Am I responsible for a contract if I did not sign itand do not have the merchandise?

A furniture store allowed someone to modify a contract I signed which increased the charges from $554 to $1445. I never gave anyone power of attorney to sign on my behalf and I was never told of this change. The store does not want to void the contract and will still bill me for this through their bank. We do not even have the merchandise.

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

1) No one may modify a contract you signed without your agreement and authority. If you can show that you did not make the change and not approve it, the change will be void.

2) If the store does not provide you the merchandise, you do not have to pay, except as to only to the extent the terms of sale required payment in advance. In that case, while you might have to pay, you'd have the right to seek the recovery of your money and possibly other compensation if you do not ultimately receive the goods.

3) Many states (e.g. NJ, CA) have laws barring consumer fraud or unconscionable commercial practices. What you describe may be a violation of such laws, which could entitle you to additional compensation.


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