What do I do if a business (that is no longer in business) keeps promising to give me refund but has not done so?

I have a signed agreement between me and the girlfriend of the businessman that I will receive my refund about 6 weeks ago. I have texted, called, emailed multiple times. When he finally answers, he said he planned on giving me the refund still, but has trouble because he is no longer in business. I told him to give me a check or something similar through mail by the 2nd of this month (about 10 days ago). I have tried to contact him multiple times after this, including online and his friends. When he answers, he said he is angry that I contacted his friends about business matters and didn’t mention anything about the refund. There has been no answer since.

Asked on October 13, 2014 under Business Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

1) Did the girlfriend have an authority to sign an agreement on his behalf? If she did not work for him or the business, then no--her agreement is worthless and does not bind the businessman or his business. Being a "girlfriend" does not give one any legal standing.

2) Was the business an LLC (limited liability company) or corporation? If so, then the businessman is not personally liable--only the business is. But if the business is out of business and has no operations and funds, it will almost certainly never pay you, and if it doesn't, you have no further recourse.

3) Even if the business was not an LLC or corporation, so that the businessman is personally liable, if he will not pay you voluntarily, to get the money, you'd have to sue him and win (prove in court that he owes it to you), which may or may not be economically worthwhile, depending on how much is at stake.


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