Richard Alderman's archive

Q. I just bought a present to give someone for Christmas. The store told me that if she didn’t like it she could exchange it, but that there were no returns. I decided not to buy it because I was afraid she wouldn’t like it and it was a small store without a lot of selection. Is it legal for a store to not allow you to return a gift and get a refund?

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Q. I signed a lease with my friend that does not end until February. She is now getting married and wants to move out and have her name removed from the lease. Even though my credit is good and I can afford the rent, the landlord will not remove her name. What can we do to get her name off the lease? She is having trouble renting another apartment.

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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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