Richard Alderman's archive

Q. I did a small construction job and was paid with a check after I completed the work. I deposited the check in my account, but it was returned because the person who gave me the check stopped payment. I went to his bank and they said it was not their problem. How do I get paid? Why doesn’t his bank owe me the money?

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Q. I was playing ball in the front yard with my dog, when she suddenly ran into the street in front of our house. A passing car struck her. Fortunately, my dog was not hurt. The accident, however, did cause some minor damage to the car. Am I responsible for the cost of repairs for the car? The owner expects me to pay.

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Q. I received a gift for the holidays. When I opened it, I discovered I had already bought the same thing for myself. I went to return it and the store pointed to a sign that said, “No returns, exchange only,” and told me I could not return it. There is nothing else I want in that store. Are they right? This doesn’t seem fair.

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Q. I signed a lease with my friend. She now is getting married and wants her name removed from the lease. Even though my credit is good and I can afford the rent, the landlord will not remove her name. What can we do to get her name off the lease? She is having trouble renting another apartment.

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Q. I am considering using layaway for some of my Christmas shopping. I noticed many large stores now offer this service. I was wondering what happens if I change my mind and don’t finish paying. Legally, how much money may the store keep?

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