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For Indiana collection attorneys and subrogation attorneys, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act is a 100 pound gorilla that permeates everything we do. There are many nuances for which Indiana collection attorneys and subrogation attorneys counsel clients and must abide by in order to be in compliance. The 7th Circuit just issued a ruling in Mark Suez v. Med-1 Solutions, LLC that has changed the game for everyone.
For years, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act was interpreted to allow attorneys and debt collectors to file lawsuits in any court residing in a judicial district. In the State of Indiana that meant that small claims cases could be filed in any of the township small claims courts. Indiana collection attorneys would often pick a township small claims court and file all of his/her cases in that court for convenience. Under Newsom v. Friedman, 76 F.3d 813 (7th Cir. 1996), this was not only appropriate but even encouraged.
Under Suez, the 7th Circuit changed everything. Not only did the 7th Circuit redefine districts, but it allowed its interpretation to be retroactive affecting a significant number of Indiana attorney’s practices and their cases. A judicial district or similar legal entity under Section 1692i of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is now defined as the smallest geographic area that is relevant for determining venue in the court system where a case could be filed. The Court ruling now requires Indiana collection attorneys, subrogation attorneys and debt collectors to file their lawsuits in either the township where the contract was signed or the township in which the defendant resides. Suez went further in remanding the case back for a determination of whether a class action should be certified against the medical collection agency defendant in the case.
Based on the Suez ruling, it is now important for Indiana collection attorneys, subrogation attorneys and debt collectors to file lawsuits against debtors in the proper township or county instead of where it is most convenient for them. This will certainly change the practice of many Indiana collection attorneys and subrogation attorneys that have chosen his or her own convenience over the convenience of the debtor. This Indiana collection attorney and subrogation attorney learned early on that the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act is designed to make things as convenient for the debtor as possible and already employed this practice so for me no change will be necessary. For those that do not change their practices though, there will be dire consequences and a likely damages claim for clients under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.
Jason Wischmeyer provides cost-effective collection litigation, always looking for the answer that moves money from the debtor’s pocket to yours. In commercial cases, each litigation step serves two goals – to prove the case, and to give the debtor another chance to decide that settlement is preferable to paying attorney’s fees to continue the defense.
Whether the matter is handled on an hourly fee, contingency fee or other fee, Jason Wischmeyer as a commercial litigators focuses on results, tailoring the litigation process to those steps best suited to the prove case and effect collection.
- Discovery practice tailored to the narrowest issues
- Motion practice intent on getting judgment entered
- Alternative Dispute Resolution o Mediation o Arbitration
Sometimes pursuing a simple commercial dispute reveals that the defendant is acting to hinder or delay your company’s ability to reach the assets to pay the claim. Jason Wischmyer has substantial experience with “bad actor” debtors and knows the tools to use to reach the hidden assets.
- Pre-judgment attachment (where available)
- Piercing the Corporate Veil
- Pursuit of Fraudulent Conveyanaces
Bankruptcy is a fact of life in the business credit community. Jason Wischmeyer has a decade of experience representing the interests of creditors when receivables become bankruptcy claims, and when paid accounts become the subject of preference litigation.
Jason Wischmeyer’s experience as creditor and debtor counsel allows him to work with your team on internal policies for handling files when the debtor files bankruptcy:
- Verification of bankruptcy filing
- Claim valuation and proper proof of claim procedures
- File handling procedures for avoiding stay violations
- Proper application of post-petition payments
Whether secured or unsecured, creditors have options worth exploring in order to minimize the loss or maximize the payout in a bankruptcy case. We identify issues and act to protect your interests as claimant in a bankruptcy case:
- Preference claim analysis
- Reclamation rights
- Administrative expense claims
- Representation on creditor’s committees
Litigation of adversary proceedings in bankruptcy court is a specialized litigation practice, where our experienced creditors’ attorneys provide thorough and cost-effective representation:
- Stay relief and claims actions
- Dischargeability actions
- Defense of preference or other avoidance actions
- Defense of Trustee Claims against a Creditor
When accounts receivable threaten to become bad debt, Jason Wischmeyer’s debt collections practice brings two decades of experience to the task of turning account losses into recoveries for your business.
Jason Wischmeyer provides collection services that are tailored to your requirements:
- Enforcement of lien and bond rights
- Recourse to collateral security, via replevin
- Pre-judgment attachment (where available)
- Bad Check collection procedures
- Collections on accounts
- Pre-Litigation Collection Agreements
Our pre-suit debt collection efforts are always focused on reaching an acceptable resolution, because settlement before suit remains the most cost- effective result. Negotiating and documenting a settlement through:
- Promissory Notes
- Confession of Judgment
- Voluntary surrender of collateral or assignment of assets
- Judgment Withholding Agreements for voluntary payments
If the matter cannot be resolved amicably, Jason Wischmeyer’s pre-suit investigation of the case and the debtor’s situation provides you with the current information upon which you can make an informed decision about proceeding with suit.
Effective post-judgment debt collections can convert a write off into a debt collection without throwing good money after bad. Our team of experienced debt collectors looks for the debtor’s assets likeliest to result in a recovery and recommend post-judgment remedies available in the effort to recover payment with an eye toward the costs relative to the benefits.
- Property liens
- Vehicle liens
- Sheriff’s levies and till taps
- Writ of Assistance and Bond to Apply toward Judgment (where permitted)
Jason Wischmeyer offers his Indiana debt collection services for reasonable fees that match your company’s needs and budget. Hourly fees, contingency fees, flat fees, and blended fees are all options which Jason Wischmeyer’s client have utilized and which might be appropriate for your debt collection matters.
There are two professionals every business will need early on: an accountant and a attorney. A good business attorney will provide vital assistance in almost every aspect of your business, from basic zoning compliance and copyright and trademark advice to formal business incorporation and lawsuits and liability.
Big Firm Service, Small Firm Feel.
Jason Wischmeyer has been a solo practitioner, attorney in a small law firm and now a senior attorney with a national law firm. As a senior attorney with a large national law firm, Jason has the resources to handle your lawsuits, negotiate your lease of office or retail space, file a patent or trademark, draft a software license agreement, advise you on terminating a disruptive employee, and oversee your corporate annual meeting. You will deal with one attorney that can orchestrate all of your legal matters without the need to deal with deal with two or three (or even more) attorneys.
As part of Gonzalez Saggio and Harlan, all the legal skills you need are “under one roof,” and we have a lot of clout in the local, regional and national legal community. A nasty letter from a “powerhouse” law firm with offices in 16 states is a lot more intimidating than a nasty letter from a solo practitioner who is not admitted to practice in the defendant’s state.
If you have received a lawsuit, you need an attorney yesterday!
Most small businesses put off hiring a attorney until the sheriff is standing at the door serving them with a summons. Bad mistake. The time to hook up with a good business attorney is before you are sued. Once you have been served with a summons and complaint, it’s too late–the problem has already occurred, and it’s just a question of how much you will have to pay (in court costs, attorneys’ fees, settlements and other expenses) to get the problem resolved.
America’s judicial system is a lot like a Roach Motel–it’s easy to get into court, but very difficult to get out once you’ve been “trapped.” Most attorneys agree that while nobody likes to pay attorneys’ fees for anything, but the fee a attorney will charge to keep you out of trouble is only a small fraction of the fee a attorney will charge to get you out of trouble once it’s happened.
Skills for your Business. Like doctors, attorneys are becoming increasingly specialized. Someone who does mostly wills, house closings and other “non-business” matters is probably not a good fit for your business. At the very least, you will need the following sets of skills that Jason Wischmeyer can provide:
1. Contracts. You will need a attorney who can understand your business quickly; prepare the standard form contracts you will need with customers, clients and suppliers; and help you respond to contracts that other people will want you to sign.
2. Business organizations. You will need a attorney who can help you decide whether a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) is the better way to organize your business, and prepare the necessary paperwork.
3. Real estate. Leases of commercial space–such as offices and retail stores–are highly complex and are always drafted to benefit the landlord. Because they tend to be “printed form” documents, you may be tempted to think they are not negotiable. Not so. Your attorney should have a standard “tenant’s addendum,” containing provisions that benefit you, that can be added to the printed form lease document.
4. Taxes and licenses. Although your accountant will prepare and file your business tax returns each year, your attorney should know how to register your business for federal and state tax identification numbers, and understand the tax consequences of the more basic business transactions in which your business will engage.
5. Intellectual property. If you are in a media, design or other creative-type business, it is certainly a “plus” if your attorney can help you register your products and services for federal trademark and copyright protection. Generally, though, these tasks are performed by specialists who do nothing but “intellectual property” legal work. If your attorney says he or she “specializes in small businesses,” then he or she should have a close working relationship with one or more intellectual property specialist.
6. Litigation. The mainstay of your business’ attorney’s skills. You need an attorney that not only can anticipate and avoid issues, but if those issues arise and your business get sued, then you must have an attorney that understands and can represent you in the litigation process. There are numerous aspects a business attorney must know including filing a lawsuit, filing an Answer, discovery, mediation, deposition and trials (both to a Judge and a Jury). When litigation arises, you will work closely with your attorney to get a resolution to your case quickly and efficiently that is in your client’s best interests.
Meet with your attorney regularly.
At first glance, this may not seem like a good way to keep costs down, but you’ll be amazed at how much it reduces the endless rounds of phone tag that plague busy entrepreneurs and attorneys. More important, a monthly five- or 10-minute meeting (even by phone) can save you substantial sums by nipping small legal problems in the bud before they have a chance to grow. A good attorney for your business should be familiar with all aspects of what you do so that he can anticipate issues and assist you in avoiding them before they arise.
Good attorneys prevent problems. Call your attorney when you “think _____ is going to happen” and get advice to make sure if that happens that you are protected. I cannot tell you how many of my clients have called me after something happens to fix a problem that could have been avoided or minimized. Calling your attorney before it happens lessens stress, minimizes problems and will cost you less money in the long run!
Call Jason Wischmeyer at 317-429-0210 and let me help you with a solution to your “what if” scenario that will protect you and minimize the impact to your business
Save Your Home
Stop Repossessions of Vehicles
Save Your Car
Eliminate Debts Like Credit Cards, Medical Bills and Other Money Owed
Eliminate Some Taxes
Filing for bankruptcy is not failure. In fact, it is a positive step in your financial future because by eliminating debt and getting a fresh start you are no longer overwhelmed by your credit card bills, medical bills, car payments, collection cases and other financial concerns. Often, bankruptcy is better than debt settlement. Here are specific benefits of filing bankruptcy that you will experience.
1. Eliminate Debts in As Few As Three Months
When filing for a Chapter 7, your debts can be completely discharged within three to six months of the filing date. Chapter 7 is the best option when there are high amounts of debt with a low chance of being able to pay back creditors. This option is best for those who wish to move forward with their lives within a short period of time.
2. Creditors Can’t Contact You While Your Case Is Pending
As soon as your Bankruptcy petition is filed your creditors must stop contacting you. They must also stop any pending legal action that they are taking against you. In other words, your creditors are no longer able to pursue you until after your court case is resolved. Additionally, any foreclosure proceedings that have been started must be stopped while your case in court. Any wage garnishments, must stop. Basically, you will be free from your creditors.
3. Obtain a Repayment Plan That You Can Afford
Chapter 13 bankruptcy is known as a reorganization of debts, rather than discharging them completely. Although creditors will still need to be repaid, minimum monthly payments will be lower than your debt payments are. In some cases, a bankruptcy filer may only be required to make payments for a specific period of time. Usually if debts are unable to be paid in full after 60 months, they will be forgiven.
4. Bankruptcy Gives You a Fresh Start and a New Beginning Financially
When you are finally out of debt, one of the largest weights of your life is lifted off your shoulders. You will be able to begin putting money in a savings account or even start an investment plan. You will begin to rebuild your credit and learn discipline with use of credit. It allows you to start fresh and pay your bills like “everybody else” (which is not exactly accurate but I know this is how you feel).
5. Much of Your Property Is Exempt from Creditors
If you have been considering using your 401k or IRA to pay your bills, you should file for bankruptcy instead. Your retirement accounts cannot be taken by the Trustee. Your house may also not be used to help repay your debt. Anyone who is going through foreclosure could file for bankruptcy in an effort to keep their house.
Bankruptcy can offer a fresh start to pursue financial independence. Contact Jason Wischmeyer at email@example.com or 317-429-0210 today to discuss the best option for you. During your free consultation with Jason Wischmeyer your financial situation can be reviewed to determine your best possible option.
I have heard before that there was no need to have a business attorney because “I am going into business with my friend”. The potential partners, whether in a corporation, limited liability company or some form of partnership, believed that everything would be happy forever because, like newly weds, they were in the honey moon period. Business endeavors are like marriages, happy when times are good and bad when things go awry. Having a business attorney assist you upfront will assist in avoiding disputes in the future.
It is hard to think about what will happen when times are bad. The business does not take off the way that things were expected. The partnership, although friends, had difficulty and different perceptions of how to spend money and develop the business. It happens in some of the biggest companies – consider that Steve Jobs was once ousted from Apple – and it can happen to new startups between friends.
Both friends should make certain that there is an operating agreement, corporate by-laws or partnership agreement that spells out what will happen in the event the worst case scenario happens. What about buyouts by one partner over others. What if one partner wants to quit. What if there is a need to accumulate debt and who will be personally responsible. These are the sorts of hard questions that business attorneys ask that nobody wants to answer. When finding out that there may be disagreements as to these issues is where an attorney can assist and help get things ironed out.
For example of how this can play out consider I have a friend that was a member in an LLC that is going through the perils of not having had me or another business attorney look at the agreement before signing up. You see, this friend is leaving the LLC for a better situation. The problem is the Operating Agreement was written VERY favorably to the LLC even though the partners had discussions about what would happen that are different than what the Operating Agreement says. The other members of the LLC are jealous that my friend is moving to a better situation and are trying to block that based on the operating agreement. So be it for friendship of partners.
This scenario and the impending litigation that will develop from my friend’s situation could have been avoided. You see, money changes things with any partnership. Like in a divorce, friendship goes out the window when it comes to severing the partnership as money takes over as the issue. A business attorney is there for you to avoid these issues in lieu of having to litigate such issues.
Hiring a business attorney does result in some initial expense. However, plannig with an attorney at the beginning of a partnership can save significant expenses with the attorneys if things change. Call business attorney, Jason Wischmeyer, to discuss your business partnership to know what your rights are and to make sure things are set up correctly according to what the partners expect and want to happen.