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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38911
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Attorney Tina, I am in Sacramento, California, Regarding

Customer Question

Hi Attorney Tina,
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I am in Sacramento, California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Regarding Rental property - landlord & tenants issues. Tenants already filed small claim court and stated that landlord did not fully refund for the security deposit. Due to the bed bugs problem and a lot of cleaning and other expenses. Total $2,750. security deposit. I only returned about $540.00 to tenants. End up went to small claim court. I was treated unfairly by the judge. Not the judgement favors to my tenants. I need to pay the court fee $99 plus more than the tenants requested. About $2,150.00 to pay for the tenants.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I wonder if I should pay the money within 30 days from mail dated 5/25/2017. What happens if I will not pay the whole amount? Or I only pay a little bit. ?
JA: PayPal, Debitcard or credit card are all fine. What confuses you?
Customer: Does it will affect my credit and with public record on my credit report?
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

NOTICE: If you are presented with an offer for a phone consultation, which may appear to have been sent by me, please know that this is an automated website offer, and that I do not participate in this Justanswer program. If you would like to correspond with me directly, whether by phone, email or otherwise, then do not accept the phone call offer, because your request will be accepted by a random contributor, who may or may not be licensed to practice law in California – and, I will be unable to provide further assistance. Instead,simply type to me that you would like my direct contact info, and I will send you a specific offer for that purpose.

Hello...Tina is not available. Please permit me to assist.

I am a member of the State Bar of California, the Bar of the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside Counties), the Bar of the U.S. Tax Court, the California and National Associations of Realtors, and I have comprehensive information about all areas of California law. You asked:

I wonder if I should pay the money within 30 days from mail dated 5/25/2017. What happens if I will not pay the whole amount? Or I only pay a little bit. ?

A: First, you have the right to request an appeal of the small claims decision. The court will rehear the case, without any consideration of what was decided at the first hearing.

If you have already had your second hearing, then the answer to your question is that if you don't pay, then the tenant will have to obtain a "writ of execution" from the court, and then attempt to find property or bank accounts that you control, and which the county sheriff can seize and sell to satisfy the judgment. If the tenant cannot accomplish this, then the tenant will not collect anything from you.

In short, nothing will happen to you, if you don't pay right away -- or, even if you don't pay at all, until the tenant manages to find your assets and have the sheriff seize and sell them. This is very difficult for a typical non-lawyer to accomplish.

Does it will affect my credit and with public record on my credit report?

A: Yes, unless you appeal within 30 days, then the judgment will appear on and negatively affect your credit report for the next 7 years.

If you need more personal attention than can be provided in this public forum, I can arrange to send you my personal contact info, and we can take the discussion offline into a confidential setting. Please let me know if you're interested.

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Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Hello again,

I see that you have reviewed my answer, but that you have not provided a rating. Do you need any further clarification concerning my answer, or is everything satisfactory?

If you need further clarification, concerning this matter, please feel free to ask. If not, I would greatly appreciate a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) – otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Hi Attorney,
Thank you for your response. At the beginning, I want to appeal. Since I already paid an attorney to prepare trial brief. End up it did not help at all. I am not native speaking English American, speak Chinese. This is the most disadvantage for me. If I appeal, all my friends said I need to pay a lot of money and end up I will pay more than I need to pay my tenants.
My friends told me that the judgement usually favor to the tenants in California. In small claim court, I presented a one inch folder and a thick photo album. The judge stated that I did not have any documents and photos to prove. It is ridiculous. I paid the bed bugs fees twice, the tenants first move in and move out.
Due to my health problems, I did not have energy to speak my rights. This property is not my property. It is my mom and brother's house. They are non-resident in USA. I only take care their property. I think I am unlucky this time. So far I took care other properties since 1995. This is the first time like this.
Customer: replied 2 months ago.
I am not available to talk now. Can I call you tomorrow?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Okay, thanks.

If you already lost the appeal, then that ends the dispute, because you cannot appeal to a higher court.

What you need to decide is whether or not you want to pay. As previously explained, if you don't pay, the tenant will have to go through a great deal of effort to collect. That may provide you with an opportunity to settle the case for less than the judgment amount, once the tenant realizes how difficult it will be to collect from you.

At this point, you could offer the tenant a lesser amount in exchange for an "acknowledgment of full satisfaction" that you can file with the court. If the tenant agrees, then you exchange your check for the full satisfaction document, file it with the court, and you're done with this matter, forever.

If you need assistance in negotiating with the tenant, I can help. But, since you've already paid a lawyer for a trial brief, and lost, you may not be interested in spending any more money on legal assistance. If you are interested, I will send you an offer of direct correspondence which you may accept or decline at your discretion.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 months ago.

Offer sent. Thanks for using Justanswer!