What can I do to get out of a home alarm obligation that I can no longer afford?

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What can I do to get out of a home alarm obligation that I can no longer afford?

I have had it for 3 years, but now am retired and can no longer afford the payments and they refuse to let me out of the contract. However, they told me it was transferable but I have not been able to find someone else who can afford it either.

Asked on March 12, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

One party's inability to pay does not, unfortunately provide grounds for that party to terminate a contract without penalty. You can only terminate, or "get out of," the contract if--

a) The contract itself provides some basis for doing so--for example, if it lets you terminate upon sufficient notice, or by paying an early termination fee, or by finding someone to take the contract over--and you comply fully with the requirements for doing this.

b) The other party to the contract (the alarm company) breaches its obligations in some material, or significant way--for example, can't or doesn't provide the service you're paying for.

c) The other party had knowingly misrepresented, or lied, in some material way to get you to sign the contract, and you reasonable relied on that misrepresentation in entering into the agreement.

Apart from the above, there is generally no basis for getting out of a contract.


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