Is there anything that I can do if I’m in the middle of filing for bankruptcy and my shop landlord put a paddle lock on my door and sold all the equipment?

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Is there anything that I can do if I’m in the middle of filing for bankruptcy and my shop landlord put a paddle lock on my door and sold all the equipment?

The value of the items sold was 3 times of what I owed him in rent. We made a verble agreement that he would on to the stuff at no charge until I finalized the bankruptcy knowing all along there was a federal lien on the tools.

Asked on December 29, 2014 under Bankruptcy Law, Maine

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the landlord for the value of your goods--even if you owed him money, he has NO right to take and sell your goods without your permission (just like if your landlord owed you money, you couldn't reach into his wallet and just take money out). You can, and probably should, also report this to the police as a theft--because it is theft to take someone else's belongings, even if they owe you money. And if you had insurancer, you could file an insurance claim against him.

In addition, you need to make the bankrutpcy court aware of what happened.


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