Richard Alderman's archive

Q. I defaulted on a retail jewelry contract in Florida in 2003 for a total of $1,721. I am suddenly receiving phone calls from a debt collector threatening to have me served court papers to sue me. He says the debt now is just under $6,000 with interest. He told me unless I make arrangements immediately, I will also owe lawyer’s fees and court costs when they sue me. He said if I pay $500 right away, he would make it all go away. This sounds like a scam to me. Can they sue me 12 years later?

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Q. Three weeks ago, I was fired from my job. My employer still has not given me my last paycheck. He says I will get it in about a month. Help.

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Q. I received an item in the mail that I did not order. I called the company and they told me I either had to return it at my expense or pay for it if I kept it. It doesn’t seem fair that a company can force me to spend money to return something I don’t want and did not order.

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Q. Am I entitled to a paid leave when I have a child? My employer has told me any leave will be without pay.

A. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, you may be entitled to up to 12 weeks leave, depending on the size of the company and how long you have worked there. The law, however, does not require that the leave be with pay. All you may be legally entitled to is an unpaid leave.

 

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Q. I rent a small house. I have made all my payments on time; my lease has one more year until it ends. My landlord told me the house was being foreclosed this month and I will have to move. This doesn’t seem fair. How soon do I have to leave?

A. A foreclosure terminates your relationship with your landlord pursuant to the laws of the state of Texas. This means that your lease is terminated at the time of foreclosure. (The only exception is Section 8 leases, which may remain in force.)

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