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I've had a small business, sole-proprietorship for 32 years.

I've had a small business, sole-proprietorship for 32 years. 15-20 years ago my bank (it's a large US bank) gave me a $100K secured line of credit requiring interest-only payments. We maxed it out during the crash, 2008-2009, and set up monthly auto-payments from our business checking account to cover the interest. Three years ago in a first-step effort to someday pay it down, we set-up auto-payments of $200/mo towards the principal. We've shown nothing but good-faith and want to increase principal payments as soon as we can. We don't want to be paying 6% on this loan forever.In June I got a call from some division of the bank calling in the loan. He asked if I could make a large principal payment then much higher monthly payments. I couldn't. He said he understood, and has to turn it over to the high-risk dept. They'll contact me and let me know if there's anything they can do for me.Yesterday when the $40K was taken from my account, I called and was told they'd tried contacting me at least a half dozen times, including two letters. Honest to God I didn't get those letters (I would NEVER have ignored them). And she left four phone messages for me, but I thought they were sales calls; she gave her name in the messages, saying she's with the bank, but nothing else. I get sales calls from all three of the banks I have accounts in – offers to refinance, investment tool offers, etc. I didn't recognize her name so I didn't return her calls.I've been with this bank at this location for 25 years (it was two other banks before this one absorbed the last about 15 years ago). I have numerous accounts with them and have been a model customer. We also had our business in their building (my branch building) for twenty years. Up until 2.5 years ago, we paid rent of (depending on how much space we needed at any given time) between $3200 and $6500/mo.My wife and I begged and pleaded with the woman on the phone yesterday asking for her to put the money back and set up a more aggressive monthly payment plan. We proposed $2000/mo. The loan would be paid off in four years. She wouldn't budge. They were keeping the $40K and we need to set up a monthly payment for the balance.We pleaded and pleaded and after checking with her supervisor (who she would not let us talk to), she said they'd put $15K back in the account if we signed a monthly payment schedule for the balance.My question is, is there anything I can do but say yes? This is going to wipe out what's left of my piddly retirement account. Bankruptcy is not an option. And the only other asset I have is my home. Do I have any negotiating clout? Would they reduce the amount due, or do they have no incentive to do that? Tx

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Richard - Bizlaw

Juris Doctor

9,818 satisfied customers
I have a particular situation, and I want to protect myself

I have a particular situation, and I want to protect myself as best I can, from being sued.I am a very small business (sole proprietor) and I sold a piece of equipment to the buyer, using a contract that included my 6 month warranty covering parts and labor for any manufacturer's defect in the product. The original and actual manufacturer's warranty had expired. This means that . . . . In the event of a manufacturer's defect, that I would pay for the parts and labor to get the equipment repaired. If anything happened that was not due to a manufacturer's defect, I would not be responsible for the repair.During the 6 months warranty period, the piece of equipment became severely damaged.I told the buyer where to send the equipment for repair . . . to first have the repair facility assess what happened, to first determine if this was a manufacturer's defect, or some user-error. I did not attempt to influence their findings in any way. I did not even tell them anything about my warranty, etc. . . The repair facility assured me that this was a case of user error and not a manufacturer's defect.I explained to the buyer in detail what they discovered about the fault being user's error.The repair is expensive to fix ( $6,000 ). I explained this situation to the buyer (by phone and email). I even said that because I feel badly about this happening, that I would pay for part of the repairs. The buyer's thinking is that he did nothing incorrectly and that I am fully responsible for the repairs. He has ceased communication with me – does not respond to my emails or phone calls.I am expecting him to sue me, and I want to better my position now, to better protect myself from a lawsuit, if possible.The buyer lives and works in Georgia and I live and work in California. Our sales contract also states that any dispute will be resolved by arbitration in the county where I live and work.My goal is to avoid a lawsuit, or make me less of a target for any attorney he will try to hire.Right now, the main area of vulnerability that I think I have is as follows:If he takes the position that he sent the equipment back (he did send it, but not to me, he sent it to the repair facility = manufacturer) and therefore he may take the position that the equipment is no longer in his possession and therefore he has grounds to demand a refund. I am thinking he would sue me and the manufacturer / repair facility (because they have deeper pockets).I want to reinforce that he is the owner.My concern is that possession is 9/10s of ownership and he is no longer in possession of this equipment.To address this and to clarify the ownership verses current possession . . . . . . I was thinking to advise him that after next week (30 days at repair facility) there will begin a storage fee charge. And then begin to bill him monthly or weekly for storage fees. I think this helps to clarify that he is still the owner, even though he may say that he sent the equipment back.And the fact is that this equipment has been at the repair shop for almost 30 days and something needs to be done about that. There is no reason he would accept it if it were shipped back to him – it is useless until it is repaired. So I need to motivate him to do something: . . . . written permission to dispose of it, or . . . something.Is my idea about charging him for storage to continue to show his possession, a sound idea?How to dispose of, or sell for parts, this un-usable equipment without further prompting a lawsuit?Geoffrey

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Juris Doctor

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Can you dissolve a corporation while it is being sued or do

Can you dissolve a corporation while it is being sued or do you have to wait for a judgement? There are no assets, it's a small business that provides a service, thus if a judgement is placed it cannot pay it and thus either file for bankruptcy or just dissolve it.

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Attorney at Law

Juris Doctor

33,100 satisfied customers
I am a shareholder in a small business which turns over

I am a shareholder in a small business which turns over about £250,000 per year. One of the directors has agreed to sell his shares of 25% in the company for £10,000. This is a very low sum even taking into consideration that the company is not doing as well as it has in the past. He will be leaving the company as part of corporate restructuring and general agreement of all parties.The remaining majority shareholder will have just over 50% of the company once this restructuring has taken place and will be keen to buy out other shareholders while the value of the shares are low, in an effort to seek investment at a later stage with him owning a larger shareholding.My question is are the other shareholders legally obliged to sell at a value similar to the £10,000 at any point or can we hold onto our shares until there's investment and growth in the company some years down the line? As I understand it there are standard drag along and tag along rights.

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Doctoral Degree

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I am a bank manager my son's company is a bank client we did

I am a bank manager my son's company is a bank client we did a loan for the company I had to sign as a guarantor of the loan they requested a release of lien on a piece of collateral I submitted the request through the proper department I am being accused of violating a code of ethics snd my 16 year career threatened. Am I at risk?

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Alex Esquire

Managing Attorney

Doctoral Degree

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Dad has property in a single member LLC, which he has not

Dad has property in a single member LLC, which he has not filed returns on or paid the $800 annual fee(s) on since 2009, when he formed them. He does declare their income, however, on his returns. He now wants to put the properties from the LLC back in his name without paying the LLC taxes.JA: Can you tell me what state the LLC is registered in?Customer: CaliforniaJA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?Customer: noJA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?Customer: no

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Irwin Law

Juris Doctor JD

8,836 satisfied customers
I am going to start a business providing broker services for

I am going to start a business providing broker services for small business finance. I reside in Calif. Do I need a RE license for this? If I do and I do it as a LLC is there another type of license I can get to avoid only being able to hire those with RE licenses?

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Juris Doctorate

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My mother is owner and matriarch of the family business. Its

My mother is owner and matriarch of the family business. Its a restaurant that she's owned for 11 years. Needless to say she has been running the restaurant's bookkeeping and is now utilizing the methods of taking out financial business loans from over charging companies which prey on these small businesses.She is 60 years old and ready to spend the rest of her days relaxing. I have been working at the restaurant for almost 2 years and have discussed my possibly becoming a partner/owner. My question is.How do I create a contract and what should the contract entail?

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TJ, Esq.

Juris Doctor (JD)

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On the advise of my business partner I was told it was okay

On the advise of my business partner I was told it was okay to just 1099 my employees and claim them as independent contractors but now one is suing us for not taking taxes out. She claims she was misclassified and that were we liable to have her listed as an employee. Does she have a case?

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Dwayne B.

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