The firm represents clients on both sides of collection matters during all phases of the collections process, from pre-litigation demands through post-judgment collection activities. The firm's counsel has successfully reaped and prevented collection of millions of dollars for clients. On the creditor side (those who are owed the money), the firm takes steps to help ensure the client strategically selects those collection alternatives most likely to succeed. On the debtor side, counsel assesses the client's circumstance and helps the client navigate through the minefield of potentially and unnecessarily providing monies owed to others.
Less complex collection matters typically resolve on a relatively shorter time frame with either a payment plan or a judgment with post-judgment collection activity (or a combination of the two if there is a default under the payment plan). Representative experience includes:
As an example, we may file suit on behalf of a client, obtain a judgment, and then garnish wages and/or levy upon the debtor's bank accounts. Alternatively, and depending upon the client's wishes and circumstance, we may foreclose upon real estate owned by the debtor. Where and when possible, we will negotiate a payment plan agreeable to those involved.
Collection matters can be more complicated due to the parties' contractual obligations and other circumstances, most typically the fact more substantial monies are involved. Two representative examples of complicated collection matters include:
Defended guarantors in a collection lawsuit brought by a bank against the borrower winery and guarantors to recover over $4.0 million in defaulted business and construction loans. The guarantors alleged the bank had improperly made the loans by failing to conduct adequate due diligence into the financial strength of the winery business and that it had improperly loaned the money before the winery had engaged a general contractor. The bank had issued the loan notwithstanding some arguable prior evidence of manager embezzlement. As a result, the guarantors argued they were exempt from liability under the law. This matter involved two applications for appointment of a receiver; an application for right to attach order and for issuance of writ of attachment; petition for order of reference; writ of mandate; various stipulations between the parties; motion for relief from bankruptcy stay, and a motion for summary judgment.
Defended parties in a lawsuit involving an investment group that loaned money to a corporation. The investment group also sued the borrower’s successor corporation and the parent company of those two corporations. The investment group claimed the borrowing corporation fraudulently entered into a stock transaction with the parent company for a claimed $8 million in stock in which the consideration was the investor group's loaned money. The borrowing corporation's president had been the investment group's main investor. While all parties acknowledged the investor group was owed money, the parties disputed the amount owed due to issues such as whether the stock transaction and transfer of assets to a successor corporation constituted fraudulent conveyances and whether the conduct of the borrower's president (i.e. the investor group's main investor) should reduce the amount owed, as he had allegedly engaged in breaches of fiduciary duty involving unwaived conflicts of interest, self-dealing and payment of personal expenses with company monies.