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Tennessee Small Claims Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: What is the best resolution for a contractor not finishing the job?

If a contractor has done shoddy work and has not yet finished the job or fixed the issues - Can I bring them to small claims court? How long do I have to do so? Can I seek a refund on monies already paid? They have stopped returning my calls. They are also way past when they promised the work would... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jun 21, 2021

Yes. You can file a claim in Tennessee's version of small claims court- called General Sessions Court. You would feel out a pleading called a Warrant. You can also report the contractor to the state licensing board.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Should I hire an attorney for small claims court to recover personal property from my ex boyfriend?

I left my ex at the end of October 2020. I had to leave all my personal property behind at his house because there is a history of abuse and I needed to get out fast. A ban notice (no trespassing?) was issued against me. Since then, I have made several attempts to arrange for a 3rd party to pick up... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on May 20, 2021

An Action to Recover Personal Property in General Sessions Court would be the proper way to handle this. It may require a Bond and your assisting the Sheriff's Department. Apparently you are having difficulty, so an attorney might help.

3 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy, Small Claims and Banking for Tennessee on
Q: what happens if i don’t pay off my collection/charge off debt?

there’s 3 different charges, one going back 3 years. i heard that they go away after “7 years off being on your credit report.”

W. J. Winterstein Jr.
W. J. Winterstein Jr. answered on Feb 27, 2021

Broad question- "what happens to whom?"

A financial institution's "charge-off" is an internal accounting and regulatory function; a charge-off by your lender in no way affects or reduces your legal obligation to repay the debt.

The length of time an...
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1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Is small claims best option to sue a relatives preacher over $4000

Back in 2015 my mom gave her church a big check of my guess $5000 or more from my dad's investment from his job in sales. He was a hard worker. She expected her church to help me out after she died. They never helped me at all.

I even filed a complaint with the IRS and made anonymous... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Jan 13, 2021

Based on your limited facts, its hard to see any potential claim. Seems like the money may have been a gift, in which case there would be no claim. But also, even assuming you were a third-party beneficiary to a contract; it may be hard to pursue any claim for breach of contract based on the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: My wife received a call today from a debt collector that threatened to subpoena her to court for a bad check from

From 12 years ago for 400$. Is it legal for them to do that or is there an SOL for bad checks in the state of Tennessee

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jan 8, 2021

If there was some reaffirmation of the debt by your Wife, then the normal 6 year SOL starts from there to sue her. The Misdemeanor SOL has long since run. The check language might contain an argument for a 10 year SOL for demand notes, but I doubt it. If a bad credit report is made, contest... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: I bought a new home 3 1/4 years ago. The sanitary line failed due to faulty installation. Can I sue for the damages?

I have photo evidence and affidavit from plumber who had to repair it that it was a faulty installation.

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Dec 18, 2020

It depends. You may be outside of the statute of limitation period for property damage issues. Consult with a local attorney ASAP to best determine your options.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Trading a car even with private party

My husband and I traded a car even from a private party. They guy said it was a clean title to the car so before exchanging titles we made sure everything matched up with the car (title has no lean holder on it) My husband went to register it at the court house and was told it was the wrong title... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Nov 24, 2020

Your seller has ripped you off. Contact him and demand he pay off the title loan and get you a good title. If not, you sue him in General Sessions for breach of contract and conversion. I do not believe there are criminal violations here, but you might call the Sheriff. Recission and return... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Being taken to court For a loan that was unpaid right before covid hit and we were laid off.

We were laid off and the courts want 16,17,18 tax returns, bank/financial statements none of those years were when the loan took place. Why do they need that? My husband is still unemployed and makes 412 a month I just got a job and wasn't employed up until that point

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Nov 18, 2020

That type of document production usually occurs in conjunction with post-judgment discovery in order for the judgment creditor to collect from you. You need to check with the Court to see if a Judgment has already went down against you two. Otherwise the creditor must anticipate a problem... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: What can I do if I purchased a vehicle from a private party and they agreed to have it ready by a date but now refuses

We purchased a vehicle from a private party and it needed work so the private party agreed to do the work themselves and have it ready so we began paying on it. After the private party pushed the date of completion by 2 months and we really need a vehicle so we asked for a loaner or for our money... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Nov 16, 2020

That is a potential breach of contract. If no money has been paid, I would forget about it. Otherwise you might sue yourself in General Sessions Court. If you obtain a judgment, hire an attorney to collect.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Is it legal for someone to work on their own car and do their own repairs in Nashville, TN?

If there is, what section code is that under?

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on Oct 28, 2020

You can work on your own car. If it was illegal there wouldn't be AutoZone stores everywhere. But if you are on private property, say in an apartment complex, you may be prohibited from working on your vehicle on that particular property, for example.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Can a neighborhood home association fine you for not having specific font on a mailbox? It hasn't been an issue for 3yrs
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Oct 14, 2020

Most likely, yes. HOAs are based on contract law and most HOA governing documents give the HOA wide discretion to fine homeowners for "violations" which can include such minor things as font on a mailbox. To know the answer for sure, I would need to review the HOA governing documents to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Banking and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Post dated a check for 01OCT lender cashed 16SEP resulted in hardship

I called them to complain about this error and get the money back because they had left 3$ in my bank acc and they said 7 days to get a check... okay whatever 10 days later I called turns out they processed the check. I read TN penal codes and nothing discusses this issue only what the check cashed... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Oct 12, 2020

No.. You gave them a check, and they cashed it at their leisure. This happens all the time, and the payee is not breaking a law by negotiating the paper early. You could try to sue the payee for breach of contract, but it is not advisable.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: My father in law just passed no POA or executor, all he had was a car with a loan on it. Can i not purchase that car?

It was a buy here pay here place and they want to take the car immediately and sell at auction and do not want to wait until we file Small estate to be executor. He is current on payments and a payment was just taken out of his account for this months payment after he passed. We just wanted to... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Aug 20, 2020

If you have th Title in the Deceased's name (subject to the debt lien), then his Next-Of-Kin own it. Without the Title though there is little to argue as you have no standing. Possibly with the Small Estate Affidavit, the Administrator might sue for Breach of Contract on behalf of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Should one dispute excessive move-out fees in small claims court?

I recently moved out of an apartment in Tennessee. Despite multiple requests, I was never given a walk-through. In addition, we left 2 weeks before our lease ended due to fear of COVID-19, and the fact that we did not feel our apartment was following CDC Guidelines.

Despite this, the... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 23, 2020

Venue will basically be the County and State of the leasehold. If you do not pay what is demanded, then the landlord can sue you in that County, but will have to try to collect any Judgment against you. If there was a security deposit, than that might be something to sue for.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Can you sue an out of state business in small claims court in Tennessee?

The company has violated the TCPA on multiple occasions by sending me solicitous texts even though I'm on the do not call registry. They originally replied that I opted in, but the date they claimed I did that is actually after the violations occurred. When I pointed this out, they said they... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jul 16, 2020

You will need an attorney and it should be filed in Circuit Court. GS would be quick, but it does not look like you know what you are doing, and you would ultimately try it again upstairs. Service through the Secretary of State will be a chore itself.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: Paperwork on motion to claim excess funds, what talking bout names of heirs, an blank to act alone?
Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery answered on Jun 25, 2020

I do not understand your question. But it sounds like the Next of Kin are trying to recover a Decedent's monies. You probably need an attorney to draft, execute and record an Affidavit of Heirship. Then use a copy of the Affidavit to support your Claim Form, for the benefit of those listed... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: A couple cosigned an agreement to lease one of the 3 bedrooms in my apartment. However, they never moved in.

I'm now liable for their rent, but the landlord will not provide me with their address so that I can serve them papers. How can I get the landlord to provide me with their address.

Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq.
Mr. Kent Thomas Jones Esq. answered on Jun 24, 2020

If a couple co-signed on a Lease with you, you should know their addresses. The Landlord does not have to give them to you. If you can't find them, hire a private detective to find them.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: my fiancée & I are splitting. she used my credit to get windows & air put in, promising to make All payments & hasn’t.

She promised to make all payments & not ruin my credit but she isn’t making payments, do I need a lawyer to make her pay or what can I do?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jun 22, 2020

You may want to consult with an attorney. You could also consider filing a small claims court action to get your money back. If your fiancée made a promise to you and failed to follow that, this could be a breach of oral contract. Good luck.

2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: is a surety bond company required to investigate a claim or can they refuse pending you prove on the front end.

dealing with a surety company regarding claim for auto fraud with an auto dealer in my area. the surety company finally responded with a letter stating they will have to have prove via DMV determination or a judgment from a tennessee court proving fraud before they will continue with their... Read more »

Mr. James Charles Wright
Mr. James Charles Wright answered on Jun 13, 2020

There is not enough information to really respond to your question. I am not sure why if you are a consumer the reason you would be dealing with a surety company. But there is probably a good reason. You may want to contact a lawyer - rather than putting a lot of details here.

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2 Answers | Asked in Collections and Small Claims for Tennessee on
Q: How can I collect my judgement ?

I have a judgement by default from 2016 for 25k @5.5% . The debtor was a business owner who took money/property from multiple people before taking everything of value from the business and ran away. I did get a wage garnishment for a couple years, only because of a rumor and some luck until he was... Read more »

Bennett James Wills
Bennett James Wills answered on May 14, 2020

You can use the Tennessee Property Database https://assessment.cot.tn.gov/RE_Assessment/ to try and see if the debtor owns property. Maybe that's the same one you mentioned.

You have some collection tools available. You could send interrogatories in aid of execution, take a deposition,...
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