Are you wondering if there are more assets like homes, businesses and rental properties that you are not aware of? This is an issue that could be running through your mind if you are a creditor and have filed a legal claim against a borrower who has defaulted on his or her payments. Your lawyer is likely wondering about the same thing and may hire the services of a private investigator to conduct a Prelitigation Asset Search. This process is a standard part of prelitigation proceedings, and it can either help you settle your claims out of court or boost your chances of winning the lawsuit.
In most cases, however, it will be more favorable for you and the other party to settle your dispute during the prelitigation process. Doing so can spare you from the tedious and drawn-out process of the actual litigation. If you are not familiar with prelitigation, below are three questions that you should ask your lawyer about the process.
1. Should I Settle?
Prelitigation refers to any activity that takes place regarding a legal claim before you formally file a lawsuit. Once you have filed a claim, you have essentially started the prelitigation process. It is during this stage where your lawyer may hire an investigator to gather more facts and documents to boost your case.
You should ask your lawyer if it is better to negotiate for a settlement than go through with the lawsuit. In most cases, it is more beneficial to settle the claim fairly without having to file the case. Your lawyer will present you with the facts of your case and point you toward the best direction. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide whether to settle or go through with the lawsuit.
2. What Are the Benefits of Negotiating?
Negotiations to settle a legal claim during prelitigation is usually informal, with lawyers representing both parties present. Discussions ideally should focus on the facts of the claim with both parties trying to come up with resolutions and arrangements to settle the claim. Prelitigation negotiations offer a faster and cheaper alternative to solve the dispute.
Lawyer fees for prelitigation proceedings are far less expensive than having him or her file the lawsuit. Costs of a lawsuit include the expenses for preparing and filing your case, depositions, motions and the billable hours that the lawyer spends to prepare for your trial.
If you ask your lawyer the benefits of negotiating, he’ll likely give you the facts of your case and the best possible result that you can expect from negotiating. This should further influence your decision whether or not to push through with the lawsuit.
3. Will the Settlement Be Fair?
Asking your lawyer this question will put him or her on the spot, but it is a fair question to ask nonetheless. To answer your question, the lawyer has to assess or even hire an investigator to make sure that the debtor is being honest. Your lawyer will then present you with the figures and leave it up to you to conclude whether or not it is fair.
There are other issues that you need to consider when deciding whether or not to proceed with the lawsuit. Do you want to keep the costs down, maintain a good relationship with the other party or keep the negotiation and resolution confidential? Your answers to these questions will help your decision-making during the prelitigation process.