Richard Alderman's archive

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.

shadow

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?

shadow

Q. I recently moved into a new apartment. The apartment pays a referral fee. I told them my friend referred me. My friend actually did not refer me, but I knew he lived in the complex. When I told my friend he was going to get the money, he agreed to split it with me. Now he refuses to share. Can I take him to small claims court?

A. In my opinion, you do not have any basis for a lawsuit. Your friend promised to give you a gift. He simply agreed to share his money with you. Such promises are not enforceable.

shadow

Q. My checkbook was stolen during a break-in of my home. Before the thief cashed any checks, I closed the account. A collection agency is now asking me to pay some of the checks that bounced. Do I have any liability?

shadow

Q. My ex-wife and I signed a note to buy a car. Our divorce decree clearly says she keeps the car and she is obligated to pay the note. She has stopped paying and now the bank is asking me to pay because I also signed the note. What are my legal obligations?

A. Basically, a divorce decree is between the parties to the divorce. It does not affect existing creditors. In other words, you and your ex-wife have agreed that she will pay the note. As far as the bank is concerned, however, you both still owe the money.

shadow