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Roger, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31733
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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We rented some large equipment about 3 weeks ago. When the

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We rented some large equipment about 3 weeks ago. When the company picked the equipment back up the guy told my husband that he would need to stop in and pay the $25 in taxes for the rental. Well he forgot to do it that day and then had to leave the next day to go out of town for work so obviously couldn't pay it then. He has been home for about a week now and we had forgotten about it again. We recieved a court summons today. The owner of the company is trying to sue us for for $700.97. The complaint reads "Rented a machine, kept it an extra day, exceeded deposit and never paid balance on return, or numerous calls to pay or the bill will be turned over for collection" Requests the following reads " The cost exceeding the deposit, plus any applicable fees related to the rental contract as agreed to by the customer in the amount of $700.97 plus court cost and interest after judgement." My husband had paid the deposit of $200 which was the cost of a day rental for the machine. When he called and told them he needed it for an extra day they said that was fine they would just use the deposit money for the extra day rental. We did receive a letter from them saying we owed the $25 and that was all so I am not sure where the $700 is coming from. The machine was returned the same way we received it and filled with gas as the company requested. My husband called the company today and they said they would take a $325 settlement but WHY should be have to pay anymore than the $25 and maybe a little bit of interest for it being late ? We don't know if we should pay the settlement or let it go to court.
Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question, but I'm sorry for your trouble.

If your husband only got a bill for the $25 that was due with NO OTHER charges assessed, then that should definitely be all he owes at this point. HOPEFULLY, your husband has the bill to prove that's all he ever got.

Also, the creditor would have to PROVE to the judge that these other expenses were incurred, charged to you and actually represent amounts due under the agreement you have with the rental company. If the company can't validate or prove the charges are proper, then they should not stand.

As an initial mater, your husband could inform them that he's willing to settle the claim, but he wants an itemized list of charges to make sure the charges are correct. If they aren't willing to do that, then it's probably because they know the charges are bogus -- which means they would likely have no way to prove any of this if you went to court.

Thus, how to proceed likely depends on what they provide upon your request for an accounting of the charges.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I don't think we still have the bill because we knew we owed it so didn't really see a point in keeping it. Without that do we even have a chance at winning this case ? Also one last question what does exceeded the deposit mean in this case ?

Hi -
Sure, you still have a chance at winning the case because the company has to prove that these amounts are due and payable from your husband. They must account for every charge. If they can't prove the charge is valid, or point to a provision in the contract/purchase order/lease agreement, etc., then it will be hard to sustain the claimed charge.

The deposit should mean money that you pay up front that is either applied to the bill or returned to the customer upon return of the item leased. Of course, the lease agreement could have some other specific provision or direction for what will come of the deposit.
Hi -

I was checking in to see if you have any additional questions. If so, please let me know. Thanks.