Question from Lan, What Should I Do If I Sold My Business and the New Owner Didn’t Transfer or Pay the Phone Bills?
Answer from AI:
When you sell a business, it’s crucial to ensure that all accounts, contracts, and liabilities are properly transferred to the new owner. If this isn’t done, you could find yourself in a situation where you’re held responsible for unpaid bills, as you’ve described. Here are some general steps you might consider:
1. Review Your Sales Agreement
The first step is to review the sales agreement you had with the buyer. This document should outline who is responsible for what, including the transfer of utilities and other ongoing expenses. If the agreement states that the buyer was responsible for transferring the phone account into their name, you may have a legal basis to dispute the debt.
2. Contact the Phone Company
Next, contact the phone company to explain the situation. Provide them with a copy of the sales agreement if it shows that the new owner was responsible for the account. The phone company may be willing to transfer the debt to the new owner, or at least stop any further collection efforts against you.
3. Consult with a Lawyer
If the phone company is unwilling to resolve the issue, or if the sales agreement doesn’t clearly state who was responsible for the phone account, you should consult with a lawyer. They can provide advice tailored to your specific situation and may be able to help you negotiate with the phone company or the new owner.
4. Dispute the Debt
If you’re contacted by a collection agency, you have the right under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to dispute the debt. You must do this in writing within 30 days of being contacted by the collection agency. If you dispute the debt, the collection agency must stop all collection efforts until they can provide verification of the debt.
5. Protect Your Credit
Unpaid bills can negatively impact your credit score. You can protect your credit by disputing the debt with the credit reporting agencies if it appears on your credit report. You should also consider monitoring your credit reports to ensure no other unexpected debts appear.
Remember: This information is general in nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations can vary by state and individual circumstances. Always consult with a legal professional for advice tailored to your specific situation.