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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 116707
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I jeweler convinced my wife who does not read English to

Customer Question

I jeweler convinced my wife who does not read English to sign a contract that had a hidden clause saying if she did not pay by a certain time the interest was 3 x the price of the item?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: San Diego CA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I have a collection agency coming after me for $10,000 +
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: No
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Customer: replied 8 months ago.
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Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 8 months 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 your spouse does not read or understand English, there can be no meeting of the minds that is required to form a contract. You need to write a letter back to the collection agency informing them you dispute the debt and that the individual who they made sign the contract does not speak English and the contract was not read to them in their native language and as such the contract is void. The next step is you need to contact the jeweler and send them the same letter that explains that as your spouse did not understand English, which they knew at the time they told her to sign the contract, there could be no meeting of the minds as to the terms of the contract and you dispute the validity of the contract. Tell them if they will not reconsider their position, you will file a complaint for unfair and deceptive practices and breach of contract with the CA Attorney General and will also file a complaint to the BBB.

If they refuse to back down you, make your complaints to the AG and BBB both and if they cannot resolve the matter you will have to sue them in superior court for breach of contract and unfair and deceptive practices (which can entitle you to triple damages plus attorney's fees) and for that I would suggest you use a local consumer protection law attorney.

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