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Stop Creditor and Collection Companies Harassing Telephone Calls | Our Rights in Spokane Washington

As a bankruptcy attorney in Spokane Washington, I hear it all the time. Either creditors harass consumers for payment or they hire collection companies to contact consumers and attempt to collect a legitimate claim.
Usually, the creditor has a valid claim or that the debtor owes money to the creditor. The question often is: how far can a creditor go? What can a consumer do to stop the harassment? What are our specific and local rights in Spokane, Washington?
These are good questions and truthfully, questions like this, encourage me to talk about this subject.
How far can a creditor go when attempting to collect on a legitimate claim for money owed?
Creditors have a right and a duty to collect on the money owed to them. They can initiate legal actions and garnish wages, sell assets, or even foreclose on real estate if the proper legal process is followed.

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Meeting of Creditors in Spokane Washington

The meeting of creditors (341 Meetings) are required in every bankruptcy case (Chapter 7 and/or 13). When you file for bankruptcy, typically, you will file a petition that is conformed of a Voluntary Petition with some Schedules. You will also file what is called a Creditor Matrix, which is a list of all your creditors with their contact information. When you file your petition the court will do two things: first, the court is going to set into motion what is called an Automatic Stay on the date of filing (11 USC § 362). The Automatic Stay is the law that will protect you against anybody harassing, contacting, calling you, etc. You receive immediate protection as soon as you file for bankruptcy, whether you file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13.
The second thing that happens when you file your bankruptcy petition is the court schedules your Meeting of Creditors. The meeting is in Downtown Spokane at the Federal Court House 5th floor. This meeting is required by the Bankruptcy Code and is usually referred to as a 341 Meeting (11 USC § 341).

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How to Evict a Tenant in Spokane, Washington

Many landlords in Spokane, Washington contact our office because they want to learn how to evict a tenant who is either not paying rent or causing damages to the property.
The first problem we have when it comes to help landlords is that many of them either have no written lease OR the lease that they have is not very good.
Many landlords fail to secure an attorney to review their leases so they have local enforceability. Many landlords make the mistake to go online and download an inexpensive or free form and attempt to enforce it. This leaves the landlord in a very weak position. Washington statutes and case law; however, municipalities like Spokane and Seattle add further requirements that must be followed. If the landlord fails to comply with those extra requirements, the landlord could be held liable for damages.
The Residential Landlord Tenant Act, RCW 50.18, codifies the requirements and laws a landlord and a tenant must comply with. When a lease is not properly drafted or nonexistent, the code would dictate the rights and responsibilities of each party. It is important to note that the act is heavily enforced against the landlord. Spokane County Courts try to benefit the tenant when interpreting the code.

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Photographer Contract

Photography | Photographer Contracts in Spokane Washington

A written contract is the best way for any given business AND for a client/customer to ensure the agreement protects both parties. A contract must be obtained with full disclosure and it must be fair (it cannot be obtained by deceit, fraud, and/or misrepresentation).
In Washington, oral contracts are also enforceable (with a few exceptions). An oral agreement which contains an offer, an acceptance, and legal consideration paid by both parties can be fully enforceable and award damages against the party who breached the agreement.
The main issue with an oral contract is that often, it is very hard (if possible at all) to prove the terms, duties, and considerations of the contract. Although the parties can attempt to prove the important terms of the agreement, it is up to the party enforcing the contract to show, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the term was entered into and breached by the other party. This legal standard is usually difficult to overcome as evidence can be disputed and witnesses can be brought in to rebut any allegation.
Local business owners in Spokane, Washington should have their contracts in writing. Clients and customers should also procure a contract when having any given transaction that is important to the client/customer. A contract does not have to be complicated or several pages in length. However, it should outline the duties and responsibilities of each party including delivery times, payment amount, payment terms, warranties, refund/return policies, etc.

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Contract Requirements and Legal Considerations in Spokane Washington

A written contract is the best way for any given business AND for a client/customer to ensure the agreement protects both parties. A contract must be obtained with full disclosure and it must be fair (it cannot be obtained by deceit, fraud, and/or misrepresentation).
A written contract is essential to protect both parties.
In Washington, oral contracts are also enforceable (with a few exceptions). An oral agreement which contains an offer, an acceptance, and legal consideration paid by both parties can be fully enforceable and award damages against the party who breached the agreement.
The main issue with an oral contract is that often, it is very hard (if possible at all) to prove the terms, duties, and considerations of the contract. Although the parties can attempt to prove the important terms of the agreement, it is up to the party enforcing the contract to show, by the preponderance of the evidence, that the term was entered into and breached by the other party.

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