Thursday, March 17, 2016

Win in Small Claims Court -- and You Can Still Lose

Whenever people find themselves in a dispute, they usually try to find a way to make the other guy do the right thing.  It can be a personal or business issue, and if it's less than a certain amount, the place to get the law on their side is usually small claims court.

At least, that's what they think.

The truth is that small claims court might well be where disputes are decided by a judge, but even if you defy the odds and win your case, that's not the end of the story.  You can win in small claims court and still lose:  Because in small claims court, winning is one thing; enforcing the decisions is a whole other story.

The judge may find the other guy guilty and order him to pay, but the judge can't make him pay. So before you waltz out of small claims court thinking you've won the day, consider this:

Most of the time, the losing party is ordered to pay the amount in full, either in cash or by cashier's check.  But very often, the losing party simply doesn't have the money to pay.  Which means you have to go after him to get your money, which costs you even more time and more money.

The first thing you have to do is file a "till take" order with the Sheriff's Department.  Then you have to pay them to implement it. A "till take" means a sheriff stands in the losing party's place of business and literally takes any money that comes into the business until he gets enough to have you paid.  It can take weeks. Or months. And that's assuming the other party hasn't simply left town.

On the other hand, since over 85% of small claims court cases settle without a trial, you're way better off using an online settlement service, which guarantees delivery of your payment within ten business days.  Here's how:

When you use an online settlement service, the entire process is not only faster than small claims court, it's way less expensive, too.  In a few days, the two parties settle without ever stepping into a courthouse or missing work, because it all happens online.  Once the online settlement service solves your dispute, the losing party pays with a credit card (which isn't even allowed by small claims court) for a Certificate of Final Resolution.  Then the online settlement service sends you a check within ten business days.

You're guaranteed to get your money because the losing party wants to get the matter over with forever.  And by paying with his credit card, he can pay off the amount of the CFR like any other credit card purchase.

With an online settlement service, you get your money, but more importantly, you get on with your life without wasting time and money in small claims court -- where there are no guarantees at all.

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