It can sometimes be very difficult to deal with the fact that a debtor is not only refusing to pay you but willing to pay an attorney to file a response to your Complaint. In addition, if the matter goes to trial or arbitration, it can be startling to hear testimony from the debtor that may entirely contradict with your testimony.
What you need to remember is that, although this may be the first time in twenty years that a client has failed to pay you, this happens every day to many businesses and individuals all across the country for a variety of reasons. In order to increase your chances of recovering, however, you are best served by putting emotions aside. When the amount in controversy is within arbitration limits (this varies from county to county but is generally defined as under $50,000.00) you must understand that, even after you make the effort to attend arbitration, supply a witness and succeed, the Defendant has the right to appeal within 30 days. It is very common for an unsuccessful Defendant to appeal an arbitration award for purposes of discussing settlement in exchange for avoiding trial. While you may have more leverage for discussing settlement with an arbitration award under your belt, you’ve also lost precious time. If you’re willing to discuss settlement prior to an arbitration hearing or trial, you may save yourself time and money by treating the negotiations as you would treat any other business deal, rather than letting your anger and frustration get the best of you.