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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 36183
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney, JD, BA, MBA
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I have a lease contract for a wireless credit card terminal

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I have a lease contract for a wireless credit card terminal that I no longer need because of a business closure. The lease company will not let me out of the lease even if I return the machine and am willing to pay a fine. They said I am still obligated to pay the remaining lease payments (29 mo's) or find someone to take over the payments. I just want to be done with this. Can anyone help me?
Hello,
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Unfortunately a lease is a binding legal contract that either party can enforce in the event of a default. So unless there is some type of provision in the lease that allows you to pay some type of up front payment as a buy out clause, then you are stuck with it. The fact that your business has closed is not legally relevant to enforceability of the lease contract.
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But if you return the machine, the lessor has a duty to try and lease it again to someone else to mitigate their damages. The reality of it is that it is unlikely that they will do so and it would be virtually impossible to prove that they didn't try to lease it to someone else.
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So if you can't get someone to find someone to take it over, and you don't continue making the payments, then they will be able to sue you for any remaining balance and report the delinquent payments on your credit report each month.
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The only way to get the obligation extinguished would be to file bankruptcy, but then that would kill your credit rating worse than the late payments.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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