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Commercial Debt Collection And Commercial Litigation Blog

Alford Law > Commercial Debt Collection And Commercial Litigation Blog

THE BEST TECHNOLOGY I USE IN MY LAW PRACTICE

  When I started practicing law thirty years ago, computers were almost non- existent in the practice of law. Perhaps the biggest Manhattan law firms had computers, but few other law firms used them. In fact, I did not have a computer until five years after I became licensed as a lawyer. My first computer literally came with 200 megabytes of storage on the hard drive. Yes, I said megabytes - the entire computer hard drive would hold just a few of today’s digital photos. And yet it held my thousands of legal documents and did just fine. Being a fan of...

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CAN I COLLECT MY COMPANY’S DEBT IF IT IS MORE THAN FOUR YEARS OLD?

It is possible to attempt to collect a debt in some cases even if the debt is more than four years old. The concept of a statutes of limitations, as arcane as those words sound, is familiar to most people. The phrase just means how long before the right to sue expires. This concept has existed as least as far back as the 13th century. The English cleric and jurist, Henry of Bracton, wrote De Legibus et Consuetudinibus Angliae (“On the Laws and Customs of England”) in 1250. This treatise dealt with the whether the king or the sovereign entity could...

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IS A JUDGMENT REALLY NOT WORTH ANY MORE THAN THE PAPER IT IS WRITTEN ON (or is there anything I can do with it other than wipe……….)??

While there are situations when a Judgment is very difficult to collect, we run into situations all the time where a company has a judgment against another company and simply fails to do anything with it. Doesn’t even try to do anything substantial to collect it. We worked with one company who owed money to a creditor and the creditor actually obtained a judgment-before we got involved in the case. We were just hired to try to work on a settlement of the judgment and obtain a payment arrangement. We waited and waited for the attorney who had obtained the judgment...

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DOCTOR THOUGHT HE COULD HIDE HIS ASSETS

Our firm was retained to collect a debt on behalf of a large medical supply company. A doctor owed them about $30,000.00 for supplies that he had received. He had not stated that he didn’t receive the supplies and didn’t dispute the amount or the quality of the items he received. He just didn’t want to pay. Prior to giving the case to me, the medical supply company had tried to work with him for quite some time. They called the doctor and send him demand letters over many months. Once we got the case, we started researching the doctor and...

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I AM A COLLECTION AGENCY, WHY DOES MY CLIENT NEED A LAWYER TO HELP THEM COLLECT THEIR DEBTS?

Texas prohibits any individual or company, either in Texas or out of state, from taking any action or giving any advice that constitutes the practice of law. Only lawyers licensed by the State Bar of Texas can take such actions. This can even result in enforcement action by the Supreme Court of Texas. The Supreme Court of Texas has a committee called “The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee”. This Committee has filed suit in Texas State Courts to stop collection agencies from giving any such advice or preparing or filing any document that would need to be prepared by a licensed...

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DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN BE SUED JUST FOR TRYING TO COLLECT YOUR OWN DEBT?

Believe it or not, Texas has a special law which states that a creditor must follow all the rules in it or they can be sued for violations of the provisions of the Act. The Texas Attorney General can even get involved against you. All the debtor has to do is go the Texas Attorney General website and fill out a Consumer Complaint form online and you could be contacted by the Texas Attorney General. There are even provisions that relate to criminal charges if a violation occurs. The potential pitfalls are many. The prohibitions relate to the total amount you...

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THE BEST AND WORST WAY TO WALK INTO A MEDIATION

The worst way to walk into a mediation is the way most people do it. The other side has really nothing to lose by not settling with you. The other side woke up that morning relaxed and had their coffee like normal and casually read the paper. There are no consequences to them for not settling the case. The best way to walk into a mediation is when the other side has a lot to lose and worry about if they do not settle the case during the mediation that day. They woke up being really concerned about what they will...

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Why you need a professional to help you with your debt collection; or “Why using an attorney is better than a collection agency”.

What can a collection agency can do vs. what an experienced collection attorney can do? A collection agency is basically only allowed to call a debtor and also write letters on behalf of the party who is owed the debt. They are not allowed to take any sort of legal action, file any documents in court or take any other action that would constitute legal services under the definition of the State Bar of Texas rules. On the other hand, a knowledgeable attorney can take much more substantial actions. They can send a demand letter threatening to file a lawsuit at...

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Are the post-petition sales proceeds from my Homestead exempt in bankruptcy?

Surprisingly, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that the proceeds from the sale of a Debtor’s homestead lose their exempt character if not reinvested within six-months — even when the sale takes place post-petition! In the Matter of Mark Allen Frost, ___ F.3d ___ (5th Cir. March 5, 2014) (Case No. 12-50811), the Court expanded on its prior decision in Matter of Zibman, 268 F.3d 298 (5th Cir. 2001). In Frost, the Debtor filed for bankruptcy and exempted his homestead elected to protect the property using the exemptions provided under the Texas Property Code. Subsequently, Debtor sold his homestead...

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I think I have an FDCPA Claim. How long do I have to bring suit?

A creditor’s has a right to sue you in Texas within four years of your default. However, a debtor’s right to sue is relatively brief. The statute of limitations for FDCPA claims is only one year and many FDCPA claims are lost because too much time has passed between the violation and the time legal review was sought. If you believe you have an FDCPA claim, contact the Texas Consumer Law attorneys with Alford & Muncey, PLLC for a free case evaluation. Remember, he who hesitates is lost....

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