Can Principals of a Closely Held Entity Be Personally Liable for the Debt of the Entity

Our collection attorneys find time and time again small businesses ignore corporate formalities. At our Florida Collection Law Firm, we investigate to see if corporate formalities have in fact been followed. If not our collection lawyers will seek to pin personal liability for corporate debt on the principals of these entities. The principals of these single member limited liability companies or closely held companies simply take these forms with the illusion, it will shield them from personal liability for the debt these entities incur. This is a mistake.
Our collection lawyers look for commingling of corporate funds with the personal funds of the principals and/ or the use of corporate funds for expenses that our clearly not business related. Good examples are expenses for purchase of movie tickets, repeated charges to restaurants and or charges incurred at Universal Studios or Disney World. One of the biggest mistakes our collection attorneys find is the principals of the debtor entities do not file their annual reports with the department of corporations. This causes the entity to become administratively dissolved.

 Collection  Attorney and Collection Law Firm

Collection Attorney and Collection Law Firm

Please feel free to contact our collection attorney at our debt collection law firm and speak to our collection lawyers about the specifics facts surrounding your debt collection case. We will discuss the possibility of pursuing the principals of closely held entities for the debt owed to your company. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a strategy for your debt collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

Pre-Litigation Debt Collection Stategies

Upon receipt of a new claim for collection in our office, our collection attorney and debt collection paralegals review your collection case. Initially  our debt collection firm is  trying to determine if the debtor is still a viable entity or perhaps the principals of the corporation or limited liability have opened up a new entity or shifted assets to themselves. Depending on the results of our investigation and appropriate demand letter for payment of your debt is sent.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Aggressively Pursuing Our Clients’ Interests

Our law firm demands that payment be made for the amount that is due and owing to our debt collection clients. The collection demand letter sent to the debtor serves several purposes. The first is to let the debtor know that our collection firm has been retained by the creditor. We are also able to determine if the address is valid to serve the summons and debt collection lawsuit on the defendant if our collection attorneys are unable resolve the matter pre-litigation, During this initial period of time, our collection attorneys will also determine the corporate identity of the debtor.
The lawyers from our debt collection law firm will make telephone demands on the debtor. Our collection firm strives to give our debt collection clients an assessment as to the prospects of collecting their money on their past due receivables. In this tough economy our attorneys try to determine if there is a legitimate dispute on the account, the debtor has cash flow problems or simply is flat out ignoring demand for payment of the debt. . If we are unsuccessful collection our client’s money at this stage, a debt collection strategy is discussed with our collection law clients.

Please feel free to contact our collection attorney at our debt collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection lawyer about the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a strategy for your collection matter.
Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE A DEBT COLLECTION CASE TO GET TO TRIAL

 

Clients often ask our debt collection lawyers how long it takes to go to trial. In Florida after the defendant is served with a collection lawsuit, the defendant will have twenty days to respond to the complaint. If there is no response to the complaint, our law firm will file a motion to enter default and default judgment by filing an affidavit of proof executed by our client. If the Judge is satisfied with the proofs contained in the affidavit the Court will enter Default Judgment.

Florida Collection  Attorney and Collection Law Firm

Florida Collection Attorney and Collection Law Firm

If a debtor retains an attorney to defend the debt collection lawsuit, the complaint can be met with defensive motions attacking the merits of the complaint. Often in a collection law case, these motions are delay tactics to buy the debtor more time. Our law firm wants to schedule these motions quickly on the Court’s motion calendar to get these defensive motions resolved. Once we are able to get past defensive motions, after an answer is filed, the Florida Court Rules allow our collection firm to Notice the case for trial. Once the Court receives the Notice for trial, it will select a trial docket and set forth pre-trial procedures to be followed in terms of discovery and mediation. Most cases in Florida are required to attend mediation prior to trial. Depending on the county, our firm can usually get a contested litigation matter to trial within four to six months.

Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection attorney about the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a collection strategy for your Florida collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

The Purpose of an Attorney Demand Letter in a Collection Case

Upon receipt of a new claim in our office, our lawyers send  a debt collection demand letter to the debtor. Our law firm demands that payment be made for the amount that is due and owing to our debt collection clients. The collection demand letter sent to the debtor serves several purposes. The first is to let the debtor know that our collection firm has been retained by the creditor. We are also able to determine if the address is valid to serve the summons and debt collection lawsuit on the defendant if  our collection attorneys  are unable  resolve the matter pre-litigation.

Florida Collection  Attorney and Collection Law Firm

Florida Collection Attorney and Collection Law Firm

During this initial period of time, our collection attorneys will also determine the corporate identity of the debtor. The lawyers from our debt collection law firm will make telephone demands on the debtor. Our collection firm strives to give our  debt collection clients an assessment as to the prospects of collecting their money on their past due receivables. In this tough economy our attorneys try  to determine if there is a legitimate dispute on the account, the debtor has cash flow problems or simply is flat out ignoring demand for payment of the debt.

Please feel free to contact our collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection lawyer about the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a strategy for your collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

 

 

Can I Collect Attorneys’ Fees Without a Written Agreement in a Florida Collection Case

Yes, typically in order for a creditor to collect attorney’s fees from the debtor there would be to have a credit application, purchase order or invoice that clearly stated that in the event the creditor has to proceed to take collection action, the debtor would be responsible to pay for the reasonable fees and costs of collection. Without any writing allowing for recovery of attorney’s fees, depending on the facts of the case, there may be a Florida Statute that would allow for the award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in the litigation. Absent the above, the general rule in Florida is that each party is responsible for their own attorneys’ fees.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Aggressively Pursuing Our Clients’ Interests  Tempered by Seasoned Professionalism

However, if there are no provision for attorneys’ fees in the creditor’s documents, a Florida creditor may wish to consider a Proposal for Settlement. In short by filing a proposal for settlement, the creditor would need to be awarded at least twenty-five (25%) percent more than its offer to the defendant. Thus, if a creditor was owed $100.00 and filed an offer for settlement of $50.00, the creditor would need to have a court award at least $75.00 or more. If the creditor extends such an offer and the debtor does not timely accept the offer and the Court awards at least 25% more than the offer, the creditor can apply to the Court for an award of its attorneys’ fees from the date the offer was to have been accepted.

This can be an effective strategy to get a debtor to be more realistic about settling a case. The drawback for the creditor would be that if the debtor accepted the offer for settlement, the creditor would have to settle for 25% less of the full value of the case. Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection attorney about Offers for Settlement and the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a collection strategy for your Florida collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

Can Officers of a Corporation Be Personally Liable for Goods Shipped or Sevices Provided

Yes, in instances of fraud or if it is proven that the officers made negligent misrepresentations of fact, the officers of a corporation can be held personally liable for the debt of a corporation. A good example would be when the debtor corporation places an order for $1,000.00 of goods and or services but, in reality the corporation, at the time, only had the financial ability to pay for $150.00 . When subsequently trying to collect money due, a creditor should revisit the representations made by the debtor’s agents or employees pertaining to the credit transaction.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Collection Lawyer

“Aggressively Pursuing Our Clients’ Interests  Tempered by Seasoned Professionalism”

If a creditor is anyway mislead as to the debtor’s creditworthiness, or it can be shown that the officers of the debtor corporation knew or should have known the debtor could not afford the goods or services (equitable insolvency), a creditor may be able to impose personal liability on the officers.Please feel free to contact our collection law firm and speak to our collection attorney about the specific facts surrounding your debt collection case. You  can email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a  collection strategy for your company.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

Stipulation For Settlement in a Florida Collection Case

Stipulations for Settlement are used in Florida debt collection cases when the debtor cannot commit to pay the full amount due and owing to the creditor in one lump sum payment. The Stipulation sets forth payment terms that are enforced by the Florida Courts. If the debtor makes all installments as agreed, there are no consequences to the debtor. However, if the debtor misses a payment, Judgment is entered for the full amount agreed upon in the Stipulation, less payments previously received and credited to the debtor. Once Judgment is entered post judgment enforcement steps can be taken.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Florida Collection Attorney

Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection attorney about the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a strategy for your Florida collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

Officer and Director Liabilty in a Florida Collection Case

OFFICER DIRECTOR LIABILITY

Our collection law firm continually looks for ways to assert personal liability on an officer or director of a corporation (“officer- director liability”) when there are no personal guarantees on the account. One way is to see if the corporation is still active on the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations website. If the corporation has been administratively dissolved, we look for the effective date of the administrative dissolution. If goods and services were provided during the time that the debtor was administratively dissolved, our collection attorney will assert that the officer is personally liable for the debt because the corporation no longer was officially in existence at the time. Recent case law in Florida, however, has indicated that if a corporation reinstates, the reinstatement would absolve the officer from liability.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Florida Collection Attorney

Our collection firm does not stop there. There our other ways to assert officer director liability. We assert that the debtor corporation was under capitalized at the time the corporation placed the order for goods or services. Thus, we assert the officers and directors had knowledge of this fact or should have known this fact. A prudent director would not order $100.00 worth of product with only $5.00 dollars in the bank. We state our cause of action in the collection lawsuit as fraud.

Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection lawyer about the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a strategy for your Florida collection matter.

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487
(561)953-4600
fax(561)953-4610
steve@gebelofflaw.com

 

 

Welcome Marianella Caldera

Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A. is pleased to announce Marianella Caldera will be joining the firm as a Paralegal. Ms. Caldera  received her Juris Doctor in Venezuela in 1995 and will oversee our firms international debt collection matters. Ms. Caldera is fluent in Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Florida Collection Attorney

For further information on how our firm can help you collect your domestic and or international collection  accounts, please feel free to call us at  (888)-345-8677 , (561)953-4600 or email us at steve@gebelofflaw.com.

 

Debtor Stall Tactics in a Florida Debt Collection Case

Once a Florida Debt Collection case is filed, the debtor by hiring a Florida lawyer, can stall your debt collection efforts. Time is money not only to Florida creditors but, to Florida debtors as well. A common strategy to stall which is utilized by Florida debtors is to file a motion to dismiss your collection lawsuit. In Florida by filing such a motion, it prevents a Florida collection attorney to indicate to the Judge that the debt collection case is ready to be placed on the trial docket.

Stephen Gebeloff Florida Colletion Lawyer

Florida Collection Attorney

Our Florida collection lawyer must set the debtor’s motion for a hearing. The hearing may take several weeks to get on the Judges calendar. Once the motion to dismiss the debt collection lawsuit is before the Judge, the Judge will either deny the motion or grant the motion allowing the Florida collection lawyer an opportunity to amend the collection lawsuit.

The goal of any collection attorney and collection law firm is to get the collection case before the Judge as quickly as possible. In Florida, our collection law firm cannot set the case on the trial docket until thirty days after the debtor’s counsel files an answer to the collection lawsuit. Thus, by filing motions to dismiss the collection lawsuit, the debtor’s attorney can delay the collection case by weeks and or months before it reaches a Judge.

Before trial in a debt collection case a collection attorney may try to file a motion for summary judgment. But, any material fact or facts that a debtor can bring before the court in a debt collection case will defeat a summary Judgment Motion.

Our debt collection firm’s goal is to advance the case to trial and judgment as quickly as possible. We welcome you to call or email our firm to discuss a debt collection strategy that is just right for you.