Helping businesses in Washington recover money from people and companies in New York
The State of New York has a population of approximately 20 million people. The businesses in New York purchase goods and services from businesses throughout the United States and the world. Since there are a substantial number of New Yorkers who believe New York is a “dog eat dog” universe, many people and companies use that as a justification for not paying their bills. Evidence of the manner and frequency by which some New Yorkers do not pay their bills is only anecdotal. I have witnessed increased volumes of civil court cases over my 40 years of law practice, and the civil courts are always busy with cases where the plaintiff seeks to recover money owed by the receiver of goods and services.
Undoubtedly, it cannot be as bad as I perceive, because my professional function as an attorney in general, and as a Collection lawyer in particular, have given me a somewhat jaundiced view.
Nevertheless, people and businesses in Washington may find themselves unpaid by a New York person or business. They may have given 30 day terms to the purchaser of their goods or services, and the credit analysis they did may not have revealed the customer’s true character or financial position. Since the people or businesses in Washington are unfamiliar with the laws of New York, and what they need to do to recover their money, they need an attorney with local knowledge and experience. It helps if the attorney has a passion for collecting, intends to treat the client’s money as if it was his/her own, and can manage the collection process from demand letter to litigation to post judgment enforcement proceedings, possibly including forensic accounting and a fraudulent conveyance action against the company’s principals who diverted corporate funds to their own benefit without paying unrelated creditors.
A helpful concept of New York law
One helpful concept of New York law is that a corporation is initially considered a trust fund for the payment of creditors. When it violates that trust and pays excessive funds to a principal or any insider, a proper suit can be brought against the principal and possibly the recipient of the funds, the transferee. The relevant legal standards are set forth in New York law known as the Debtor and Creditor Law, which has long established standards to enable creditors to recover money wrongfully transferred by a customer who did not pay them. A useful term to navigate the attempt to prove that fraudulent conveyances occurred is “badges of fraud,” which is a concept that has evolved to point to numerous factors that are frequently evident where an improper transfer has occurred, such as the close relationship between the transferor and the transferee, the transferor’s knowledge of the creditor’s claim, the inadequacy of the consideration for the transfer, and sometimes the retention of control by the transferor after the conveyance.
Please call me, Steven D. Greif, at 516-213-2200 or e-mail me at email@example.com new email
Highsmith, Carol M., 1946-, photographer
Photographs in the Carol M. Highsmith Archive, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.