Creditor Advice in a Booming Economy: Set Your Traps and Wait for the Call

Sometimes, my judgment creditor clients get antsy. This generally starts a few months after we’ve been awarded a monetary judgment. After we’ve recorded it as a lien. After we’ve looked for cash/bank accounts/assets. After we’ve come up short on our initial garnishment efforts.

And, after all doing all that, sometimes, my best advice is to give it some time. As you’ll recall, unless we’re dealing with a judgment debtor who is depleting or hiding assets, my advice in judgment collections is often to be patient.

Judgments are good for ten years in Tennessee, and, if I’ve done my job as a creditors rights attorney, I’ve laid all the necessary traps, tricks, and liens to capture assets in the future.

But, having said all that, it drives some clients crazy to be patient.

Today, after about 40 phone calls over the past 4 years saying all of this to a big judgment creditor client, I got to tell him “See, I told you so.”

With property values skyrocketing, our judgment debtor finally (and inevitably, I’d add) has decided to sell real property, and a closing company called for a full payoff.

Creditor Issues in Memphis Bankruptcy of Rusty Hyneman Sound Like Law School Exam

Law school exams are a strange creature. Generally, they present a crazy set of facts with a dozen twists and turns, all of which raise different legal issues. The student’s goal is to spot and discuss those issues.

I thought I was reading a law school exam question when I read this Commercial Appeal article about the Bankruptcy filing by Memphis developer Rusty Hyneman.

Hyneman is real estate developer, who has fallen on hard times, and his creditors are aggressively coming after him. Last week, one bank showed up with the sheriff to seize all personal possessions.

But, Hyneman was ready: he had documents showing that he didn’t own any of the stuff in his 12,000 square foot house free and clear. He had pledged it as security to another creditor…his dad.

Now, the banks are in issue spotting mode. They are alleging that the lien granted to the elder Hyneman is a fraudulent conveyance. They are attacking the priority of the father’s lien. They are attacking Hyneman’s proposed sale of his assets to repay his dad. Finally, they are arguing that the proposed purchaser of the assets is a sham entity.

Man-o-man, that’s four legal issues right there, and you can bet there will be a few more.

The best part about the story? The Judge handling this case is Judge Paulette Delk, my former Article 9 professor in law school. This Hyneman case will be a breeze for her, since she’s dealt with law school exams questions with more issues raised than this.