Can a business confiscate its products due to non -payment?

UPDATED: Jul 12, 2011

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Can a business confiscate its products due to non -payment?

A customer called our fire protection company to request a fire extinguisher inspection and 4 new fire extinguishers at his business that was required by the local fire marshals. We have left massages with secretary, mailed late notices and still get no response for status of payment which is now 4 months over due. Is it legal to go confiscate the fire extinguishers from the business when we are allowed to enter the building?

Asked on July 12, 2011 under Business Law, North Carolina


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No, typically it is not legal to take a product sold to a customer that has not been paid for without receiving permission to do so, preferably in writing by the customer. To take back an unpaid for fire extinguisher could very well subject to you and your company to serious results both in a civil action and perhaps criminally.

Your recourse for unpaid product (fire extinguishers) would be to continue invoicing the client giving a certain period of time to pay. If payment is not made, then you and your company would be required to go through the court process by filing a lawsuit to get payment.

It is always best to try and get some sort of voluntary payment on a monthly basis frm your client for the four new fire extinguishers.


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