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Navigating the Ins and Outs of Liquidating a Small Business Administration Loan

January 30, 2012 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog

The Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has been providing small businesses with loans since its creation in 1953.  Its mission statement is “…to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.”  It […]

A Speedy Foreclosure in Florida – Proper Utilization of Statute 702.10

January 3, 2012 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog, Real Estate Development, Sales and Leasing Industry Legal Blog

By Austin Calhoun, J.D. 2013

It takes on average 600 days for a party to litigate a foreclosure through trial in Florida. Successful summary judgment motion practice may squeeze that time down to as little as 180 days. Even better, under the proper conditions, a diligent plaintiff can shorten foreclosure time down to less than 60 days by properly utilizing Florida Statute 702.10. If you’re interested in bypassing the foreclosure log-jam to obtain a speedy foreclosure – read on.

What Happens to a Creditor’s Claim not Included in a Discharged Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Filing?

March 11, 2011 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog

By: Harry M. Wilson, IV, Esq. and James D. Stone, III

Sometimes, either intentionally or inadvertently, a debtor will fail to list a creditor or schedule a debt in a bankruptcy proceeding. When this happens the creditor can often be unaware of the proceedings and, as a result, miss the deadline for filing a proof of claim. However, a debt owed to a creditor who had neither notice nor knowledge of the bankruptcy in time to file a proof of claim or to file a complaint for determination of dischargeability of the debt under section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code will not be discharged. . . click the title to read more. . .

The Life Cycle of Judgment Liens and How to Extend Them

December 7, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog

By: Harry M. Wilson, IV, Esq. and James D. Stone, III

While obtaining a judgment against a debtor that owes you money is an important victory, it is often not the final battle one fights against the debtor. Just as there are time limitations on your ability to file an action against a debtor, there are also time limitations to enforce a money judgment in Florida. While the general rule is that the life of a money judgment is 20 years in the state of Florida it is important to know the procedures for using the full 20 years.

Using Florida’s Agricultural Bond Laws as a Collection Tool

October 25, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog, Insurance Industry Legal Blog, Manufacturing & Distribution Industry Legal Blog

As our firm represents many materials suppliers and site work contractors/subcontractors, we are often presented with payment issues that require us to pursue unconventional avenues of recovery to obtain payment. One area in which we have had a good success is through making claims on Agricultural Bonds through the Florida Department of Agriculture. According to Florida law, any person who is engaged within the state in the business of buying, receiving, soliciting, handling, or negotiating agricultural products from or for Florida producers, or their agents, must be licensed and bonded. The Bureau of Agricultural Dealer’s Licenses is responsible for the licensing of dealers in agricultural products. Per the Department of Agriculture, “Florida License and Bond Law is intended to facilitate the marketing of Florida agricultural products by encouraging a better understanding between buyers and sellers and by providing a marketplace that is relatively free of unfair trading practices and defaults. The purpose of the law is to help assure that the producers of products covered by the law receive proper accounting and payment for their products.” If you do business with nurseries, landscaping companies, or virtually anyone who deals in green goods and you like to get paid the money you are rightfully owed, this post should be required reading.

Overview of Documentary Stamp Tax in Florida

September 26, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog, Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

By Harry M. Wilson, IV, Esq.

Documentary stamp tax is levied on documents as provided under Chapter 201, Florida Statutes. Documents subject to the tax include deeds, bonds, notes and written obligations to pay money and mortgages, liens, and other evidences of indebtedness. The rate of the tax differs depending on the kind of document subject to the tax.

The Penalties for Passing a Bad Check in Florida

August 30, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog, Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

As the economy continues to tank and dead beat debtors begin to pass more and more bad checks, I have found it to be a prudent time to revisit the laws pertaining to writing bad checks in Florida. In general, the term ‘check’ means a draft, other than a documentary draft, payable on demand and drawn on a bank or a cashier’s check or teller’s check. An instrument may be a check even though it is described by another term, such as ‘money order.’ Fla. Stat. § 673.1041(6). A ‘draft,’ in reference to a check, is a three-party instrument by which the drawer order the drawee to pay money to the payee, and the drawee is a bank.

Fla. Stat. §68.065 (for civil actions to collect worthless checks, drafts, or orders of payment) allows for recovery of treble damages, service charges, attorneys’ fees, and costs if its provisions are not followed. Before litigation is initiated, the form of notice set forth in Fla. Stat. §68.065 must be delivered by certified or registered mail, or by first-class mail, evidenced by an affidavit of service of mail, to the maker or drawer of the check, draft, or order of payment. If notice is properly provided, the maker or drawer will be liable to the payee for, in addition to the amount owing on the check, damages of triple the amount owing, a statutory service charge based on the check amount, reasonable attorneys’ fees, and court costs. If the notice is sent via certified mail and the recipient refuses to claim the notice or sign the postal receipt, the statutory notice requirement is satisfied.

Considerations in Foreclosing SBA 504 Mortgages

August 30, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog

Overview of typical SBA 504 transactions

Banks and other lending institutions offer a number of US Small Business Administration (“SBA”) guaranteed loan programs to assist the development of small businesses. While the SBA itself does not make loans, it does guarantee loans made to small businesses by private and other institutions. Specifically, the US SBA 504 loan or Certified Development Company (“CDC”) program is designed to provide financing for the purchase of fixed assets, which usually means real estate, buildings and machinery, at below market rates. The 504 Program cannot be used for working capital or inventory, consolidating or repaying debt, or refinancing. The SBA 504 program works by distributing the loan among three parties. Typically, a 504 project includes…

Identifying and Negating Successful Defenses to Valid Personal Guarantees

July 27, 2010 Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog, Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

A contract of guaranty is the promise to answer for the payment of some debt or the performance of some obligation by another, such that if the original debtor is unable to pay the debt or satisfy the contractual obligation, for whatever reason, the guarantor is himself liable on the default of the primary obligor. The guarantor’s knowledge of the execution or delivery of a guaranty is irrelevant, where the contract of guaranty speaks for itself and where the guarantor has not disclaimed knowledge of the guaranty. See Chris Craft Industries, Inc. v. Van Valkenberg, 267 So.2d 642 (Fla. 1972).

In a typical case, a President, CEO, or other officer signs a personal guaranty for the debts of his corporation and becomes personally liable for the debt upon the corporation’s default. Florida case law demonstrates that a simple, but well-drafted personal guaranty, which specifically enumerates the personal nature of the debt assurance, is adequate to form a legal and binding personal guaranty.

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