If I have a delinquent account with a retailer, can they bring the police to my house to recover the merchandise?

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If I have a delinquent account with a retailer, can they bring the police to my house to recover the merchandise?

Asked on December 6, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Tennessee

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

If the evidence suggests that you *never* intended to pay--for example, you have not made any of the payments for the merchandise--then it's possible the retailer and the police would consider that you actually committed theft by deception (tricked the retailer into giving you the merchandise when you never intended to pay for it). In that case, the police might get involved, since the merchandise would be considered stolen.

On the other hand, if the evidence is that you were intending to pay but just feel and hard times at some point and couldn't keep up, then the police should not get involved--this would be a civil matter, for the civil courts (that is, the retailer should sue you to get the merchandise back and/or for monetary compensation), not for the police or criminal justice system.


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