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The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors (Available on-line at http://shop.americanbar.org)

(Excerpt from The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors, Chapters 1 and a couple of)

If you're planning to implement the judgment towards the actual belongings, securing a “proper” and “marketable title” after the enforcement of judgment is paramount. Good title manner that the proprietor has name or possession in keeping with the recorded files. The maximum common title is fee simple, which means that the person is the owner of a hundred percent of the felony and useful hobby inside the prop...

The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors (Available on line at http://save.americanbar.org)

(Excerpt from The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors, Chapters 1 and 2)

If you are making plans to put into effect the judgment towards the real belongings, securing a “top” and “marketable name” after the enforcement of judgment is paramount. Good title method that the proprietor has title or ownership consistent with the recorded documents. The maximum common title is charge easy, because of this that the character is the owner of one hundred percentage of the legal and beneficial hobby inside the belongings. A character with a life estate is entitled to the possession, and useful use, all through his or her life. Life estates are estate planning gadgets that vest title in a surviving spouse who is generally partner #2, and upon that character's loss of life, the belongings goes to the kids of the original proprietor. Marketable identify manner that the title insurer is willing to jot down a coverage of name insurance to someone who's going to shop for the belongings. What is marketable title? Answer: The property is freed from defects, blemish, clouds, or irregularities and allows the name employer to put in writing a policy for the client.

1. What is the same old blemish? Let's say that approximately a hundred years ago, a railroad agency held an easement (a proper manner of the real property direction in law college) that crosses your outdoor. The railroad organisation is now long bankrupt, but that easement still sits on title. Another common state of affairs is that you are buying the property from the vendor whose circle of relatives held identify over many generations. Blemishes are not unusual in generational transfers due to the fact the own family participants reject a 3rd-party sale or business refinance. Some 50 years ago, “Uncle Harry,” a fractional owner of the belongings along with his brother Joe, some other fractional owner, died without a will and no probate followed. Years later, Harry's spouse, Aunt Louise, died likewise without a will, and no probate. Joe and his wife Mary die with out a will and no probate. Facing those far off but unresolved fractional interests in the assets, the name business enterprise for the possible purchaser may go through heartburn and decline to difficulty a policy of title insurance. Purchasing the assets with exceptions at the name coverage could be a catastrophe because, in turn, the client could now not have been able to promote the assets. A refinance of the belongings might be impossible because no financier, including a financial institution, would take delivery of blemished identify as protection.

Enforcing a judgment and acquiring title thru a sheriff's or receiver's sale reposes the identify within the call of the judgment creditor as the probably client at the sale or a 3rd-party customer who's a bidder at the sale. Whether the judgment creditor or a 3rd-party purchaser, the name of their call must be exact and marketable; in any other case, no bona fide downstream customer, or financier, would purchase or lend towards the belongings as collateral for a mortgage or refinance given incorrect identify. The title file at the outset could let you know what blemishes, clouds, or defects burden the name. If you discover that the belongings is buried beneath a dozen blemishes of any kind, you have to reconsider your strategy and spool up a plan to smooth up the name. Be alert to common names due to the fact a few title organizations will list as a capability lien holder any creditor, such as the IRS, that has a lien declare towards each person with a equal call.

Title reviews are very informative and require attention to detail. You might also spot a few insider deeds of consider in choose of family members, offshore trusts, recently fashioned (or out-of-country or offshore) agencies, or confined liabilities corporations. What a large number, you'd assume. Shearing away this cavalcade of liens goes to accrue massive price and costs, and worse, the insiders (really) of the debtor are going to conflict out the liens and claim that the debtor borrowed “family cash” to finance residing prices. Every lien is a new claim, and more than one liens are more than one claims. As you will see later, you would possibly win those battles, however at some ridiculous fee. Liars are assured their day in court.

Before going further down the rabbit hollow of real estate regulation and practice, I am going to bypass alongside what I changed into instructed in regulation school by a totally sharp lawyer. He stated that when you do a actual estate mortgage secured through the actual belongings, the final file within the file is the posttransaction name record. What is a posttransaction title document? Answer: After the deed of accept as true with (loan) has been recorded, run any other title record to insure that the recorder's information replicate the recording and the contractual function. If the deal calls for a primary position, the postrecording identify document could display that first position. This identify report showing the recording is the “closing report” and the title document is “dated down.” Dating down means that the name document shows all transaction as much as the present date, in preference to a date one, two, or maybe 3 weeks in advance. A identify file that is powerful, say, three weeks ago means that you have not the slightest clue what the debtor did inside the closing 21 days. What may want to the debtor do? You shall see.


The starting (and finishing point) of the quest to strip those fake and fraudulent liens from name to the assets is continually the primary most: Security follows the debt. If the creditor can't prove up a debt, the safety evaporates. In any court docket warfare with the insiders, the fact of an “insider,” “circle of relatives,” or different collusive transaction compels the courtroom to use a strict and precise preferred of evidence to prove up the existence of the debt. This preferred does no longer pretty shift the load of proof to the alleged secured creditor, however the secured creditor need to show the existence of the debt, with greater than “Sure, the debtor gave me safety for my loan.” These battles border on splendor contests, Oscar®-winning performances at the witness stand, and credible excuses as to why the secured birthday party lacks any scratch of paper to prove the debt. These phony deeds will collapse inside the face of a determined onslaught, however you may incur a substantial expense. The reality of the phony deeds becomes part of the information blend in valuing the case, that the debtor perceived that the property has price that the debtor seeks to guard through these liens, and that the debtor is throwing up roadblocks to discourage enforcement. This is facts that aids your valuing the case, a settlement, the costs and costs that the customer may ought to pay, and the length of time (and distress component) in collecting the judgment.

How do you dispose of these phony liens? When you pull the Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA), credit record, tax returns (if possible), accountant's running papers (much more likely), and, most significantly, financial institution statements, you'll discover. For example, what do the bank statements tell you? A lot. If the claim is that the debtor borrowed money from the creditor, you will locate at the least two banking transactions. The first transaction is the take a look at written from the account of the lender. The account is probably a bank account, stock account, or account with a mutual fund, credit score union, or other institution. Whatever the organization, we start with an account announcement and paper or electronic check, better referred to as a twine switch, or Automated Clearing House (ACH).

On the opposite side of the equation is the reality that the debtor received these funds and deposited the funds in a bank, stock, credit score union, or other account. The debtor spends these funds by means of writing tests at the loan lawsuits. This is greater paper. The overall sum of paper at the minimum will be the statements of the borrower (your debtor) and the lender (the family member), the check written with the aid of the creditors, and the assessments written via the debtor disbursing the finances. This transaction could contain four or greater pieces of paper. Chances are that the debtor will claim that the lender did now not write a take a look at, but passed over coins. For what reason? Why would the lender warehouse huge quantities of cash? Is the lender hiding cash from the government to avoid charge of taxes? If the lender earned the money and paid taxes, the lender might without difficulty give up the cash and, with none guile or hesitation, park the money in a bank account. If the lender surpassed the coins over to the debtor, why could the debtor cover the coins? Worse, the debtor could in no way deposit the coins due to cash-laundering requirements. A transaction constructed on cash that lacks the slightest paper trail could never pass the smell check, specifically if the cash loan is six figures, and the deed of accept as true with securing the mortgage is recorded ahead of the judgment.

Security follows the debt is part of this treasure map. Debtors load themselves up with liens to appearance unattractive or to claim that their property are immune. The liens imply nothing with out the debt and imbue this little homily with felony punch. Review a identify file of the debtor's belongings, which suggests multiple liens in desire of banks, business creditors, and circle of relatives members. It looks horrific, and the debtor seemingly has no fairness. Now evaluate the title file to a sworn financial statement (the URLA—see later discussion), and you might discover that the debts represented through the ones liens are paid, paid down, or do not exist in any respect due to the fact they may be no longer indexed. “Security follows the debt” is just some other arrow on the treasure map pointing you to the treasure.


I love amortization tables. There, I said it. When I was a budding real property agent, my father taught me real estate. In buying commercial belongings, which generates rents that pay for the debt carrier, the preliminary trick is to decide month-to-month bills for debt service due to the fact the rent income is reasonably constant. Yes, new potential owners have a tendency to jack up the rents, however typically, the commercial enterprise version (perhaps) is that modern-day owner is charging the tenants the most rents.

Let's take a spin. If the sale charge for a constructing is $100,000 and the usual down is 20 percent, a financial institution could finance the balance. Interest fees and the phrases of the loan could be constant, and we'd parent out the month-to-month debt inside the amortization book. These books had columns of numbers for the quantity of the loan, the time period, and the rate of interest. All predigital, all guide, and correct to the penny. These tables, now digital, spell out the month-to-month bills. Title organizations surpassed these little green books in which the papers were tissue thin. Mine is buried within the returned of the table drawer and probably subsequent to my slide rule and pocket protector.

What does amortization imply to you, and why are amortization tables critical to you? Amortization means the slow pay down of a debt that bears hobby this is typically constant. Title businesses, creditors, and 1/3-birthday party websites provide on line amortization tables that are more flexible than the paper versions and are accurate to the penny.

Let's go through an instance. Start with a $1,000,000 loan. We recognise this quantity from the face of the deed of consider (or loan) because the recorded files nation that the deed of trust secures overall performance under the promissory note in the amount of $a million and other advances. Many deeds of believe reveal that the notice offers for a ten-, 15-, or 30-yr payout. If the lender is a nationally identified bank, which includes Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, or Citibank, we will intuit by way of the date at the loan what the winning hobby became.

Let's presume that the date of the mortgage is January 2, 2005, and that the focus in time is January 2, 2012 (seven years). The amortization desk suggests that the monthly bills are inside the sum of $five,368.22 and that the stability as of January 2, 2012, is $879,450.15. From Zillow.com, we will calculate possibly value as of January 2, 2012, that is $1,2 hundred,000; consequently, you would ascertain an fairness unfold of $320,549.eighty five. That's now not awful for the postdigital Dick Tracy, the economic geek.

The recorder does now not show a word of default, or note of sale, that's proof of a loan default. Presume that the debtor is cutting-edge on the mortgage. Mind you that many lenders keep lots (or extra) of default loans of their portfolio and decline to proceed with a foreclosure. Why? Foreclosure complaints lessen the cost of the belongings and preclude the owner of a house's ability to sell or refinance the belongings. For nearly all, the reality of a longstanding default sufficiently motivates the owner of a house to promote the property to realize some equity, or at least cycle thru a brief sale. However, the reality of a recorded word of default or sale, or the absence of their recordings, deflates, if recorded, and inflates, if no longer recorded, the fee of property. Let's point out credit score reviews. Assuming a conventional lender, the credit score report might screen the existence of the loan and would additionally indicate whether the mortgage turned into current or in default. We are going to presume that the mortgage is present day and bears interest at five percent, which turned into the winning fee at the time of the mortgage. This facts is ready on-line as commercial enterprise and authorities web sites track the ancient motion of hobby rates. The credit score document buttresses the probably stability due, the status of the loan (present day or in default), and inferentially the quantity due underneath the mortgage (if cutting-edge).

An amortization desk is any other arrow on the treasure map that lays out the stability of the loans secured by means of the belongings and consequently the equity available for enforcement. The desk also spells out the month-to-month payments. If the debtor claims total poverty but the amortization tables show month-to-month bills of $10,000 and the loan is present day in step with the credit document, some thing is deathly incorrect. Who is making these payments? The tooth fairy, the fairy godmother, or Don Corleone? The amortization table hands you the arrow at the map that spells out the debtor's said income at the least at the time of the loan and in all likelihood in the course of the loan.

Before strolling to the following section, I actually have a tooth fairy tale. Like all dutiful dad and mom, I desired to make sure that my daughter enjoyed the whole “youngster experience.” Disneyland, Great America, and Universal City have been now not missed. I got to love Happy Meals and the itty bitty toys. But what about little nuances like the tooth fairy? I concept to myself, “What can I do to ramp up that children's revel in? What? The drill is to leave a quarter underneath the pillow. Okay, that's a little chintzy nowadays, however so what? Nope. I became going to mission the teeth fairy. One teeth falls out, and I left the subsequent: “Dear Gabriella, your tooth fell out. I ran out of coins. This is my IOU note. Signed, Mr. Tooth Fairy.” Next time: “Do you take a test?” Nope. I attempted this: “Do you take Visa, Master Card, or American Express? How approximately Discover card?” Don't cringe.

The child went to summer season camp and never wrote home. Out of desperation and to make sure that the timber fairies wouldn't kidnap the child, I gave her prestamped, self-addressed postcards. She turned into eight years old on the time. She simplest had to test the boxes—“Having a Good Time: yes or no,” “Camp is Fun: yes or no,” “Food is Good: yes or no,” and “I am Alive”—and deposit them within the camp mail slot. Not one card got to me. I surprise why. It ought to were some thing approximately a grudge.

Reprinted with permission from The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors, to be had for purchase from:


2014&replica; through the American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This statistics or any or portion thereof won't be copied or disseminated in any shape or by way of any way or stored in an electronic database or retrieval gadget without the express written consent of the American Bar Association


This is a true tale. I am organized to affirm it.

Sometimes attorneys get calls from their buddies. Here is one of those calls:

“Joe, how you doing? I become simply visited with the aid of your current patron, Bob. Bob seems a bit unhappy with you and wants to hire me to finish the case. This is an hourly depend. Bob gave me the lowdown. I am willing to help him.”

“Fred, if Bob desires to rent you, Bob can hire you. My existence will go on. Bob is yours. You can pick out up the record anytime you need, and in fact, I'll placed the dozen bins in my hallway on your pickup at any time. No, I'll do one higher. I actually have Madge's gas guzzling SUV. I will stuff those packing containers in the returned of the SUV and in my view supply them. I am even going to re-gift to you the bottle of Old Boot that Bob gave me a for Christmas gift.”

“Well, it truly is strong pleasant of you. I am appreciative. I only spent approximately a half of an hour with Bob, the consumer, and didn't get to know him too properly and whether he can pay my payments. How well do you understand Bob?”

“I know Bob definitely properly.”

“How properly is that? Did you men buddy round? Did you men go out to dinner? What do you mean you knew Bob honestly properly?”

“No, Fred. I without a doubt knew him nicely. I sincerely did. No kidding. I knew him higher than his mother.”

“What do you suggest you knew him higher than his mother? Nobody can know each person higher than their mom.”

“No, this is not authentic. Mom may have carried Bob for 9 months, but I carried him for 10 months. He's yours.”

Practise Areas

  • Collections
  • Creditors Rights
  • Creditors Rights in Bankruptcy
  • Debtor and Creditor Collections
  • Post Judgment Collections
  • Commercial Collections
  • International Collections
  • Secured Collections
  • Unsecured Collections
  • Debtor and Creditor
  • Debtor and Creditor Remedies
  • Debtor and Creditor Reorganization
  • Debtor and Creditor Rights
  • Debtor and Creditor Workouts
  • Secured Creditors Rights
  • Unsecured Creditors Rights
  • Debtors Rights
  • Commercial Law
  • Civil Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Litigation
  • Bankruptcy Collections
  • Bankruptcy
  • Bankruptcy Chapter 11
  • Bankruptcy Chapter 13
  • Bankruptcy Chapter 7
  • Bankruptcy Litigation
  • Repossessions
  • Receivership

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Fax: 866-989-0491

Website: http://www.cookcollectionattorneys.com

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Cook Collection Attorneys, PLC 165 Fell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Cook Collection Attorneys, PLC

cellphone Phone: 4159894730
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Law Company Address: Cook Collection Attorneys, PLC a hundred sixty five Fell Street San Francisco, CA 94102 U.S.A.

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