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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Explains legal matters based on 14+ years experience.
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My contract law question is regarding an ADT alarm system contract

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My contract law question is regarding an ADT alarm system contract signed on Jan 19th 2013. I called them today that I just retired, live on social security and can not afford the monthly and wish to cos cancel.
I learned from them that the contact is for 3 years and I had only 3 daysnfrom the date of instaltion to cancel without penalty. And that If I decide to cancel now I would still have to pay them 75% of the ballance of the the 3 years contract which is close to $1600.00. The butXXXXX XXXXXne is that I will have to pay the $1200.00 even though the contract is canceled. So, only 3 days to cancel without penalty but after the 3 days pay them $1200.00 without the service. Is this lawful? Thanks.
Halim Ahmed.
Welcome and thank you for your question!

I am sorry to learn of the facts you've described. You may be interested in the contract cancellation information provided by the Michigan Attorney General on this page:,4534,7-164-17337_20942-44718--,00.html. There, he explains how and why you do not have the right to cancel most contracts -- without penalty -- in Michigan.

Now, you can try to argue that the $1,200 penalty is unreasonably large and void. The law doesn't say that but you can try to argue it. If ADT is not receptive to your argument, you can consider filing a complaint with the Michigan Attorney General. Their online complaint form is found at:

What's the worst case situation? You could be sued for breach of contract and have a judgment issued against you. This would appear on your credit report and that could hurt you if you try to get a loan, mortgage, or refinance in the future. Understand, however, that your social security checks cannot be garnished to pay the court judgment. If you have other sources of income, they could try to attach that (e.g., a state income tax refund or other wages). But, they can't go after your social security or take your house).

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back. I am happy to address follow-up questions. Thank you for your business!

~~ J.B.

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