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Me, Lawsuit Crazed?
   by Ray Como   

For years we have filed landlord/tenant lawsuits and mostly we have won. We always get awarded possession when we seek it. Usually we are awarded judgment, but we seldom collect.

It is important that you learn how to get a judgment. Ah, but the next, the fun step is called execution, and that's how you collect. Answer this question: Doesn't "learning how to collect" also mean you are learning "how to judgment-proof" you and yours.

Yes, we have paid our "tuition." (Translation: We have paid the filing fees and played lawyer.) Now, in the spirit of constant and never-ending learning, we have taken six lawsuits to the next level. Collection! What an education! What a seminar! Get a load of what we have in progress:

CASE: Raymond Como vs. Sally, (a former commissioned salesperson we hired and fired.) --We were willing to give Sally a try so we hired her on a straight commission basis. When we let her go, we had given her $750 too much draw against commission. We asked her to return the money. She refused. We asked her again. She refused again. We wrote her letters. She did not respond. We sent reminders. She ignored them. We sued her in J.P. court. We won. She appealed. We responded to her appeal. Then she erred. She did not respond (within 20 days) to our response. Under our local Rules Of Civil Procedure, by not responding, Sally lost by default. She did not lose because she was right or wrong, mind you, she lost because we knew the rules of the game better than she did.

Last week was the 21st day, so we ran to the court house, we paid for and got our default judgment. (I.e. we got a general judgment against her name and all her assets.) In the same trip we instructed the county sheriff to visit her bank and garnish her accounts. Then we instructed the sheriff to levy her personal property and list it for sale. Then we sent a form to the state requesting information about her ownership of any vehicles. This "general judgment" gave us a lien against her principal residence but we can't execute on it because she owns it jointly with her husband, "by the entireties."

Next week we look to hear from the sheriff about the garnishment and the levy, and the state about her vehicles. Hopefully, we'll get paid. As this series of articles continues, we'll let you know what happens.

Four years later…Sally tries to refinance her home and can you believe it, we got paid $1,331, including 18% interest!

The point is this: I learned the tricks of this trade at Hard Knocks U., one case at a time. I'm sharpening my teeth at this very moment and I think I'm doing well, but I'm not even sure what I don't know yet!

Remember this: Sally doesn't have a lot of assets, and $750 is not really a lot of money...but what about you? What do you have to lose? What could be the size of a claim against you? How much could you lose? Could your exposure bust your bank? So now, for the fun of it, imagine what a sharp attorney (who does know all the rules) could do to you! Just think, you could lose (like Sally did), just because you didn't know how to play the game!

It's important for you to know: That our entire legal system is based on English Common Law; that you may reference any case since the Magna Carta was signed and that this information is readily available to you should you choose to seek it. Yes, it is frustrating at times because the attorneys have it rigged so it's hard for you to understand let alone play and win but just remember, the pleasure truly is in the seeking.

I'm doing this for four personal reasons:

  1. I want to learn how to collect money that is owed to our corporations
  2. It better teaches me how to judgment-proof our assets because I now know (from experience) much of what can happen when someone knows how to collect.
  3. It allows me to bring added value to you my readers, my customers and my clients by writing articles of this genre—and,
  4. It's fun!

In coming literary works, I will reveal to you some clever gambits we have discovered in this latest chapter of our exciting Entrepreneurial Life. I will tell you about a case of a tenant who defaulted on a lease; how we sued; how she filed a counterclaim, lied in court and won and how we appealed and won. I will you about an appliance dealer who made the same 20-day mistake as Sally did; how we got a judgment and how we got paid just moments before we went before the judge. I'll tell you about Rule 12 Motions, which when translated means "delay motions." I'll tell you how to open a judgment, a motion to strike, discovery, and a summary judgment. I'll tell you what books to buy, where to look up pertinent information and literally how to play this game.

© MMI By Ray Como. All Rights Reserved

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Ray Como has created, produced, copyrighted and self-published 15 audio cassette programs and lots of other forms and tools for business, real estate, corporations, selling, marketing, finance, management and Entrepreneurship.
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