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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 117370
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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I work rent to own type of company. We have ligitimate lease

Customer Question

I work for a rent to own type of company. We have ligitimate lease to own agreements with arbitration agreements and signed payment schedules a whole legal section blah blah blah.. my question is that in Indiana if a customer comes in and leases a tv then makes one payment and never comes back what legally are we able to do about it? Currently we are able to obtain replevin orders which lets us into the customers home with or without them there accompanied by the Sherrif to return our merchandise.. but what if they say the tv or laptop or what have you is stolen? Can we file for theft by conversion? If it's just a debt can we file a body attatchment if they don't show up for court even tho this is technically civil? I'm tired of people stealing our stuff and getting away with it? Tired of comming to a dead end just because we are not able to return our merchandise through replevin.. any ideas are appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If they say the property was stolen, you have to prove they made a false report of theft and then you can charge them with filing a false police report. However, as far as civil damages, they are still liable for the payment for the value of the product even if it is stolen, so you can sue them for breach of contract and conversion in civil court even if you cannot prove they filed a false police report to claim the property was stolen.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do understand that but we have a lot of people that because they don't need credit just income they come in on. Social security and disability things of that nature.. in the instance we file for damages they never show up so then they owe us money then they never pay us so we have to get court again then once court comes our best case scenario is wage garnishment but courts won't garnish disability or social security and half these people have absolutely nothing wrong with them other than they were born into a how to be lazy and live off the government all while stealing and destroying anywhere you can. They have no value for anything because they get it all free and then live so disgustingly and wrongly that they say oh well it's broken so I'm not paying for it or oh someone took it so I'm not paying for it blah blah.. I can handle the normal people we usually come to an agreement.. it's the people who make one payment then attempt to steal or don't even care to pay is who I am concerned with.. the body attachment would definitely give them something to fear.. the charge of a theft by conversion would be something as well.. taking to court for damages then waiting for payment and taking to court for non payment month's later then waiting on a. Garnishment more months later is not what I was looking for.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
I understand, I worked for a major metropolitan police department and this was a common problem. They would report thefts or burglaries, but unless we could prove it was fraud we could not charge them with any offense for the false reporting.
So you can get with your police department and seek to have them arrested for general theft charges for not returning the rental property, but where they report it was stolen or burglarized before you file your complaint against them, it is up to the DA. Our rental companies had a relationship with the DA who used to take the cases and prosecute unless there was actual proof of the theft or burglary occurring.
One of the companies dealt with began charging a high deposit, but as you said these people cannot pay it and go elsewhere unless all of the rental places get together and all agree to charge the high deposit.
It is something that the rental industry has been fighting forever, so I know your frustration as I have dealt with it. However those are your options.

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