Creditor's Rights

San Diego Creditors' Rights Attorneys

Helping Companies Collect Debt Fairly

When your company does not receive due payment owed for goods or services provided, you have rights as a creditor. Our business lawyers in San Diego can review your options and possible remedies available to enforce your creditor rights and collect money due. If the debtor files bankruptcy, we can also represent you as a creditor in the bankruptcy proceeding.

Having qualified counsel through this time is essential to the success of your collection. Call (858) 360-7080 to discuss your case with the team at Purdy & Bailey, LLP.

What Are My Options to Collect a Secured or Unsecured Debt?

Depending on the situation, the best way to collect a debt may simply be to have us write a demand letter and / or default notice to the debtor. Demand letters, threats of legal action and negotiation may be enough to collect in full or work out a payment plan.

If out-of-court collection efforts do not work, or if it is not the right path for the specific situation, we will take legal action. If your debt is secured by property or real estate, we can begin the process of repossession or foreclosure. If the debt is secured by personal property, a remedy called “replevin” or “claim and delivery” assists creditors to recover collateral quickly.

To collect an unsecured debt, you must first obtain a judgment in a court of law. Once the case is filed and the debtor has been served legal process, we will prove the debt to the court and obtain a judgment in the amount owed. If the debtor does not respond to the petition or fails to attend a court hearing, we can obtain a default judgment.

How Do I Collect on a Judgment?

Once you have obtained a judgment or a court order that verifies you are owed a legal debt, we can then take steps to collect if the debtor continues to refuse to pay.

A few methods of collection include:

  • Liens on property - We can record an attachment lien on real estate owned by the debtor to force payment or foreclosure of the property.
  • Asset seizure - We can file an attachment lien on personal property, similar to real estate, to seize the asset to obtain payment. This can include automobiles, business assets, and bank accounts.
  • Garnishment and levy - We can file a wage garnishment and levy to collect payment from a debtor’s wages, salary or bank accounts.

Is There A Time Limit To Take Legal Action To Collect A Debt In California?

Yes, there are time restrictions known as statutes of limitations that must be followed before filing a lawsuit to recover a debt. In California, the majority of debt collection methods have a four-year statute of limitations. This time frame begins on the day the debtor violated the terms of the agreement, usually on the day the payment was expected but not made.

However, it is essential to note that this timeframe can vary depending on the type of debt:

  • Written Contracts: The statute of limitations is four years. This applies to contracts that are explicitly documented and signed by both parties.
  • Oral Contracts: For verbal agreements, the statute of limitations is two years. This shorter timeframe highlights the importance of having clear, written contracts.
  • Promissory Notes: Debts evidenced by promissory notes also have a four-year statute of limitations.
  • Open-Ended Accounts: For open accounts, such as credit card debts, the statute of limitations is generally four years from the last payment or charge.

Taking timely legal action is crucial. If you do not file a lawsuit within the applicable statute of limitations, you may lose the right to collect the debt through the court system. Consulting with knowledgeable creditors’ rights attorneys in San Diego can help ensure you take the appropriate steps within the allowed timeframe. Speak with qualified attorneys at as soon as possible.

How Does A Business Initiate Wage Garnishment?

To initiate wage garnishment to recover unpaid debts, a business must follow a series of legal steps. As experienced San Diego creditors’ rights attorneys, we at Purdy & Bailey, LLP can guide you through this process to ensure compliance with California law.

Obtain a Court Judgment

The first step in the wage garnishment process is obtaining a court judgment against the debtor. This judgment confirms that the debtor owes the specified amount. To secure this, you must file a lawsuit and win the case, after which the court will issue a judgment in your favor.

File a Writ of Execution

Once you have the court judgment, the next step is to file a writ of execution with the court. This document allows the local sheriff or marshal to enforce the judgment by garnishing wages. It is crucial to include all necessary details, such as the amount to be collected and the debtor's employer information.

Serve the Employer

After obtaining the writ of execution, it must be served on the debtor’s employer. The sheriff or marshal typically handles this service. The employer will then be legally required to withhold a portion of the debtor’s wages and remit them to you until the debt is paid off.

Employer Response and Compliance

Upon receiving the writ, the employer has a specific period to respond and begin the garnishment process. California law limits the amount that can be garnished to 25% of the debtor's disposable earnings or the amount by which the debtor's weekly income exceeds 40 times the state minimum wage, whichever is less.

Consulting with skilled creditors’ rights lawyers in San Diego can help you navigate the intricacies of wage garnishment and ensure that you recover the unpaid debts efficiently. Our team is here to support you through every step of the process. Contact us to discuss your situation and explore your legal options.

Mechanics’ Liens & Mechanic Lien Release for the Construction Industry

If you are working in the construction industry, a mechanic’s lien can guarantee your right to payment. In California, the right to a mechanic lien is written into the state’s constitution. If the business or homeowner refuses to pay a contractor or subcontractor, he or she will not be able to sell the property with a lien attached, and we can force a foreclosure to collect.

Questions About Creditors Rights? Ask Our Firm!

If your business is owed money and you want to find out your options for collection, do not hesitate to contact our office. Our San Diego business litigation attorneys are well experienced when litigating and preparing contracts related to business disputes, real estate, and all the intersections in between.

Let Purdy & Bailey, LLP guide you through this time. Contact the firm at (858) 360-7080.

What Our Clients Are Saying
  • "I was immediately put at ease with the treatment I received and attention to detail. "
    John G.
  • “I recommend Purdy and Bailey with a 5 star review.”

  • “Purdy and Bailey are the real deal.”

Contact Purdy & Bailey, LLP

Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (858) 360-7080
We are Ready When You Are.