In my last article, I explained how we have been playing in the court system. Well this past year we played in the court system a lot. We took our Landlord/Tenant cases to the next level. It's called the Court of Common Pleas and you might even call it "big boy court."
Do you notice how often I used the word "play" when I'm describing some aspect of this game called Entrepreneurship? Remember that.
Thrice I filed pre-trial motions. Once I got paid right before we went before the judge. Twice, when I didn't really know the rules, the judge fluffed me out of there saying something like "a client who represents himself has a fool for an attorney." Ah, but the third time was a charm.
This is a story about a tenant who defaulted on a lease; how I sued for $125.83 plus costs; how she filed a counterclaim, lied in court and won and how I appealed. For this suit, I was representing one of my corporations as an individual, and the opposing attorney filed a motion saying I was practicing law without a license, and proceeded to quote the Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure that stated that an individual couldn't legally represent a corporation. Yes, the rule specifically states that a corporation must be represented by a lawyer, must sue and be sued in the name of the corporation.
Now watch this...
I stood up and said "your honor, I took an assignment of that lease..." He looked at me incredulously as if he was about to fluff me out of there for the third time. But no such luck! I knew the Real Estate game better than anybody else in that courtroom and I knew it.
I approached his bench with my executed assignment of lease in hand. Raymond Como, President was the grantor of the assignment and Raymond Como, Individual was the grantee. It was all properly executed and done at arms length. He took it, looked at it; looked at me and the opposing attorney and said "Dismissed. Start over. Mr. Como, you have twenty days to file an amended complaint clarifying this." Guess what? The defendant, my opponent has already paid over $400 in legal fees and I enjoyed attending this court room class for the small cost of my filing fees.
Afterwards, the attorney looked at me and said "let's just drop the whole thing," and chuckled "it's just like L.A. Law, ain't it?" I laughed politely and thought silently "I'm going to re-file this thing anyway and his client can just keep paying and paying and paying."
So I did. The twentieth day was New Years Eve and I showed up to filed my amended complaint at 4:00 p.m. that very day. I simply explained how I buy mortgages, liens, leases and judgments on the open market, that I always buy these defaulted judgments, claims and rights for 10 cents on the dollar from mine or any corporation that get stuck with them and don't know how to execute.
A week later, the attorney called and again offered to drop the whole thing if I would. He said his client just didn't want me to report her to the credit bureau and the dreaded "Landlord Blacklist." I said "that's easy for you to say, you got paid to do the work you did!" I said "I have an idea. How about if your client just pays me that $125.83 plus costs; and instead of promising to not say anything bad, I'll write her a glowing reference letter explaining how she came to her senses. That way," I added, "she'll have me on her side instead of ruthlessly against her."
Two days later he called and said his client has vehemently rejected my offer and wants to "have her day in court."
"Fine with me" I said. "Let's rock n' roll!"
My opponents had twenty days to answer my amended complaint saying they were going to defend. Instead they filed an eleven page objection to my amended complaint. Eleven pages! A brief with apparently lots of research, and an order of court asking the judge to restate what he had just said the last time. Wow.
This defendant just doesn't get it, does she. She is having her attorney do exactly what I want him to do. Work and work and work—and study and study—and mail and motion—and type—and call me—and simply...TEACH ME THIS GAME!!!
What will my response be? Easy! It will consist of the stuff I learned from my good pals at Laughlin Associates, Inc. and The Corporation Manual. I have resolutions saying the President is authorized to sell defaulted paper the corporation owns for whatever price the market will bear. I have the proper minutes explaining the day we decided the same. I have written correspondence between me, personally, and me, that "president." I have receipts that create a complete, legal and arms length paper trail. I have ads that I always run and letters and post cards that clearly say that we buy liens, judgments and mortgages. And yes, I do buy those defaulted ones at about 10 cents on the dollar.
As you know, my corporate strategies are always patterned after those commonly used in the open marketplace and that, my friend is what gives them credibility.
In closing, let me explain that my insatiable quest for knowledge has led me to articulate my unstoppable courtroom philosophy:
When we win, we win.
If we lose, we still win because we just got smarter
…at your expense and time!
Try to defend against that!
© MMI By Ray Como. All Rights Reserved
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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