago and can't pay at the time they won't accept what I can pay I just wanna know my legal rights I live in oregon the rent a center is in washington state can they take me to jail or threaten me with police I just want to know if they are just trying to scare me or if this is normal or if they stepped over the line

1 Lawyer Answer
Jim Boness
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  • Portland, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: As far as your question, if you rented from a Rent-A-Center in Washington, the contract probably will be governed under Washington law. Check your contract to see if that is the case. If so, you will need to speak with a Washington licensed attorney.

As far as any rights to keep the merchandise, unless you have earned some portion of ownership of the merchandise through the contract, you really have no rights. If you have failed to make payments as promised, they can request payment, ask you for the merchandise for failure to pay or go to court to get an order to do so. They have no obligation to work out any type of arrangements above what is in the contract.

Having said that, it is possible Rent-A-Center could have over-stepped its bounds when it comes to its collection activity. There is not enough information in your question to know. Many years ago, I actually experienced an over-zealous Rent-A-Center agent doing just this. They have no right to be on your property if they come to collect and you tell them to leave. An experienced collection attorney could probably help figure out if you have any recourse. It also may be true that you are advised to forfeit the merchandise if you cannot pay. It might make your life much less stressful. Best of luck!

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