Want to sue Rent-A-Center in small claims court?

How to Sue Rent-A-Center

Your Rent-A-Center Contract probably says you can’t sue Rent-A-Center in any court except Small Claims Court, thanks to an arbitration clause. But that is still a decent way to get compensation, so long as you follow the steps we outline below.


Make sure your claim qualifies before you sue Rent-A-Center.

Ready to sue Rent-A-Center in small claims court? Well you need to make sure your claim qualifies. Small claims courts are only for certain types of claims, so pay attention to these two things:

  1. The amount of money: Every small claims court has a maximum dollar size for the claim you can bring which means your claim has to fall within those limits otherwise it won’t qualify. If, for example, you had car damage in the area of $9,000 in damages, it would be too high for Colorado but not Delaware. For most states that limit is between $2,500 or $10,000, but it can be as low as $2,500. Look at each state here.
  2. The type of relief: There are two types of awards that you can normally ask for in a lawsuit,  monetary (a dollar value payment) and equitable (any non-monetary request). So, if you had car damages and need a new car or new car parts, that would be equitable. Most small claims courts can only grant monetary awards so in this case you would only be able to ask for the monetary value of the car/car parts.

If your claim doesn’t fall within the limits of your state’s small claims court, you’ll have to arbitrate your claim instead.


Send a demand letter.

If you want to sue Rent-A-Center in small claims court, you likely have to send them a demand letter first. This is a straightforward process where you ask them to voluntarily fix the problem before you sue Rent-A-Center.

It can be a few sentences in length, as long as it states who you are, what your problem is, and how you want them to fix it.

Then mail a hard copy of the letter, preferably as certified mail or some other service that allows you to confirm delivery, to their legal address at:

Rent-A-Center, Inc.

If you would like examples of demand letters or more information about how to write them, you can find an excellent guide here.


Fill out court forms.

If they did not respond to the demand letter, it’s time to move forward and sue Rent-A-Center.
In order to sue Rent-A-Center in small claims court, you now need to fill out forms. Every state is different but on your state court website you should be able to find the right forms for free. Some counties have different forms too, so look for that during your research.

Make sure you fill out enough forms. Most courts require you bring 3 or 4 (so that they can have one, you can have one, and the defendant can have one). If you don’t have enough, you will have to try again another day.


File the complaint forms with the court.

With the forms done, it is time to “file”.

Most courts require you to file in person, which means you have to come to the right court during certain hours and days to hand-deliver the forms to the court’s clerk. Other courts may allow you to file by mail, fax or (for a few courts) online. You can find this information, again, on your state court website.

When you go to sue Rent-A-Center you will have to pay a small claims court fee first. The amount should also be published on your court’s website, and can sometimes be waved if you are a low income plaintiff.

When you file your forms, the court clerk will provide you with a stamped copy of the forms and a court date. Save that for later.


“Serve” your forms on Rent-A-Center.

This is a long process, but at this point, you have to take one of the stamped copies and “serve” the other company. This is where you tell them that you moved ahead to sue Rent-A-Center, formally.
There are specific rules for how this is to be done, based on your state and county. Look up the rules on your state court website or search for “[your state] small claims service of process”. No matter how strange the rules about how to serve a defendant are, you need to follow them all otherwise your claim will be dropped.

Show up for court.

When the court clerk gives you a court date (after you file your forms), that is your official hearing date. Be sure to put it on your calendar.

When that date comes around, go to the right courthouse and bring your copy of your filed forms, and any other evidence that backs up why you want to sue Rent-A-Center.

Sometimes, Rent-A-Center will not show up to oppose you, other times they will. Regardless, this is your chance to explain to the judge what happened and why you deserve compensation.

Ready to sue Rent-A-Center in small claims court?
If this sounds too hard and expensive, try consumer arbitration instead…

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