By Law Office of Bryan M. Grundon of Law Office of Bryan M. Grundon posted on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.
Greetings and Happy 2015. One of the interesting things about my practice is that I get to deal with people from all walks of life. I've dealt with sophisticated financiers, doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers, restaurant owners, MTV Real World Contestants, and professional athletes, to name a few. Despite the varied background and circumstances of people I deal with, I hear a lot of the same things from them and their attorneys. When I hear one of these oft repeated statements I think of Bill Murray's classic movie. In our first regular weekly post of the year I thought that I would cover a couple "Groundhog Day" issues that come up when attempting to resolve a matter.
1. "What is the lowest amount you will accept to resolve this?"
My job is to vigorously represent the interest of my client to the best of my ability. If I am working to actively get the best deal I can for an adverse party I am violating my duty of loyalty.
2. "XYZ creditor took 20 cents on the dollar. Why won't you?
Frequently, I will have attorneys, debt settlement companies and debtors call me and say, "I worked out a deal with XYZ creditor and they took 20 cents on the dollar. I hear that is the industry standard. Why won't you do it?" In my experience there really isn't an industry standard for collection of commercial or consumer debt. I am only using 20% as an example. I get a wide variety of percentages which furthers my point that there is no industry standard. I've dealt with a number of commercial clients, including some of the biggest banks, insurance companies and credit unions on the planet. Each has a different approach to litigation and settlement. There is no cookie cutter industry standard.
3. "You should take this extremely low settlement offer. If you don't I am just going to file bankruptcy and you will get nothing. Something is better than nothing."
I hear this all the time. This threat never changes my approach to litigation. Most of the time, the people that are making this threat to me do not file for bankruptcy protection. The people that are going to file bankruptcy simply hire attorneys and file the petition.
Effectively negotiating settlement is an essential skill for a collection attorney. Knowing what to expect and having a plan to respond can make all the difference in the world. Contact my office and see if we can help you collect your judgment.