I sold a business to a buyer for cash and a $40k promissory note. They stopped making payments two months ago with $13k left. They are not responding to letters, emails, and texts. The note has a personal guarantee. It's a slam dunk case. Looks I would need to go through Maricopa County Superior Court since balance is over $10k. Forms do not look complicated but how likely is it that I will be able to recoup the $13k with or without an attorney?
Shockingly, as an attorney I am going to tell you the best thing to do is to have an attorney represent you. While the forms are fairly straightforward as you say, it is the little complications that come up during the process that can cause issues.
The reality is that obtaining the judgment, assuming it is as simple as you describe, is not terribly hard. Collecting on that judgment after the fact can be much harder. Another factor to consider is that by initiating a suit against the person, two things are possible. The buyer may suddenly decide to show up and work out a deal with you, or they may lawyer up themselves and force you to do the same.
The safest course of action, if all else has failed, is to take your facts to an attorney and make sure that you understand your options and are set to protect yourself.
Douglas Edmunds is in the business of helping people and companies file for bankruptcy protection. The bankruptcy code requires that I call my firm a "debt relief agency." Any answers or information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be a legal opinion, legal advice or a complete discussion of the legal issues. This is not intended to create a attorney-client relationship. Each individual's situation is different and you should seek independent legal advice from an attorney familiar with the laws of your state for specific information.
You will be better off hiring a local collections attorney, assuming you have a clause in the promissory note that the losing party pays attorney's fees.
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