Landlords are Mandated to Comply with The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 by July 1, 2020

Landlords are Mandated to Comply with The Tenant Protection Act of 2019 by July 1, 2020

At Mendes Weed, we want to make it easy for landlords to comply with the current law.  Rent Caps are now State Law, and Landlords are required to comply with the law by providing their tenants written notices and obtaining tenant signatures on the notices.  Take two copies of the notices to the tenant(s).  Have the tenant sign both copies so that there are duplicate originals. The tenant will receive one copy and the landlord another fully signed copy. The landlord should maintain a signed notice in the tenant’s files

We are attaching such a notice to this article.  Landlords with a preexisting lease need to obtain their tenant(s)’s signatures on the attached prior to August 1, 2020.  All new leases entered into with tenant(s) should also have this language either within the lease or as an addendum.  For all such notices, the landlords must use a font that is no smaller than 12 points.

Should a landlord ever decide to raise the rent or evict a tenant, the landlord should expect the tenant to offer defenses to such rental increases or eviction based upon a landlord’s failure to obtain signed copies of such notices from their tenant(s).  The text of that notice can be found below.


ADDENDUM TO LEASE AGREEMENT: NOTICE OF STATE-MANDATED RENT CONTROL (Civil Code § 1947.12)

California law limits the amount your rent can be increased.  See Section 1947.12 of the Civil Code for more information.  California law also provides that after all of the tenants have continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 12 months or more or at least one of the tenants has continuously and lawfully occupied the property for 24 months or more, a landlord must provide a statement of cause in any notice to terminate a tenancy.  See section 1946.2 of the Civil Code for more information.

As a tenant, I am signing that I have received this Addendum to my Lease Agreement and Notice of State-Mandated Rent Control from my Landlord, __________________ (name).

Dated:_____________    Signature:  _____________________________________  Name of Tenant:_____________________________________

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San Francisco Office

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Oakland Office

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Oakland, CA 94607

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San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Collecting Money Owed

Collecting Money Owed

Whether a client is collecting for a business or collecting for an individual, the actual process of collecting money is essentially the same with some not so minor and very crucial differences.

The few differences occur when debt collectors, and Federally-speaking, this includes attorneys, are collecting money owed by a consumer. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (“FDCPA”) and California’s Rosenthal Act both have requirements, requirements with which attorneys must comply. Aimee Morris has spent the better part of her in the debt collection industry, has served as the compliance officer for debt collection companies, is intimately familiar with both Federal and California debt collection laws.

Aimee Morris has collected money for major credit card issuers, credit unions, banks, businesses, and other retailers. If you are in the business is collecting debts from consumers, Aimee Morris is ready to pursue the debts owed to judgment while fully complying with the laws pertaining to debt collection.


For a debt collector looking for a defense in an FDCPA action in the California or U.S. District Courts, Aimee Morris was highly successful in defending an attorney in Gates v. MCT Group; Case No. 3-13-cv-02611-MMA-DHB, not only in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, but also on appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Gates v. MCT Group, 93 F.Supp.3d 1182 (2015).

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Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Collection of Consumer Debts

Collection of Consumer Debts

Aimee Morris is an attorney and a debt collector.  This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.

The above sentence hails from the Federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act.  Aimee Morris has been collecting debts from consumers her entire career, having served at debt collection law firms as the Chief Compliance Officer, for both the Federal and California’s Fair Debt Collections Practices Acts.

Consumers have legal protections to which collection attorneys must adhere.  Whether it is collection of medical debts, debts owed to financial institutions or debts owed to landlords, Aimee Morris has filed thousands of lawsuits in all of the Courts in the State of California, defended debt collectors in the Federal and State Courts in California, all the way to the Ninth Circuit, even filed Proofs of Claims and adversarial proceedings in the bankruptcy courts.

At Mendes Weed, we would like to help you collect your debts every step of the way

  • We send the consumers proper demand letters seeking payment of their debts by what is referred to by the FDCPA and California’s Rosenthal Act as validation notices.
  • Lacking a favorable response to the validation notice, filing, service, and prosecution of a lawsuit through judgment and beyond.

For those creditors with judgments, at Mendes Weed, we also assist our clients in the collection of those judgments.  Within ten years of entry of a judgment, that judgment, and each renewed judgment, can be renewed for successive ten-year periods.  If you need help collecting on your judgments, please contact us at Mendes Weed.

Please also review our article regarding the collection of Judgments:  Collection of Judgments.

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Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Business Debt Collection

Business Debt Collection

With businesses, contracts are the lifeblood of a company. Late payments are annoying, but when invoices remain unpaid, eventually, a company cannot survive unless the accounts receivables are paid. When one business is owed money by another business, and really wants to get paid, it’s time to enlist our services at Mendes Weed, LLP. This article only covers business debts owed by one business to another, with regard to debts owing by consumers, that is covered in this article: Consumer Debt Collection.

Business debt collection starts when the parties begin negotiating with a credit application. The credit application constitutes a contract between the parties to the business transaction. Banking information, asset information, and other information pertaining to the assets of a company and its principal(s) taking out credit must be provided. When possible, getting the personal guarantee of owners or principals is a good idea, especially for unproven companies. Your credit application should notify the entity seeking credit that attorneys’ fees, interest rates, and costs on unpaid balances shall accrue. When arranging for goods or services on credit, the credit application may require all of the above prior to credit being extended. Until a business is established, it only takes one series of events for a business to fail. If that debtor business fails, without personal guarantees, debts are very difficult to collect. Until a business establishes that it pays its debts timely and in full, that its principals will guarantee the business’ debts, cash on delivery (COD) is always an option. Yet, there will always be the urge to extend credit to unknown or risky businesses just to meet sales quotas.

Let’s say, we are too late for a credit application, what happens then. Hopefully, the invoice provides for attorneys’ fees, interest on unpaid balances, and costs of litigation. Business customers often want to pay, but they have their own financial problems, say Coronavirus has overwhelmed that business due to a government-mandated shutdown. Some businesses simply like to delay all of their payments, and on the other extreme, some businesses will always go out of their way to avoid paying any invoices. With regard to the former, a late payment clause should be contained within the credit application and within the invoices. With regard to the latter, a litigation plan must be swift and strategic.

Unlike consumer debts, if a business creditor is in fear that the business debtor is in the process of hiding or depleting its assets, an attorney can start the collection of a business debt with a very effective procedure in the Courts. That procedure is called a Prejudgment Claim of Right to Attachment. What this procedure entails is “attaching” or freezing of money or assets that may exist in the debtor business right when the lawsuit is commenced. If the assets are “attached,” the asset is protected so that at the conclusion of the lawsuit, there will be sufficient assets to pay the creditor business.


If you need an attorney who is experienced in collecting business debts from other businesses, please give us a call at Mendes Weed. We help businesses get paid.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
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Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
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Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
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Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Family Law Judgement Debt Collection

Family Law Judgement Debt Collection

Your divorce is final.  You have a judgment.  You are owed money…and your ex WILL NOT PAY! Where do you go from here?

We can help!  Remember, you cannot ask the Court to collect on a judgment for you.  You have to do it yourself or ask an attorney to do it for you.

There is nothing preventing you from immediate collection efforts on a judgment, so long as:

  • The Court has entered the judgment.  You can check to local court register of actions to confirm entry of judgment; and,
  • There is no stay (suspension) on the enforcement of the order.
    • Some causes for a stay are as follows:
      • Appeal; or,
      • bankruptcy case; or,
      • other legal action.

If you wish to take some steps toward collecting on your own, here are some tips:

  • Give your ex an address where s/he can send the payment. You can give them a Venmo option, or PayPal option.  They can also wire funds from their bank.  This will also create a paper trail for purposes of tracing a payment should you be undercut on the full amount due, preventing your ex from claiming they paid in full.
  •  You can offer to accept a reduced amount than the whole judgment requires, under the condition there is immediate payment. Remember to keep any modifications to a judgment in writing.  BEWARE:  An agreement to take a reduced amount prevents you from collecting the remainder at a later time.  Before you consider this option, definitely, talk to us at Mendes Weed.
  • You can offer to collect payments over time.  Any payment structure should be memorialized in a writing.  Even text of email is sufficient, although, not better than a court order permitting the modification.
  • If your ex does not pay you by the date the court ordered, write your ex a letter (email is also acceptable, but ask for a read receipt if possible), and be sure to include a copy of the judgment. Diplomatically remind your ex that you are owed funds under the judgment, and if they do not comply you will be forced to seek legal action.   Keep in mind, most judgments (especially if drafted by an attorney) have attorney’s fees clauses in them which permit a spouse to seek attorney’s fees for having to return to court to enforce terms of a judgment.
  • Call an attorney. If your ex refuses to comply with the judgment, the legal process can be complicated, expensive, and time-consuming.

Do not exercise illegal self-help methods. 
Your ex could possibly be protected from offensive or unfair ways to collect the debt. It is not wise to engage in harassing and deceitful tactics to try and get your money. Further, these tactics could prevent you from collecting any attorney’s fees to which you may be otherwise entitled.  Consult an attorney at Mendes Weed about additional, lawful methods of dealing with a non-paying ex.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667

Handling Evictions During COVID-19 Lockdown

Handling Evictions During COVID-19 Lockdown

Currently, many courts have stayed evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Courts in Contra Costa County are closed to evictions until at least April 28, 2020.

No new unlawful detainer [eviction] filings will be accepted.  For those unlawful detainer matters involving violence, threats of violence, and/or health and safety issues, parties should seek a restraining order first, then seek permission from the hearing judge to file an unlawful detainer action.

Courts in Alameda County are closed to evictions until and including May 3, 2020.

Court clerks in Solano County are not processing defaults, setting trials or issuing writs of possession while the shelter in place orders are in effect.  Unlawful detainer trials scheduled between March 17, 2020, and May 1, 2020, will not occur during that period and will be rescheduled.

Courts in San Francisco have stayed eviction cases for 90 days until June 19, 2020.  Filings are being accepted, but March 18, to April 15, 2020, is deemed a holiday thereby delaying filings of certain documents during the holiday period.  Trials and settlement conferences are also delayed during that 90 day period.

On March 27, 2020, Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-37-20 extending the deadline specified in Code of Civil Procedure § 1167 for the filing of a responsive pleading to a suit for unlawful detainer to 60 days for qualified tenants, which order is operable through May 31, 2020.

Given all of these delays, and possible further delays depending on COVID-19, Landlords cannot help but wonder whether they will ever be able to collect rent, or lacking payment of rent, when landlords may resume unlawful detainer actions in the courts.

During the pandemic, evictions are out of the question.  The good news is that if the landlord has a mortgage on the property, the landlords should also be protected from being defaulted with their mortgage lenders.  Mendes Weed can help landlords with their lenders.  Lenders such as Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are suspending foreclosures and evictions until at least May 17, and forbearance may be granted for up to a year.  While tenants are protected until July 25, certain lenders for multifamily units of more than 5 units are offering forbearance on their loans of up to 90 days should the landlord agree not to evict any tenant who fails to pay rent during such time.  Guidelines were issued by five federal agencies, namely, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.  Lenders operating under the CARES Act received guidance for loan modifications.  If a loan is modified due to the impact on rents due to COVID-19, the lender cannot classify the restructured loan as troubled debt, etc.  Landlords who have other lenders not subject to these governmental agencies will need an attorney who can effectively make the landlords’ case with the lender, possibly even with the courts in order to obtain equitable relief.

At Mendes Weed, we have client landlords who were already in the eviction process with their tenants when this pandemic arrived.  Even though their tenants owed rent before the pandemic, the landlords are unable to continue with their eviction proceeding during the pandemic.

The United States Constitution contains a contracts clause within Article 1, section 10, clause 1.  The contracts clause provides that a State is prohibited from passing any law that “impairs the obligation of contracts.”  Although it may appear that our Governor in California is interfering with contracts, eventually, the tenants will need to repay the landlord the rent that is owed, or the landlord will be able to evict their tenants.  For now, however, the world is dealing with a life-threatening virus, and these protections are in place to protect everyone from exposure to the virus.  Eventually, the eviction stay will be lifted, and the tenants who are not paying rent during this pandemic will owe back rent.

Once the stays are lifted, attorneys practicing and landlords appearing before the eviction courts will need to show compassion to the victims of this pandemic while at the same time making sure their rights to receive rent are protected.  The courts will want to see the tenants treated with compassion during these trying times.  Aimee Morris represents only landlords in eviction proceedings and knows how to help landlords place their best case forward in court.  There are ways to resolve unlawful detainer actions while ensuring that tenants feel respected and understood, while simultaneously making sure that all of the landlord’s rights are being protected.

As an experienced evictions attorney, Aimee Morris has prosecuted hundreds of trials against tenants and consumers in the California Courts.  In the Bay Area, the courts expect tenants to be treated courteously.  At Mendes Weed, it is not difficult to imagine that once the courts permit unlawful detainer actions again, that there may be further orders and rules created for the protection of tenants.

For instance, it would not be surprising if the Governor orders landlords to accept repayment plans for back rent owed.  Judges might even strongly, albeit unofficially, encourage payment plans, otherwise known in an unlawful detainer settlement as a “pay and stay,” even if a landlord is able to prove their case for eviction.  If the tenant fails to follow through with timely payments in a “pay and stay” settlement plan, the landlord can obtain a writ of possession and a money judgment without going to trial.  Landlords and their attorneys will need to know all of the differing types of stipulations for settlement, making sure that the landlord is able to obtain a judgment for possession and money so that the landlord can regain possession of the property and be able to collect the back rent owing.

Once the courts reopen for evictions, tenants who are using this pandemic as an excuse not to pay rent will need to be evicted.  Let Mendes Weed, LLP, help you with your unlawful detainer/eviction proceedings.

SuperLawyers-RisingStars
Best of the East Bay Attorneys
Lisa Janine MendesReviewsout of 5 reviews
Walnut Creek Chanber of Commerce logo
Christina Weed - Taxation Law Specialist
lawyers of distinction badge 2020

Walnut Creek Main Office

1990 N. California BLVd.
Suite 1020
Walnut Creek, CA 94596

(925) 390-3222

San Francisco Office

95 Third Street
2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103

(628) 216-5558

Oakland Office

66 Franklin Street
Suite 300
Oakland, CA 94607

(510) 822-2770

San Jose Office

3031 Tisch Way
110 Plaza West
San Jose, CA 94607

(408) 707-1667