Is Naming Your Kid “Junior” Going to Cause Them Trouble? Cross-Generational Financial Woes May Result

Big news here at Creditor Rights headquarters: My wife and I are expecting a baby! We don’t know the gender yet, but we’re reading Baby Name Books cover to cover, looking for that perfect mix of tradition, syllables, and what sounds good.

One thing we’re not considering, however, is a Generational Title, i.e. “Junior.” The baby name experts say it’s a mix of good and bad.

From my perspective as a collections lawyer, I think it can be bad, because I’ve seen one generation’s financial and legal troubles wreak havoc on the other generation. This goes in both directions, with sons causing fathers trouble, and vice versa.

Just this past year, I’ve seen liens on a son’s land ostensibly attaching to the father’s land; wage garnishments on the father’s wages based on the son’s unpaid debt. Bankruptcies showing up on the wrong person’s name, etc.

Much of this stems from our online world, which often indexes information about us based on Name and Location (see Facebook). Two people with the same name who live (at some point) at the same address are going to confuse google, banks, property records, and everybody else.

You might not care about confusing your collection creditors (some people relish in this chaos), but, when one generation’s finances go bad, you’ll care about the impact on your ability to get a loan and sell your house, without having to explain the embarrassing details of your dad’s money troubles.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s a great tradition and a wonderful shared bond between generations. But, when one generation has legal or financial troubles, it’s not just a name that is shared–it’s also the dirty laundry of money mistakes.

What Tim McGraw Can Teach You About Injunctions in Tennessee

During the first week of law school, law students learn how to read caselaw.

The way it works is this: Judges decide legal issues by writing legal opinions that summarize existing law and apply the existing law to the facts before them in that case (or by departing from existing law to create new law). Over time, the line of published legal opinions creates “The Law.”

Long story short, a good way to learn the law on a topic is to look for a recent case dealing with the topic.

That’s why I am citing the Curb Records, Inc. v. Samuel T. McGraw case from last week. (That’s “Tim McGraw” a.k.a. Mr. Faith Hill.) I don’t delve into entertainment law very often (although I’ve sued a few country singers in my time for unpaid debts), but this case has a very good review of Tennessee injunctions and the standards to obtain injunctive relief.

This legal opinion discusses the primary law (Tenn. R. Civ. P. 65.04), along with the most recent cases discussing the standards. Plus, because it’s a case from last week, you can cite it with confidence that it remains good law and hasn’t been overruled. It’s worth a read.

Tim McGraw will undoubtedly be flattered to hear that the Tennessee Court of Appeals finds, as a matter of fact, that “McGraw is undisputedly an entertainer offering unique and
extraordinary services.”

Davidson County Chancery Court Case and Pleading Access Online

Last year, I noted that the Davidson County Chancery Court had started a service that showed case dockets online. This Chancery Court Public Records Access site provided the names and dates of filings, but not copies of the actual pleadings. Last year, I predicted that electronic copies of pleadings can’t be far behind.

I was right. Now, the Chancery Court has a second site, called Chancery Information Access, on which you can actually view copies of pleadings. It is a subscription service. Here is information on how to register.

It costs $15 a month. If you think that’s expensive, well, wait until you need a copy of pleading and have to walk to the Courthouse to get it.

Now, I’m hoping that the next step will be for Chancery Court to accept remote electronic filing of pleadings.