FOX 11 helps local woman get out of beauty treatment debt

What happened to Janelle Hardwick could happen to you and, if it does, here’s how to deal with it.

Janelle Hardwick is an actress who usually plays court stenographers in shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Sandals. She was also in Ted 2. But, for months now, she’s been in a real life drama involving something she did to make herself feel better.

She went to an American Laser Skincare Center for treatments to improve her skin. Hardwick signed up for 24 treatments, but after 4 American Laser Skin Center in Irvine went bankrupt. 

To pay for her 24 treatments she sign up for an easy-pay financing plan. It was approved based on her credit, but the money went directly to American Laser Skincare Center. When the company went belly up the bank holding the loan came after her for payment even though she had not received 80% of the treatments promised.

She paid $409 for the four, but didn't think she should pay for the 20 she didn't get because of the bankruptcy. She disputed the charges and, that’s when she started getting calls from a collection agency “morning, noon and night!

She was beyond frustrated. When FOX 11 News began to look into this case we discovered this isn't just a one company issue. USC Law Professor Robert Rasmussen says there is always a risk of this kind of situation when a company goes bankrupt. Rasmussen says, “Under federal law she has the right not to pay because she didn't get what she bargained for."

“Basically,” he says, "you may have a right, but if you don't know about the right the bank is often not going to tell you."

And that, he says, is the bottom line!

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