How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Law Pro Your Own Question

Law Pro
Law Pro, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 23480
Experience:  20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
Type Your Business Law Question Here...
Law Pro is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Vendor has retained counsel in our county and sued us for 6

Customer Question

Vendor has retained counsel in our county and sued us for 6 month old debt of $70k. We have paid 20% in the last month and want to pay down. Attorney wants us to stipulate to a plan where we will submit to judgment if we miss a payment. Cash flow is VERY tight so we are at risk of missing any plan we agree to. What are our alternatives? Vendor is in midwest. How expensive will it be for them to chase this? Will we necessarily be responsible for their legal costs?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Pro replied 11 months ago.

Welcome to JustAnswer! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete excellent answer for you.

My name is XXXX XXX I'm going to assist you with your question.

Please bear with me if you believe my answer isn’t coming fast enough because I’m also working with other customers too. I apologize for any seemingly late response.


Do you have a written contract that you were operating under with the vendor?

When you order products from the vendor - is there a terms of service or anything on the order form?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

how would you suggest we proceed? Our goal is to set a payment plan and repay every penny, but not be filleted if we are late on a payment or two.


 


Terms on PO and invoice say Net 30. From their boilerplate on their invoice (our PO has no detailed terms) which we didn't sign: "Purchaser shall defend, indemnify and hold XXX harmless of from and against any and all loss. damage, liability and expense including court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, arising out or any breach by Purchaser or the terms and conditions of this Purchase Order."


 


We aren't trying to stiff them, just continue to pay on our timetable without meeting their request:


Do you want to make a proposal to pay off the amount owing, with perhaps a Stipulation For Entry of Judgment Upon Default in Payment Schedule? The idea would be that no judgment would be entered unless and until YYY were to default in an agreed-upon payment schedule.


 


Of further interest is that they filed in California; their invoice terms say:


CHOICE OF LAW: This Purchase Order shall be construed and enforced pur­ suant to the laws and decisions of the State of ZZZ, as such laws and decisions relate to agreements entered into and to be fully performed therein.


 


JURISDICTION: Venue over any dispute arising under or in connection with this Purchase Order shall reside cxclusively in the state and federal courts located in the State of ZZZ, and Purchaser and XXX consent to the personal jurisdiction of such courts. The parties each waive any objection based on forum non convcnicns and waive anv objection to venue of any action instituted hereunder.

Expert:  Law Pro replied 11 months ago.
That's what I was looking for - a jurisdictional statement.

So it would appear that they named California as the state of jurisdiction and it's laws.

They already filed suit and you have been served with the complaint?

If so, when were you served?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Filed in Santa Clara County, California. Our agent of service received a registered letter. The agent said, "We received the Summons and Complaint by mail yesterday, presumably because we are agent for service of process. We did not receive personal service."

Expert:  Law Pro replied 11 months ago.
OK, that would be correct - service of process on your registered agent.


Just to make sure - where are you located or where is your business located?



Customer: replied 11 months ago.

all in Santa Clara County

Expert:  Law Pro replied 11 months ago.
OK.

You asked:

Attorney wants us to stipulate to a plan where we will submit to judgment if we miss a payment.

This is a common request and alternative if you are liable for the debt - it eliminates legal and litigation costs and establishes a repayment plan.

Cash flow is VERY tight so we are at risk of missing any plan we agree to.

I don't know your cash flow situation but you shouldn't agree to a repayment plan unless you can make those payments. Otherwise they have a judgment they can immediately start executing upon - against your inventory, assets, accounts receivable, bank accounts, real estate, etc.

What are our alternatives?

Alternatives are to litigate the matter and win completely, OR win reducing the alleged amount owed, or file bankruptcy.

The products/services they provided may have been defective or they breached the contract somehow.




Vendor is in midwest. How expensive will it be for them to chase this? Will we necessarily be responsible for their legal costs?

 

 

Not that expensive in reality - $5K maybe? They only have to show:

 

1) that they supplied you with products and services at a certain cost and payments were to be made pursuant to the invoice or agreement

 

2) that you defaulted and didn't make those payments

 

3) show their damages or amount owed

 

 

Your defense is that the product or services were somehow defective or that the contract provided for a payment plan or something.

 

 

You would only be liable for their legal fees IF the contract provides for the recovery of legal fees to the prevailing party and if they have to pursue the matter. Most contracts provide for such (the recovery of attorney's fees and litigation costs but I don't know what your contract provides).

 

 

 

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

If you have any questions, about this or anything else, please ask for me, Law Pro, directly in the question and I will try to assist you as best I can.

For example, you would state, "This question is for Law Pro . . . (then on with your question).

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/lawpro/2012-6-25_171315_PT206740s.64x64.jpg Law Pro's Avatar

    Law Pro

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1426
    20 years experience in business law - sole proprietor, partnership, and corporations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DC/DCraneEsq/2012-8-14_14436_DCrane.64x64.jpg MShore Law's Avatar

    MShore Law

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1233
    Drafted Negotiated and/or Reviewed Thousands of Commercial Agreements
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1162
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    1142
    Run my own successful business/contract law practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ohioatty/2009-1-22_185545_me.jpg J.Hazelbaker's Avatar

    J.Hazelbaker

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Experienced and trained in the area of business law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/scottymacesq/2009-6-10_221523_small.jpg RGMacEsq's Avatar

    RGMacEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    393
    Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BA/barristerinky/2012-6-10_22423_office.64x64.jpg Barrister's Avatar

    Barrister

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    301
    13 years practicing attorney, MBA