If I owe a person money and I plan on paying them, can they demand it by a certain date and if I don’t pay by that date sell my belongings?

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If I owe a person money and I plan on paying them, can they demand it by a certain date and if I don’t pay by that date sell my belongings?

I lived with the person part-time. I let them use my stuff which has a value in excess of what /I owe. They ended relationship and are threatening to selll my stuff to pawn shop for whatever they get even though it’s value exceeds the expected price soon. Likewise when I went to pick up property they called cops who cited me for tresspassing and said I had to stay away preventing me from getting property. What can I do?

Asked on June 18, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Oregon

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You have to pay the money by the date you had agreed to when you borrowed the money. If you fail to pay when the money is due, the lender may demand payment in full immediately (or by any date it chooses). On the other hand, if the money is not yet due (e.g. under the agreement, you were to repay it by, say, "the end of summer") then the person to whom you owe the money may not change or move up the date it is due.

The person to whom you owe money has no right to sell your belongings or keep you from them except to the extent, and only if, you gave that person a security interest in them (used them as collateral). If you did not do this, even if you otherwise owe them money, they cannot keep, sell, etc. your belongings. You could sue them for your belongings value if they sell or dispose of them, or else bring a lawsuit seeking a court order (injunction) requiring them to return your belongings.

However, even if they are unlawfully holding your property, you may not enter their property or rental without permission; to do so is, depending on the circumstances, trespassing, defiant trespassing, or breaking and entering. The way to get your belongings back is with a legal action.


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