What to do if a store goes out of business after youhave paid for your merchandise but before it is delivered?

UPDATED: Mar 14, 2011

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What to do if a store goes out of business after youhave paid for your merchandise but before it is delivered?

I paid $1,000 cash for furniture. The store went out of business without delivering it or refunding my money.

Asked on March 14, 2011 under General Practice, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You might not have recourse.

If the store was a corproration or LLC and if the business entity still exists, you can sue it for your money or your furniture (not both)--though if it doesn't have any money or assets despite still being in existence, you may not as a practical matter, but able to get anything back.

If the store was a corporation or LLC and has been official dissolved, then there really isn't anyone to sue. Or if it still exists but filed bankruptcy, it may be impossible to recover.

If the store was owned by a person (a sole proprietorship) or several people but not through an LLC or corporation (a partnership), in that case you may be able to sue the owners directly even if the business is gone--though since you paid cash, it may be difficult to prove you paid.

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