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.
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.
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.
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