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What Attorneys Should Know About Debt Revival in Washington State

March 15th, 2022

John Doe Inc. (“JDI”), a fictional Washington business, received bad legal advice on a commonly misunderstood subject–the statute of limitations on old debts. A lawyer told the company not to bother pursuing legal action against large accounts that had initially fallen into default six-plus years ago. According to the attorney, “since the account holders initially defaulted more than six years ago, the statute of limitations would time bar your claims.”

The lawyer’s advice was flat wrong in this situation, and the bad advice potentially cost JDI the value of the large accounts against which JDI still had valid claims. The advice was wrong because of sporadic partial payments on the past-due accounts. The account holders’ partial payments to JDI likely removed any time bar on the contemplated collection lawsuits.

In Washington, the statute of limitations on a contract lawsuit refreshes each time the debtor makes a partial payment to the creditor. Washington’s legislature codified this legal principal under RCW 4.16.270, also known as the ‘partial payment statute’ or ‘debt revival statute.’ The partial payment statute reads as follows:

When any payment of principal or interest has been or shall be made upon any existing contract, whether it be a bill of exchange, promissory note, bond or other evidence of indebtedness, if such payment be made after the same shall have become due, the limitation shall commence from the time the last payment was made.

Early 20th century case law stemming from J.M. Arthur & Co. v. Burke, 83 Wash. 690 (1915) made it very difficult for creditors to prove qualifying partial payments for purposes of debt revival. But a pair of 1950s Washington Supreme Court cases impliedly abrogated or restricted Arthur and its progeny. The watershed moment was the Supreme Court case Wickwire v. Reard, 37 Wn.2d 748, 751-59 (1951). There the Washington Supreme Court factually differentiated Arthur and numerous other cases that had set high evidentiary burdens for partial payment arguments. Four years later-1955-the Washington Supreme Court’s opinion in Keen v. O’Rourke, 48 Wn.2d 1, 2-4 (1955) further limited Arthur and its progeny in dicta. The Keen Court suggested the line of holdings from Arthur should be constrained to their “peculiar” facts because they had involved scenarios strongly indicating no qualifying payments had been made.

Since the 1955 Keen case, it appears no Washington appellate opinion, published or otherwise,has dealt with a challenge to the sufficiency of evidence in a partial payment argument. See, e.g., Hamilton v. Pearce, 15 Wn.App. 133, 135-39 (1976); Hopper v. Hemphill, 19 Wn.App. 334, 336 (1978); Watters v. Doud, 92 Wn.2d 317, 319-21 (1979); Greer v. Whatcom Meadows Camping Ass’n, 84 Wn.App. 1101 (1997); Nilson v. Castle Rock Sch. Dist., 88 Wn.App. 627, 631(1997); Citibank S. Dakota, N.A. v. Cramer, 139 Wn.App. 1089 (2007); Hansen v. Anderson, 147 Wn.App. 1009 (2008). The watershed Wickwire and Keen cases seem to have sufficiently signaled the end of abnormally high evidentiary expectations in partial payment cases.

Savvy creditors and Washington business attorneys have more reason than ever to consider the partial payment statute before abandoning old debts.

Reputation Management is the Answer How Your Business Is Perceived

February 25th, 2022

Is it true that you are keen on finding out about dealing with your standing? Have you been searching for accommodating and solid data? Indeed, this article will ensure you get a few strong ideas. It will assist you with sorting out some way to more readily deal with your standing.

Posting data via online media locales is essential to your business’ standing. You should post a few times each week at any rate to actually run an advertising effort. Assuming you see that posting via online media locales is overpowering, consider recruiting an aide to make your posts for you.

At the point when individuals invest in some opportunity to offer something about your business, it is vital that you are sufficiently gracious to answer. While you might be an extremely bustling individual, it shows your crowd that you really care about them and what they need to say. This is imperative to keep a consistent client base.

At the point when you talk with your crowd, ensure that you do as such in a conversational tone. Individuals try to avoid the possibility of entrepreneurs continuously addressing them with promoting to them. While you would like to make a deal, you ought to never cause a client to feel like this is your main concern.

Be grateful. Assuming somebody leaves a decent audit about your organization, send them an individual message and express gratitude toward them for their criticism. On the off chance that conceivable, send your client a coupon for a specific percent off on their next buy as a much obliged. In the event that this is preposterous, earnestly say thanks to them for their input.

Assuming you will utilize anybody’s thoughts, you ought to constantly make a point to give them credit for that. Everybody out there can advance a little from others, so giving due credit will show individuals that you don’t think you are over that. This is an extraordinary method for getting their appreciation.

On the off chance that you own a business, treat your representatives consciously. Any other way, you might foster a negative standing as an entrepreneur. Certain individuals won’t give you business as a result of it.

Check any regrettable web-based content on your organization by reaching its maker. Assuming there is at any point any regrettable substance when you do an inquiry of your organization, take a stab at reaching the commentator, blogger or whoever posted it at the earliest opportunity. Inquire as to whether there’s anything you can do change their negative feeling to a good one. Assuming they are reluctant to do as such, compose a comment(if conceivable) with your side of the story.