Aggressively Asserting Clients' Rights In Commercial Collections

Hatkoff & Minassian, A Law Corporation, focuses its practice in the commercial litigation, creditor-debtor and collections areas for institutional and smaller clients located throughout the United States who are owed money by customers or others located in or having assets in California. Our lawyers serve clients in the financial, food, beverage, clothing, insurance, construction, medical and transportation industries. Many of our clients are national companies that sell products or services in the state of California.

With over 43 years of experience in collections and commercial litigation, the firm's founder, attorney Bruce Hatkoff, has developed a system that is both effective and efficient in convincing debtors that its client's obligation should be a prioritization, elevated to the top of its list for payment.

"When a customer needs your product or service, you have a high priority with that company," said Bruce Hatkoff. "However, when the customer stops paying (and becomes a debtor) and you cut them off, the importance of paying you decreases. When our clients come to us, their obligation is no longer at the top of the priority list for the debtor. Our focus is to change the debtor's priority. We do that by making promises to the debtor as to what will occur if any particular matter is not immediately resolved. The first step is to send a demand letter which clearly sets forth the course of action. The second step (if there is no timely response to the demand letter) is to commence the litigation process by filing a lawsuit. At this juncture we normally capture the debtor's attention. We aggressively assert our client's rights in seeking to obtain a resolution of the dispute acceptable to the client. Any resolution reached (with the approval of the client) is documented with a stipulation for entry of judgment which effectively brings the litigation aspect of collection to a conclusion."

"The debtor is fully apprised that if the settlement arrangement is not met, that a judgment will be entered against the debtor, and the resultant judgment will be enforced aggressively in accordance with all available enforcement remedies. These would include levying on bank accounts, placing keepers at the debtor's business to collect money, creating liens on real and personal property, and where appropriate, conducting examinations of the debtor's financial condition."

If a debtor files for federal bankruptcy relief, the firm will represent a client's interests in the bankruptcy proceeding. This could include filing proofs of claims, preserving statutory liens (such as construction-related mechanic's liens) or monitoring the status of the bankruptcy proceeding. The firm can also defend against the filing of any preference action by the debtor's estate for the recovery of any payments received by the creditor within 90 days of the debtor's bankruptcy filing.

For collections in the construction industry, the firm handles enforcement of mechanic's liens, stop notice claims and bond enforcement claims. To recover debts, the firm will pursue all avenues of collection allowed under California construction and mechanic's lien law, including pursuing the debtor as well as the owners of property, construction fund lenders, payment bonds, performance bonds and general contractors who failed to comply with joint check agreements.

Our Los Angeles firm handles debts ranging from $5,000 to millions of dollars. Hatkoff & Minassian, A Law Corporation, offers multiple fee arrangement options, depending on the nature of the services to be rendered, including modified contingency fees and hourly rates.

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