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Marie, Realtor
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 714
Experience:  Real Estate Law/Broker Owner/Morgage/Title Co./Builders LLC
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agreement signed under duress

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I have a question about signing an agreement under duress. I filed bankruptcy and was to list my bank. When the bank found out they locked me and my partner out of our business accounts. My partner had nothing to do with my problems and the money owed to the bank was from a past issue and business. They did this at the time that our payroll was due so under duress I signed an agreement to pay the debt. I feel it was extortion and illegal to do this. This account is making it almost impossible to continue financially. Do I have a case to renegotiate the agreement. My bankruptcy is accepted and the bank even got some money.
Harold H Allen [email protected] Virginia resident
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marie replied 10 years ago.
This is a bit trickey as you signed the agreement and by co-mingling the past and present companies monies, you in a sense booby-trapped yourself. The past problems should have been kept separate and apart for the monies you have with the present partner. You will have to get counsel and establish what monies went where.The bank has no vested interest but it's own. They are not non-profit nor to they care about your personal problems. By asking you to sign an agreeement to pay the debt, you in a sense shot yourself in the foot. Was this part of the bankrupsy disburments or considered for abandonment? If the judge released you from this debt, then you have every right to have an attorney try to renegotiate this. It may seem hopeless, but I would think the bank would be willing to try to work this out. Unless you get an attorney involved, I don't think they will even bother to speak to you. I would suggest you do not go the duress and illegal route. This is like hanging a club over someone's head you need a favor from. Perhaps, you can have your attorney point out, that without the fiances, you can not continue to be solvent. You may be able to work out a deal that all can live with. I personally feel that since they received monies from the bankrupsy that they have full knowledge and are aware that they may have gotten more than one slice from the pie. I'm sorry this was not address at the bankrupsy hearing as you would not have this hanging over your head now. Good luck, and if you have any other questions, I will try to help.

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Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Marie's Post: I appreciate the answer and it helps. One is that the monies were not comingled they were seperate and distinct. The corporations were seperate and the partner was not involved with the other monies. They used the accounts of a totally different corporation to extort the agreement. Does this make a difference. Thanks XXXXX
Expert:  Marie replied 10 years ago.
Yes it can. And this is why you have to get an attorney to separate the facts. It seems like there may have been some blurring on the part of bank. However, you still signed it over, so now the question is, did you have the right to do that? Perhaps not, since your partner may have needed to be contacted as a co-signer. In which case this may not be valid. Again, an attorney may be able to put this in a better legal perspective. Could you have your partner present legal recourse against the bank? Would this present any leverage to rescind your written agreement? It might. This is why I said it was tricky because you may be able to show that you were too emotionally upset to understand just what you were doing. It may also be that the bank over stepped their boundaries as well. This is a very fine line and you may be able to push the envelope with an attorney that knows where to find the holes. It is worth a shot, simply because there is no black and white. And at this point you have everything to gain. This will be a squeaky wheel fight. I think it is something you have to investigate just by the nature of the fact that the bankruptcy added another element of consideration. Does that make sense to you?
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Marie's Post: Thanks I will get one I need a a bull dog I think. It is hard to figure who will work hard for me as there are a lot of attorneys around here but they don't seem to be hungry.
Expert:  Marie replied 10 years ago.
The first thing is ask around. Do you know someone that has been through a bankrupcy or lawsuit? I think you can find one. Just be patient. And make sure you interview them. If a red flag goes up they are not for you, thank them and walk out. This is your future. Ask the attorney how much experience he has with this type of thing? And of course, you need someone that has a backbone. If you feel like you are getting lip service, then yuor probably are. Move on to another. There is typically no fee for an initial consult. Ask up front. But first ask people you know. I bet you will find someone doing that.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Marie's Post: Thanks
Harold H Allen
Expert:  Marie replied 10 years ago.
It was a pleasure to help you.   Marie
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