Skip to main content
Griffin Scott Dunham

Griffin Dunham’s Answers

37 total

  • Do I need anything to own a web hosting company in Franklin, TN?

    We host webservers online for others, do I have to register my company or get a license?

    Griffin’s Answer

    There's nothing that requires you to turn your business into an entity registered with the secretary of state, but failing to do so means you're a sole proprietor without any of the protections afforded to registered businesses. You should most certainly pay to become a registered entity, get an EIN, start a separate bank account, and otherwise obey all the corporate formalities. By doing so, you've shielded yourself from personal liability in the event a server (or lack thereof) causes a client/customer to be damaged.

    See question 
  • In a chapter 11 bankruptcy how are claims involving barter or foreign currency handled where the US dollar value is variable?

    If you are owed barter or foreign currency by a US entity that goes into chapter 11 bankruptcy how to you state your claim if the US dollar value of that item or foreign currency you are owed changes based on current market prices?

    Griffin’s Answer

    I agree with Michael. On the petition date, your claim will have a fixed USD value. Fluctuations in the exchange rate aren't going to affect the USD value of your claim as of the petition date. This presumes you're an unsecured creditor. I think the analysis could theoretically be different if you're a secured creditor depending upon how the debtor plans to use/dispose of the collateral.

    See question 
  • A client of mine filed Chapter 11 and did not name me as a creditor. Client continues to pay monthly. What should I do?

    Client filed in April. I found out on my own. When I looked up the court case, I discovered my company was not on the list. I have been unable to contact the client, but they have paid us on time for our monthly service provided. What are my compa...

    Griffin’s Answer

    Were you owed money as of the petition date? If not, then you don't have a claim and there wasn't a reason to list you as a creditor. If you were owed money on the petition date, file a proof of claim before the bar date. With an April filing, I doubt the bar date has passed.

    If it's a service contract, then I suspect the payments are for the provision of post-petition services. Not only is it okay for a debtor to pay these, but a debtor is required to stay current. If, at some point, the debtor stops paying, then you can file an application for an administrative expense (i.e., an expense that was reasonable and necessary to preserve the value of the bankruptcy estate).

    You probably can't request adequate assurance of payment unless you're a secured creditor or "utility" provider (don't think strictly in terms of gas/water/electricity; utilities can include other services). I wouldn't terminate the contract; a Chapter 11 debtor is a "debtor-in-possession" and if you terminate the contract without a legal right then you're liable for any damages.

    See question 
  • Can i build a case against this car dealership? and if i do, how much power do i have in this situation, can money be retrieved?

    I purchased a 2013 dodge ram HEMI 5.7 Liter and sooner i realized the engine is a 4.7L and the sales person gave me wrong information to trick me into buying it. The HEMI motor is known to be a very strong motor and i honestly was sold when i hear...

    Griffin’s Answer

    I suspect the answer is no, although a few more facts are required. If the sales contract and the documentation that accompanied the purchase agreement describes the truck as having a 5.7 and the truck actually has a 4.7, then you have a case for inducement. I suspect the paperwork indicates it's a 4.7, so the question becomes whether the salesperson's words trump the contract. The dealer's contract likely contains what's referred to as a "merger" or "integration" clause, which simply means that the only agreement between the parties is what's written in the contract. In other words, no oral representations or agreements before the contract have any effect.

    However, it's important to know that merger clauses aren't always enforceable in TN. They're generally upheld, but they won't be if there was a fraudulent inducement. This is a very specific fact inquiry that can't be addressed without learning more facts, but just keep in mind that the existence of such a clause doesn't automatically mean you're out of luck.

    I wish you the best.

    See question 
  • Can I take legal action against investors invovlved in a LLC if the majority owner is going to file bankruptcy or chapter 11?

    Myself and fellow co-workers have not received a paycheck since December of 2012. Is there anything I can do to get the money I am owed?

    Griffin’s Answer

    Until a bankruptcy is filed, there's no automatic stay in place and you're free to pursue a non-debtor through all available legal channels.

    I presume the company, not the owners of the company, owed you the money. If so, and if the company is unwilling to compensate you, then the appropriate action could be to file a lawsuit. Depending upon the amount owed, you could file in a small claims (or California equivalent) without an attorney if you desire to proceed on your own. Best of luck.

    See question 
  • Can I withdraw or dismiss a chapter 11?

    I know that I can voluntarily withdraw or have dismissed a chapter 13. Can I do the same with a chapter 11? I am thinking of filing to prevent a foreclosure, but I am reasonably certain I will have enough money to settle down the road. Can I v...

    Griffin’s Answer

    I agree with Michael. Keep in mind that the lender may want you in bankruptcy because the process requires transparency into your financial life. If that's the case, you could have a more difficult time exiting.

    As for a Chapter 13 v. Chapter 11, you're probably aware that a Chapter 11 is tremendously more expensive. If you don't have problems with the Chapter 13 debt limits, then make sure you consult with both a Chapter 13 and Chapter 11 lawyer before deciding on what chapter to file under. If Chapter 11 is the route, be prepared to pay a hefty retainer prior to the petition date.

    Last thought is to try and negotiate with the bank pre-petition. If you file and force the lender to protect its position, it'll have to hire a lawyer and incur expenses, all of which will be tacked onto the loan balance post-dismissal.

    See question 
  • Chapter 11: Are un-reimbursed expenses treated differently than unpaid services when a client goes bankrupt

    I own a one person consulting firm that contracts myself and other independent contractors when there is an opportunity. I had a client declare bankruptcy and then stopped payment on my expense check... I am owed 75K in services and 16K in out o...

    Griffin’s Answer

    If the debtor is in Chapter 11 and a Chapter 11 trustee has not been appointed, then the debtor is considered the trustee. Either way, it's unlikely your personal situation will have an affect on your treatment as a creditor; there's a fiduciary duty owed to creditors tomaximize the value of the estate, so getting different treatment because of the impact on your business is unfortunately unlikely.

    It's imperative you timely file your proof of claim (although if you're accurately scheduled as a creditor in the debtor's statements and schedules, then this isn't a requirement). You'll be an unsecured creditor, but at least you may be entitled to a distribution upon either a confirmed plan or liquidation.

    Lastly, if your client was an individual, I'd look into whether the debtor incurred the debt without any intent to ever pay you. If so, then the debt to you could be deemed nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 523. Considering the amount at stake, I'd probably ask a Chapter 11 attorney in your area to take a look at the debtor's case. It doesn't take more than a few minutes to look at the docket, statements and schedules, and give you a rough idea of what you'll be able to expect. Best of luck.

    See question 
  • What is the statue of limitations on a judgement in Tennessee?

    I had a credit card company win a judgement against me in Nov.2006. It's laid dormant with no attempt to collect. Can they renew? I heard that its best to ignore .it was originally 700 now it's 6000. I don't have that. What should I do?

    Griffin’s Answer

    If the debt was reduced to a judgment, you're outside the scope of a statute of limitations (which creates a statutory deadline by which a party must file a lawsuit on a claim). You've now moved onto whether the judgment is enforceable. If obtained in November 2006, it still is. Before the expiration of 10 years, the creditor will likely renew the judgment so that it remains valid.

    With respect to the debt, what you should do depends on your financial situation. You could make it go away with a bankruptcy filing, although it's impossible to know without looking at your full asset/debt portfolio if this approach is best. Ignoring it has been succesfull for many. If you don't expect your financial situation to make a turn for the better in the immediate future, then ignoring it is a common approach. You can then decide whether to file for bankruptcy if the credit card company attempts to collect on the debt and you can't work out a settlement.

    Also, keep in mind that if it's almost 7 years old and nothing has happened, it has probably been written off as a bad debt expense or otherwise sold to a company that buys debt. Either way, as more time passes, the likelihood that you'll be pursued diminishes.

    See question 
  • In State of Tenn is an IRA protected from garnishment in the case of a judgement? How long does a judgement last?

    Iam being sued for a credit card debt that my ex husb was court ordered to pay in a divorce decree I am told that the divorce decree is not a defense against this by another attorney. I live on SS disability but do have an IRA. My going after my...

    Griffin’s Answer

    Your IRA is safe; Tennessee law exempts this from collection. Your social security benefits are also exempt from collection pursuant to Section 207 of the Social Security Act.

    A judgment lasts for 10 years before it must be renewed, which can be done indefinitely.

    If you don't have assets to satisfy the amount, the credit card company may still attempt to pursue you in a civil action. However, if there's nothing to collect, the judgment is only worth the paper it's printed on.

    You may want to seek the advice of a Chapter 7 attorney in your area to determine if you're a bankruptcy candidate and determine the positives and negatives of such a filing.

    Best of luck with working this out.

    See question 
  • If you buy a used car from a car lot don't you have a three days to back out of the deal and get your down payment back

    I financed a truck today and payed 3000.00 down can I change my mind?

    Griffin’s Answer

    Unfortunately, you don't have that right unless it's built into the contract (which is highly doubtful and not commonplace in standard purchase agreements). The 3-day "cooling off" period refers to door-to-door sales and certain other solicitations.

    Unfortunately, now that title has transferred and tax implications have arisen, unless this is a highly unusual arrangement you don't appear to have legal recourse. Best of luck to you.

    See question