Since my admission to the Bar of the State of New York in 1977 and California in 1979, I have engaged in a wide array of litigation matters, emphasizing Commercial and Collection cases.
In the Collection realm, I am a Partner of Goldman Horowitz & Cherno, LLP, a law firm that has been engaged in the practice of Collections Law and Creditor’s Rights since 1930. Goldman Horowitz & Cherno, LLP was one of the first firms in Nassau County to emphasize Collections Law and Creditor’s Rights, and remains a premier law firm providing such services.
The firm represents large corporations, including manufacturers, common carriers and shippers, insurance companies, title insurance companies, publishers, and professionals such as physicians, dentists, architects, and attorneys.
The process of a Collection Law practice commences when a claim is placed with Goldman Horowitz & Cherno, LLP. A fee arrangement is agreed upon, and may include an hourly fee, a contingent fee, or a hybrid combination of a retainer or non-contingent suit fee and a partial hourly fee. The flexibility of fee arrangements is designed to accommodate the needs of many different clients.
After Demands for payment are sent to the Debtors, an investigation is commenced to determine who or what the correct name is of the liable party, whether it be an individual, corporation, or another form of limited liability entity. Once that is established, and after contact is made with the Debtor, and if payment arrangements cannot be accomplished with the Debtor voluntarily, a law suit is usually recommended.
If our clients follow our recommendation and commence suit, we choose the proper venue and commence suit.
Sometimes a default judgment is obtained, and sometimes an Answer to the law suit is filed. If there is an Answer, the litigation process continues until the matter is resolved, either by a settlement agreement or after a trial on the merits.
Once a Money Judgment is obtained, either as a result of a Default Judgment or a Judgment after Trial, the procedures of New York law are then used to locate assets. In New York it is called the Enforcement of a Judgment, and some of the relevant procedures are found in the Civil Practice Law and Rules, known as the CPLR, in Article 52, entitled Enforcement of Money Judgments. We use such methods as the issuance of Restraining Notices to Banks, the issuance of Executions to Sheriffs and Marshals, serving Subpoenas on Banks, Employers, Insurance Companies, and upon either individual Judgment Debtors or the principals of corporate Judgment Debtors. These steps are in addition to any available online investigations that we are able to undertake on our client’s behalf, all in an effort to locate assets and attempt to put pressure on the Judgment Debtor to resolve their outstanding debts to our clients.
Sometimes our investigation reveals that the Judgment Debtors, either before or after Judgment was obtained, made improper transfers of assets to attempt to hinder, delay or defraud our clients and other creditors, known in the law as Fraudulent Conveyances. We then recommend and commence Fraudulent Conveyance actions, and in such cases we can often justify suing the principals of Corporate Judgment Debtors, as well as the spouses of individual Judgment Debtors. We find that these steps are often extremely successful in bringing about a resolution and payment of debts owed to our clients. In a recent successful case, we were able to demonstrate that the principals of a Corporate Judgment Debtor that appeared to have gone out of business actually took hundreds of thousands of dollars personally in the six (6) months before the business closed its doors. Payments to insiders of a Corporation are closely scrutinized, and as soon as suit was commenced against the Corporate Judgment Debtor’s principals, their attorney called immediately, claimed that the conveyances were legitimate, and upon being strongly advised by me that in my experience and based upon the evidence presented to the Court, there would be no basis for the Corporate Judgment Debtor’s principals to avoid personal liability, the attorney almost immediately came back with a substantial offer to resolve the matter. Thereafter, payment in full settlement was made in short order.
Sometimes we need to get involved in Bankruptcy Proceedings. When a Debtor files a Bankruptcy Proceeding, and the evidence reveals that Fraudulent conveyances were made, an Adversary Proceeding needs to be commenced in the Bankruptcy Court. Another frequent area of litigation in the Bankruptcy Court where we commence Adversary Proceedings is where a Debtor has kept money that he has no legitimate right to retain. This comes up frequently when we represent a medical provider, and a patient sees that provider on an Out Of Network basis. The medical insurance company then pays the patient, who in normal circumstances just turns that money over to the medical provider. However, some patients have the gall to keep the medical insurance payments for themselves, and ignore the medical provider’s right to those funds. On occasion the patient, now a Debtor, thinks that his relief from his debts is in the Bankruptcy Court. However, upon commencing an Adversary Proceeding on the basis that the Debtor took money that was not his, we have usually been successful in arranging for payment from the Debtor, or in preventing the discharge of our client’s debt in the Bankruptcy Proceeding.
STEVEN D. GREIF
Goldman, Horowitz & Cherno, LLP
Attorneys At Law
47 Post Avenue
Westbury, New York 11590
Telephone: 516-228-0348, ext. 305