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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 110431
Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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I left a piece of artwork as collateral with a private loan

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I left a piece of artwork as collateral with a private loan company. They are a very well respected alternative lender (high end pawn shop). I repaid the loan but they lost my artwork when storing it. Totally their fault and negligence and they admit it. They are offering me the full value that was assigned to the piece plus a refund of interest I paid. The piece was very special to me...left to me in the will of a very close friend who died of AIDS. I would never have parted with it for the amount of money they are offering...I get so upset every time I think about it...its making me depressed and very angry. Do I have a right to ask for more compensation based on their negligence and the sentimental value? Any information would help. This is in NY State.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Legally, this is breach of a contract and for breach of contract claims in NY the only damages provided for would be actual losses, which is the value of the item and interest you paid the company on the loan. Emotional damages are not allowed under NY law for breach of contract or breach of fiduciary duty claims or for property damage/loss claims I am afraid and as such even though they were negligent in this, they were negligent in damaging/losing property and for that you could not seek emotional damages under NY law.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I was afraid that would be the case. The piece of art was appraised for estate purposes in 1998. It increased in value by 50% when appraised in 2012 by the loan company's advisors at Sotheby's. It is highly probable that the work will continue to increase in value as the artist is quite well known. Since I never intended to sell it can I make any claim against them for denying me the investment value? Just an idea...I am so angry at what happened and it just seems unfair that they can file an insurance claim and be done with it. I think about it every day and I want them to feel some pain as well

Thank you for your response.

You need to get an accurate appraisal of the current value, as that is what they will owe you for their breach of contract. Unfortunately, because the increased value of the investment is not predictable, you would not be able to get that as the courts would have no way to be certain if it would gain or lose value and exactly how much it would gain or lose.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

just as I thought....thanks for confirming what I suspected...appreciate the quick reply

Thank you very much.
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