Debt Collection
FAQs
Atlanta Lawyer Group
1401 Peachtree St., N.E. Suite 240
Atlanta, Georgia, 30309

Office:404-607-7100
Fax:404-607-7121

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1. How Much Is My Claim Worth?
2. Good Debt Collection Case Indicators
3. Somebody owes me money and refuses to pay What Can I do to Collect?
4. Why Should I Use a Collection Attorney instead of a Collection Agency?
5. How Can I Be Sure that Collection Agency Mentality and Tactics Will not be Tied to My Business’ Name?
6. What Exactly Does a Collection Attorney Do?
7. What is the Statute of Limitations?
8. What Will Happen Once I Turn My Case Over to Atlanta Lawyer Group?
9. How Much Will My Attorney Cost Me?
10. Will I Have To Pay The Expenses of My Case Up Front?
11. Will My Case Take Very Long to Resolve?
12. How Do I Find a Lawyer?
13. I Have Obtained a Judgment and my Debtor Still Will Not Pay!
14. How Will My Lawyer Treat Me?
15. What is a fi fa?
16. Will My Attorney File My Case in My Hometown?
17. Georgia Law



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How Much Is My Claim Worth?

Your claim is worth the amount owed you, plus prejudgment interest, post-judgment interest and possibly *attorney fees, depending upon whether your contract provided for them, or whether they are otherwise available under statute or common law.

If the debt was the result of a breach of written contract, you may be entitled to "benefit of the bargain" or other legal damages. Each case must be examined on its particular facts.

**Attorney fees may be sought and obtained where permitted by contract, statute, or common law.

Please fill out a Free Case Evaluation (button is on the left) and we can better judge what yours might be worth.





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Good Debt Collection Case Indicators Good Debt Collection Case Indicators Include:
  • A promissory note or contract signed by the debtor.
  • A written admission (fax, e-mail or letter) by the debtor that they do in fact owe you the money.
  • Any other type of written verification from the debtor acknowledging the debt owed.
  • A written contract that has a provision for attorney fees.
  • The Debtor has the money to pay the amount owed.

These are only some of the major indicators of good cases. If You don’t have these factors, don’t be discouraged. This is not, by any means, an exhaustive list. There is every possibility Your case may still be a great one even if You don’t see any of the factors here. Only a close examination of Your case by a trained and qualified lawyer will determine the chances for getting your money back.

If You want us to consider Your case, we would be glad to receive Your Free Case Evaluation Form.





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Somebody owes me money and refuses to pay What Can I do to Collect?

Hire a lawyer. While we encourage you to make every reasonable effort to collect the debt on your own, debtors often won’t pay attention unless and until they see a legal complaint. See Why Should I Use a Collection Attorney Instead of a Collection Agency?

Time is very important. If you wait too long, your claims can be barred by statutes of limitations. See What is the Statute of Limitations.




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Why Should I Use a Collection Attorney instead of a Collection Agency?

Good Question! It has been proven time and time again that an attorney has more clout with debtors and therefore more success in recovery.

Ask yourself, if you were a debtor would you pay more attention to a law firm that sends you copies of your evidence of indebtedness and a draft lawsuit or an annoying call from collection agency? Who would you believe the debtor will pay quicker?

Attorneys who concentrate on the collection of delinquent accounts are invaluable resources for any business. We believe attorneys collect the accounts more successfully because people respond more quickly to action (a lawsuit) than to threat of action (a call from a bill collector).

Another benefit of hiring an attorney is that we strive to promote amicable agreements between our clients and debtors. Not every debtor is a deadbeat, and we do not treat them like one until it becomes absolutely necessary. Allowing you and the debtor to maintain a business relationship with the understanding that you mean business and will expect to get paid or take appropriate action may prove more beneficial to your business. By hiring a collection agency you may well be burning the bridge with that customer. We place great importance on salvaging relationships that may have otherwise been terminated.





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How Can I Be Sure that Collection Agency Mentality and Tactics Will not be Tied to My Business’ Name?

By hiring an attorney instead of a collection agency the power to collect the debt arises out of law, not out of threats and intimidation tactics sometimes employed by collection agencies. Not all collection agencies are bad, of course. Nevertheless, keep in mind, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has strict guidelines on the methods that can and can’t be employed in collecting a debt. By hiring a collection agency to collect on a debt, they are acting as your agent, and as such, you could be held responsible for any unlawful tactics they happen to use in collecting your debt. If they exceed the restrictions of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act you could be held responsible for breaching this Federal law. For more on the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, See http://www.ftc.gov/os/statutes/fdcpa/fdcpact.php

An attorney acting as a debt collector is also subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. BUT, most attorneys will strictly adhere to the guidelines AND simply file a lawsuit sooner. It is ACTION the debtor will respect, not threats of action.





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What Exactly Does a Collection Attorney Do?

We do a practical analysis of the likelihood of obtaining a successful judgment, how long it will take to get the judgment, and the likelihood the Defendant can and will pay. We do asset searches on the debtor; skip traces; seek out and find the debtor; engage in negotiations, pursue claims judicially if negotiations are not successful; obtain judgment executions; domesticate foreign judgments; and levy on the debtor’s assets. We prepare all necessary legal documentation and argue cases in front of judges and juries.





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What is the Statute of Limitations?

The statute of limitations sets the time in which You must file Your lawsuit, or it will be forever barred. If You file after the statute of limitations expires, it is virtually certain Your case will be thrown out and be forever barred from being re-filed. It is incredibly important to know what the Statute of Limitations is in Your case because Defense attorneys routinely look to throw out cases based on expired statutes of limitation. It ends the case for them quickly and cheaply.

An analysis of Your statute of Limitations is one of the very first things You should have Your lawyer do. It is of extreme importance. Determining when the statute of limitations expires.

In Georgia, all actions upon simple contracts in writing shall be brought within six years after the same become due and payable. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-24.

Additionally, a creditor can bring an action against a debtor to collect on a foreign judgment (meaning a judgment obtained outside the state of Georgia) within five years of that judgment being obtained. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-20.

All actions upon open account, or for the breach of any contract, not under the hand of the party sought to be charged, or upon any implied promise or undertaking shall be brought within four years after the right of action accrues. O.C.G.A. § 9-3-25.

Oral contracts, not barred by the statute of frauds, have a 4 year statute of limitations.

Atlanta Lawyer Group encourages you to contact us immediately, rather than allowing the statute of limitations to wind down. A quick response often increases your chances of recovery, and allows us to contact the debtor before we commence actions in a court of law. If an attorney takes a case too close to the applicable limitations, he or she may be forced to file Your case in order to preserve the statute of limitations without really knowing whether Your case is any good or not. It would be a highly unusual attorney who likes or wants to be put in this position (having to file a case before he or she knows whether you have a good case).





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What Will Happen Once I Turn My Case Over to Atlanta Lawyer Group?

First you must furnish all supporting documents for each claim so the dollar amount can be authenticated and an appropriate investigation can be done prior to the filing of suit if applicable. Next, the steps are normally as follows.

Review the file to verify the amount of the debt and the basis for the debt;

Ascertain which Court has proper jurisdiction in this particular matter;

Give the debtor written notice that we represent you and also make a formal demand for payment, either in full or on a schedule (often we include a draft complaint);

If a demand is not met, file suit in the Court whose jurisdiction and venue are proper.





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How Much Will My Attorney Cost Me?

You should not have to pay any attorney fees out of Your pocket. Virtually all collection attorneys accept cases on a ‘contingency fee basis’. A ‘contingency fee’ means that the fee the attorney receives depends entirely upon the attorney getting You a recovery. You only pay if he or she succeeds in getting You money (or getting You something of value). It also means that if there is no recovery, You owe no attorney fee whatsoever. For example, if Your attorney recovers $150,000.00, then he or she would take the agreed upon percentage of this gross recovery. If, on the other hand, Your attorney spends significant time and effort on Your case and there is no recovery, then You owe no attorney fees whatsoever for his or her services.

The Contingency Fee percentage Your attorney will charge You depends on the state in which You live. State laws differ, bar rules differ, the practice in states vary from one to the next. The range of percentages runs from 25% to 50% depending on the facts of your particular case. Whatever the percentage is, You should insist it be put in writing in a fee agreement signed by You and the lawyer or law firm. This is the way it is done by good, honest and ethical lawyers.

Remember, no matter what the contingency fee percentage, you want the very best lawyer, not the K-Mart special who will settle your case for less than it is worth. In life, You get what You pay for. Quality attorneys require the going rate and do not discount.

HOW ARE EXPENSES OF MY CASE HANDLED

The attorney fee is very different than the expenses of litigation. The expenses of litigation include investigators, graphic exhibits, medical records fees, expert fees, filing fees, deposition fees, etc. Expenses in collection cases are normally very small. We can control the expenses of each case by reviewing them, and giving the client pre-approval over all expenses over $250.00.





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Will I Have To Pay The Expenses of My Case Up Front?

WHAT ARE EXPENSES OF MY CASE? The expenses of Your case may include costs of medical records, expert fees, court filing fees, deposition fees, court reporting fees, trial exhibits, private investigator fees, etc.

DO I HAVE TO PAY THESE FEES UP FRONT? This will depend upon who You hire. Attorneys generally fall into three categories:

CATEGORY 1 - Some attorneys may require You pay the expenses up front even though the attorney fee is contingent. This is somewhat rare.

CATEGORY 2 - Some attorneys will require You only pay some of the initial filing fees and deposition expenses up front. If You have an excellent case with a "deep pocket" from which to recover, attorneys will usually front all of the remaining expenses of Your case.

CATEGORY 3 - Many attorneys will advance all costs and expenses of litigation on Your behalf if they judge your case to be very good on liability and that the Defendant has the ability to pay without going bankrupt.

In all three categories, the attorney will deduct all expenses he or she advanced on Your behalf from the ultimate recovery in Your case after the contingency fee has been deducted from the gross recovery (the term "gross recovery" means the total value of the complete recovery).

Our law firm most often falls into CATEGORY 3 - advancing all expenses of any case that has excellent liability and a deep pocket from which to collect.

Your fee contract with Your lawyer should spell out how expenses will be advanced and then later deducted from any recovery.





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Will My Case Take Very Long to Resolve?

It depends, a debtor may or may not have the ability to pay when they are faced with potential legal action. A lawyer must make a judgment call on whether this debtor can pay immediately, can pay on time, or will go bankrupt if strong demand and very strong actions are taken from the outset.

Post-Judgment, the same analysis must be made. However, post-judgment, we can place a lien on the debtor’s real or personal property and garnishing their wages. Ask yourself, would you want to have your property seized or your wages garnished when you had sufficient liquidity to satisfy a debt?

How Long?

From Initial Demand Oftentimes, with a demand letter, draft complaint and documents evidencing the debt, the debtor will pay within a matter of weeks. For those who don’t, a lawsuit is the next step.

Magistrate Courts: From filing to judgment will take 2.5 to 6 months.

Oftentimes, the debtor will agree to pay on the day of trial, subject to a consent judgment obtained there. Just as often, the debtor does not even answer the complaint and a default judgment is obtained within 60 days of filing the litigation. Magistrate courts have fewer procedural requirements than the state or superior courts, thus, cases are resolved more quickly. The Magistrate Court has jurisdiction over the trial of civil claims including garnishment and attachment in which exclusive jurisdiction is not vested in the superior court and the amount demanded or the value of the property claimed does not exceed $15,000.00, provided that no prejudgment attachment may be granted. O.C.G.A. § 15-10-2 (5).

The downside of Magistrate Courts in Georgia, is that a savy debtor can often delay things longer than if just filed in State or Superior Court.

State Courts: From Filing to Judgment between 60 days and 1.5 years. In collection cases, often under a year.

State Courts are often excellent places to file such lawsuits. Defendants on promissory notes or accounts often fail to answer and a default judgment is entered on a letter to the judge. The advantage of State courts over Magistrate is in the post-judgment collection discovery permitted. In State court, subpoenas, depositions and general discovery techniques may be used. In magistrate court judgments, the Creditor is severely limited in post-judgment collection discovery. State courts are also advantageous over superior courts because their case loads often move faster, meaning a faster resolution of the lawsuit.

Superior Courts: From Filing to Judgment between 60 days and 1.5 years. In collection cases, often under a year.

Even though State Courts offer some advantages over superior courts, Superior Courts are still excellent places to file such lawsuits. Even though it may take longer to schedule a hearing, often times, no hearing is necessary, so the advantage of the State Court case load speed becomes irrelevant. Superior Courts, also can enforce equitable remedies and hear equitable claims, which State Courts cannot. In instances where equitable claims (such as no contract and the claim is for unjust enrichment), superior Court will be the only place to go.

A Debtor Just Sent Me a Check Marked "Payment in Full" Which Does Not Satisfy the Debt, Can I Cash it?

Don’t cash it without consulting a lawyer. In Georgia, it may or may not be considered and "Accord and Satisfaction" in other words, a settlement in full of the amount owed to you.

According to O.C.G.A. § 13-4-103:

acceptance by a creditor a check, draft, or money marked "payment in full" or with language of equivalent condition, in an amount less than the total indebtedness, shall not constitute an accord and satisfaction unless: a bona fide dispute or controversy exists as to the amount due; or such payment is made pursuant to an independent agreement between the creditor and debtor that such payment shall satisfy the debt.





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How Do I Find a Lawyer?

You are warmly welcomed to Contact Us. We genuinely care about our clients and we aggressively pursue their interests. We want to get you the biggest settlement or judgment. Our location makes it easy for us to handle cases throughout Georgia.

If You do not want to contact us, or if we decline Your case for any reason, we normally recommend You talk with friends, family, local judges and other people You trust to get a recommendation.

Other places to find lawyers include The State Bar of the State in Which You are located and Internet Resources for Qualified Collection attorneys.





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I Have Obtained a Judgment and my Debtor Still Will Not Pay!

The Atlanta Lawyer Group works tirelessly to ensure your judgment is satisfied. It is at this point, that we will utilize the debt collection methods that are available as a result of receiving a judgment in our favor.

The first step may be recording a copy of the judgment to obtain a lien against the debtor’s real property. If the debtor still doesn’t pay, it is then that we need to employ post-judgment discovery methods to identify the debtor’s assets, which the sheriff will then seize and sell to pay your judgment. In addition, we can obtain a garnishment by which you would be entitled to a portion of the debtor’s salary.





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How Will My Lawyer Treat Me?

You want your lawyer to treat you with respect.

You want reasonable communication response time. You want to be able to receive a return phone call (or email) within 48 hours (or to have someone call you and explain why she or he is unavailable and when she or he will be available).

You want complete honesty from your lawyer. You want a lawyer who only works with the absolute truth and constantly searches for the truth whether that truth is good or bad for your case. Only by knowing the absolute truth can your lawyer best serve you.

You want to be copied on all important papers.

You want your lawyer to tell it like it is, rather than how you want it to be.

You want your lawyer to be completely ethical in the prosecution of your case, in dealing with the other side, and in dealing with you. Contrary to popular belief, unethical lawyers are bad for everyone involved. They do not get better results.





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What is a fi fa?

A fi. fa. (it stands for fieri facias), otherwise known as a writ of execution, is a court document that instructs a sheriff to seize and sell a defendant’s property in order to satisfy a monetary judgment against the defendant, issued by the clerk of the court. By recording a fi. fa., a lien is created on any real property owned by the judgment debtor within the county the action was filed in.

This is one of the post-judgment legal tools that Atlanta Lawyer Group will utilize.

IN GEORGIA





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Will My Attorney File My Case in My Hometown?

Not necessarily. Where You live does not determine where Your action may be filed. The general rule followed by most states is that the lawsuit can only be brought where the defendant resides.

Therefore, Your attorney will generally file Your case in the immediate area in which the Defendant lives.

In Georgia, if there are multiple defendants causing a single harm (in other words, the negligent acts of several people or entities combined to cause Your injuries) you can sue all of the Defendants in any of the counties where a single defendant resides.

In Georgia, if the Defendant is from out-of-state, but the injury was caused here, the Defendant may be sued in the county in which the injury took place.

Venue in cases under this article shall lie in any county wherein a substantial part of the business was transacted, the tortious act, omission, or injury occurred, or the real property is located. Where an action is brought against a resident of this state, any nonresident of this state who is involved in the same transaction or occurrence and who is suable under the provisions of this article may be joined as a defendant in the county where a resident defendant is suable. Under such circumstances, jurisdiction and venue of the court of and over such nonresident defendant shall not be affected or lost if at trial a verdict or judgment is returned in favor of such resident defendant. If such resident defendant is dismissed from the action prior to commencement of the trial, the action against the nonresident defendant shall not abate but shall be transferred to a court in a county where venue is proper.” O.C.G.A. § 9-10-93.

This is a complex case specific analysis. It is one You should go over with Your attorney.





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Georgia Law
This Website is not intended to constitute specific legal advice. This Website Does Not Establish an Attorney/Client relationship. YOU WOULD BE TAKING A GREAT RISK BY TRYING TO INTERPRET ANY LAW WITHOUT THE AID OF AN ATTORNEY. YOU SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE TRYING TO INTERPRET OR APPLY ANY OF THE REFERENCED LAWS BELOW. ANY OF THE LAWS BELOW MAY HAVE BEEN AMENDED OR CHANGED PRIOR TO YOUR VIEWING THEM ON THIS WEBSITE - AGAIN - CONSULT AN ATTORNEY -

This website contains only general background information. If You think You may have a Collection case You should promptly contact a lawyer in Your state with experience in handling Collection cases.


STATUTES OF LIMITATIONS see
GEORGIA LAW ON APPROPRIATE RATES OF INTEREST
O.C.G.A. 7-4-2
(a) (1) (A) The legal rate of interest shall be 7 percent per annum simple interest where the rate percent is not established by written contract. Notwithstanding the provisions of other laws to the contrary, except Code Section 7-4-18, the parties may establish by written contract any rate of interest, expressed in simple interest terms as of the date of the evidence of the indebtedness, and charges and any manner of repayment, prepayment, or, subject to the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section, acceleration, where the principal amount involved is more than $3,000.00 but less than $250,000.00 or where the lender or creditor has committed to lend, advance, or forbear with respect to any loan, advance, or forbearance to enforce the collection of more than $3,000.00 but less than $250,000.00.
(B) Where the principal amount is $250,000.00 or more, or the lender or creditor has committed to lend, advance, or forbear with respect to any loan, advance, or forbearance to enforce the collection of $250,000.00 or more, the parties may establish by written contract any rate of interest, expressed in simple interest terms or otherwise, and charges to be paid by the borrower or debtor.
(C) Nothing contained in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the computation and collection of interest at a variable rate or on a negative amortization basis or on an equity participation basis or on an appreciation basis.
(2) Where the principal amount involved is $3,000.00 or less, such rate shall not exceed 16 percent per annum simple interest on any loan, advance, or forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of money unless the loan, advance, or forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of money is made pursuant to another law.
(3) As used in this Code section, the term "interest" means a charge for the use of money computed over the term of the contract at the rate stated in the contract or precomputed at a stated rate on the scheduled principal balance or computed in any other way or any other form. Principal includes such charges to which the parties may agree under paragraph (1) of this subsection. Amounts paid or contracted to be paid as either an origination fee or discount points, or both, on any loan secured by an interest in real estate shall not be considered interest and shall not be taken into consideration in the calculation of interest and shall not be subject to rebate as provided in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this Code section.
(b) (1) Upon acceleration of the maturity of any loan, advance of money, or forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of money upon which interest has been precomputed, unearned interest shall be rebated to the debtor in such amount as would result in the rate of interest earned being no greater than the rate of interest established by the original contract. In the case of a loan in which the principal and the interest for the entire term of the loan are included in the face amount of the loan and the loan is to be paid back in weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or yearly installments, with the interest and principal portions of each installment determined under the pro rata method, any such rebate shall be determined on the pro rata method.
(2) Unless stipulated in the contract, there shall be no prepayment penalty.
(c) Nothing contained in this Code section shall be construed to amend or

§ 7-4-15. Interest on liquidated demands; promissory notes payable on demand
All liquidated demands, where by agreement or otherwise the sum to be paid is fixed or certain, bear interest from the time the party shall become liable and bound to pay them; if payable on demand, they shall bear interest from the time of the demand. In case of promissory notes payable on demand, the law presumes a demand instantly and gives interest from date.

Exception under which interest can be recovered in excess of the legal rate.

§ 7-4-16. Rate of interest on commercial accounts

Unless otherwise provided in writing signed by the obligor, a commercial account becomes due and payable upon the date a statement of the account is rendered to the obligor. The owner of a commercial account may charge interest on that portion of a commercial account which has been due and payable for 30 days or more at a rate not in excess of 1 1/2 percent per month calculated on the amount owed from the date upon which it became due and payable until paid. "Commercial account" means an obligation for the payment of money arising out of a transaction to sell or furnish, or the sale of, or furnishing of, goods or services other than a "retail installment transaction" as defined in paragraph (10) of subsection (a) of Code Section 10-1-2.

But look at ADC Construction Co. v. Hall, 202 Ga.App. 199, which held that a commercial account does not constitute a contract or obligation as required under this statute.

§ 7-4-18. Rate greater than 5 percent per month prohibited

(a) Any person, company, or corporation who shall reserve, charge, or take for any loan or advance of money, or forbearance to enforce the collection of any sum of money, any rate of interest greater than 5 percent per month, either directly or indirectly, by way of commission for advances, discount, exchange, or the purchase of salary or wages; by notarial or other fees; or by any contract, contrivance, or device whatsoever shall be guilty of a misdemeanor; provided, however, that regularly licensed pawnbrokers, as defined in Code Section 44-12-130, are limited in the amount of interest they may charge only by the limitations set forth in Code Section 44-12-131.
(b) This Code section shall not be construed as repealing or impairing the usury laws now existing but shall be construed as being cumulative thereof.
(c) Nothing contained in Code Section 7-4-2 or 7-4-3 shall be construed to amend or modify the provisions of this Code section.
§ 13-6-13. Interest
In all cases where an amount ascertained would be the damages at the time of the breach, it may be increased by the addition of legal interest from that time until the recovery.

§ 51-12-14. Interest on unliquidated damages
(a) Where a claimant has given written notice by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery to a person against whom claim is made of a demand for an amount of unliquidated damages in a tort action and the person against whom such claim is made fails to pay such amount within 30 days from the mailing or delivering of the notice, the claimant shall be entitled to receive interest on the amount demanded if, upon trial of the case in which the claim is made, the judgment is for an amount not less than the amount demanded. However, if, at any time after the 30 days and before the claimant has withdrawn his or her demand, the person against whom such claim is made gives written notice by registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery of an offer to pay the amount of the claimant's demand plus interest under this Code section through the date such notice is given, and such offer is not accepted by the person making the demand for unliquidated damages within 30 days from the mailing or delivering of such notice by the person against whom such claim is made, the claimant shall not be entitled to receive interest on the amount of the demand after the thirtieth day following the date on which the notice of the offer is mailed or delivered even if, upon trial of the case in which the claim is made, the judgment is for an amount not less than the sum demanded pursuant to this Code section.
(b) Any written notice referred to in subsection (a) of this Code section shall specify that it is being given pursuant to this Code section.
(c) The interest provided for by this Code section shall be at an annual rate equal to the prime rate as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, as published in statistical release H. 15 or any publication that may supersede it, on the thirtieth day following the date of the mailing of the last written notice plus 3 percent, and shall begin to run from the thirtieth day following the date of the mailing or delivering of the written notice until the date of judgment. This subsection shall apply to all civil actions filed on or after the effective date of this subsection.
(d) Evidence or discussion of interest on liquidated damages, as well as evidence of the offer, shall not be submitted to the jury. Interest shall be made a part of the judgment upon presentation of evidence to the satisfaction of the court that this Code section has been complied with and that the verdict of the jury or the award by the judge trying the case without a jury is equal to or exceeds the amount claimed in the notice.
(e) This Code section shall be known and may be cited as the "Unliquidated Damages Interest Act."

GARNISHMENT
§ 18-4-20. What is subject to garnishment
(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) "Disposable earnings" means that part of the earnings of an individual remaining after the deduction from those earnings of the amounts required by law to be withheld.
(2) "Earnings" means compensation paid or payable for personal services, whether denominated as wages, salary, commission, bonus, or otherwise, and includes periodic payments pursuant to a pension or retirement program.
(b) All debts owed by the garnishee to the defendant at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee and all debts accruing from the garnishee to the defendant from the date of service to the date of the garnishee's answer shall be subject to process of garnishment; and no payment made by the garnishee to the defendant or to his order, or by any arrangement between the defendant and the garnishee, after the date of the service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee, shall defeat the lien of such garnishment.
(c) All property, money, or effects of the defendant in the possession or control of the garnishee at the time of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee or coming into the possession or control of the garnishee at any time from the date of service of the summons of garnishment upon the garnishee to the date of the garnishee's answer shall be subject to process of garnishment except, in the case of collateral securities in the hands of a creditor, such securities shall not be subject to garnishment so long as there is an amount owed on the debt for which the securities were given as collateral.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this Code section, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any work week which is subject to garnishment may not exceed the lesser of:
(A) Twenty-five percent of his disposable earnings for that week; or
(B) The amount by which his disposable earnings for that week exceed 30 times the federal minimum hourly wage prescribed by Section 6(a)(1) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, U.S.C. Title 29, Section 206(a)(1), in effect at the time the earnings are payable.
(2) In case of earnings for a period other than a week, a multiple of the federal minimum hourly wage equivalent in effect to that set forth in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be used.
(e) The limitation on garnishment set forth in subsection (d) of this Code section shall apply although the garnishee may receive a summons of garnishment in more than one garnishment case naming the same defendant unless the garnishee has received a summons of garnishment based on a judgment for alimony or the support of a dependent, in which case the limitation on garnishment set forth in subsection (f) of this Code section shall apply although the garnishee may receive a summons of garnishment in more than one garnishment case naming the same defendant. No garnishee shall withhold from the disposable earnings of the defendant any sum greater than the amount prescribed by subsection (d) or subsection (f) of this Code section, as applicable, regardless of the number of summonses served upon the garnishee.
(f) The exemption provided by subsection (d) of this Code section shall not apply if the judgment upon which the garnishment is based is a judgment for alimony or for the support of any dependent of the defendant, provided the summons of garnishment shall contain a notice to the garnishee that the garnishment is based on the judgment for alimony or the support of a dependent. In any case in which the garnishment is based on the judgment, the maximum part of the aggregate disposable earnings of an individual for any workweek which is subject to garnishment shall be 50 percent of the individual's disposable earnings for that week.
(g) Except as provided in Article 7 of this chapter for a summons of continuing garnishment for support, the summons of garnishment, including a summons of continuing garnishment pursuant to Article 6 of this chapter, shall on its face state the total amount claimed to be due at the time of the summons and the amount subject to garnishment shall not exceed the amount so shown on the summons of garnishment.
(h) The summons of garnishment, including a summons of continuing garnishment, may on its face set forth, if known, the social security number of the defendant.
(i) A summons of garnishment upon a financial institution, or an attachment thereto, shall state with particularity all of the following information, to the extent reasonably available to the plaintiff:
(1) The name of the defendant, and, to the extent such would reasonably enable the garnishee to answer properly the summons, all known configurations, nicknames, aliases, former or maiden names, trade names, or variations thereof;
(2) The service address and the current addresses of the defendant and, to the extent such would reasonably enable the garnishee to answer properly the summons of garnishment and such is reasonably available to the plaintiff, the past addresses of the defendant;
(3) The social security number or federal tax identification number of the defendant; and
(4) Account, identification, or tracking numbers known or suspected by the plaintiff to be used by the garnishee in the identification or administration of the defendant's funds or property.

A misspelling of any information required by paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, other than the surname of a natural person defendant, shall not invalidate a summons of garnishment, so long as such information is not misleading in a search of the garnishee's records.

ATTORNEY’S FEES
§ 13-1-11. Attorney's fees in notes, etc., in addition to interest
(a) Obligations to pay attorney's fees upon any note or other evidence of indebtedness, in addition to the rate of interest specified therein, shall be valid and enforceable and collectible as a part of such debt if such note or other evidence of indebtedness is collected by or through an attorney after maturity, subject to the following provisions:
(1) If such note or other evidence of indebtedness provides for attorney's fees in some specific percent of the principal and interest owing thereon, such provision and obligation shall be valid and enforceable up to but not in excess of 15 percent of the principal and interest owing on said note or other evidence of indebtedness;
(2) If such note or other evidence of indebtedness provides for the payment of reasonable attorney's fees without specifying any specific percent, such provision shall be construed to mean 15 percent of the first $500.00 of principal and interest owing on such note or other evidence of indebtedness and 10 percent of the amount of principal and interest owing thereon in excess of $500.00;
(3) The holder of the note or other evidence of indebtedness or his attorney at law shall, after maturity of the obligation, notify in writing the maker, endorser, or party sought to be held on said obligation that the provisions relative to payment of attorney's fees in addition to the principal and interest shall be enforced and that such maker, endorser, or party sought to be held on said obligation has ten days from the receipt of such notice to pay the principal and interest without the attorney's fees. If the maker, endorser, or party sought to be held on any such obligation shall pay the principal and interest in full before the expiration of such time, then the obligation to pay the attorney's fees shall be void and no court shall enforce the agreement. The refusal of a debtor to accept delivery of the notice specified in this paragraph shall be the equivalent of such notice.
(b) Obligations to pay attorney's fees contained in security deeds and bills of sale to secure debt shall be subject to this Code section where applicable.

Attorneys fees in non-contractual situations. Consumer Fraud
§ 10-1-399. Private actions, notice before filing
(a) Any person who suffers injury or damages as a result of a violation of Chapter 5B of this title, as a result of consumer acts or practices in violation of this part, as a result of office supply transactions in violation of this part or whose business or property has been injured or damaged as a result of such violations may bring an action individually, but not in a representative capacity, against the person or persons engaged in such violations under the rules of civil procedure to seek equitable injunctive relief and to recover his general and exemplary damages sustained as a consequence thereof in any court having jurisdiction over the defendant; provided, however, exemplary damages shall be awarded only in cases of intentional violation. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, a debtor seeking equitable relief to redress an injury resulting from a violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393, upon facts alleged showing a likelihood of success on the merits, may not, within the discretion of the court, be required to make a tender. Nothing in this subsection or paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393 shall be construed to interfere with the obligation of the debtor to a lender who is not in violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393. A claim under this Code section may also be asserted as a defense, setoff, cross-claim, or counterclaim or third-party claim against such person.
(b) At least 30 days prior to the filing of any such action, a written demand for relief, identifying the claimant and reasonably describing the unfair or deceptive act or practice relied upon and the injury suffered, shall be delivered to any prospective respondent. Any person receiving such a demand for relief who, within 30 days of the delivering of the demand for relief, makes a written tender of settlement which is rejected by the claimant may, in any subsequent action, file the written tender and an affidavit concerning this rejection and thereby limit any recovery to the relief tendered if the court finds that the relief tendered was reasonable in relation to the injury actually suffered by the petitioner. The demand requirements of this subsection shall not apply if the prospective respondent does not maintain a place of business or does not keep assets within the state. The 30 day requirement of this subsection shall not apply to a debtor seeking a temporary restraining order to redress or prevent an injury resulting from a violation of paragraph (20) of subsection (b) of Code Section 10-1-393, provided that said debtor gives, or attempts to give the written demand required by this subsection at least 24 hours in advance of the time set for the hearing of the application for the temporary restraining order. Such respondent may otherwise employ the provisions of this Code section by making a written offer of relief and paying the rejected tender into court as soon as practicable after receiving notice of an action commenced under this Code section. All written tenders of settlement such as described in this subsection shall be presumed to be offered without prejudice in compromise of a disputed matter.
(c) Subject to subsection (b) of this Code section, a court shall award three times actual damages for an intentional violation.
RECOVERING EXPENSES OF LITIGATION
§ 13-6-11. Expenses of litigation
The expenses of litigation generally shall not be allowed as a part of the damages; but where the plaintiff has specially pleaded and has made prayer therefore and where the defendant has acted in bad faith, has been stubbornly litigious, or has caused the plaintiff unnecessary trouble and expense, the jury may allow them.

Domestication of Foreign Judgments
FOREIGN JUDGMENTS
Statute of limitations on foreign judgments
§ 9-3-20. Actions upon foreign judgments
All actions upon judgments obtained outside this state, except judgments for child support or spousal support, or both, shall be brought within five years after such judgments have been obtained.
However , this limitation does not apply to foreign judgments pursued under the Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Law.
Domestication of foreign judgments—from a state which has not adopted a law substantially similar to Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act

§ 9-3-20 applies. Generally, the Georgia courts have held that where a properly authenticated copy of a foreign judgment is filed with the court and on its face a lack of jurisdiction is not evident, jurisdiction will be presumed by the court and a prima facie case is made in favor of domestication of the foreign judgment.



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