If acompany owes me money, what legal and non-legal actions can I take?

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If acompany owes me money, what legal and non-legal actions can I take?

A company in LA owes me over 1,500. It dissolved its article of incorporation in 2 states. However, it filed a fictitious business in LA in 2005. How can I complain to aside from the BBB? What other legal and non-legal actions can I take? They currently are doing business and have a website. Can I complain to the Sec of State? is there some on-line agency that regulates companies doing business?

Asked on November 3, 2010 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A very few business are regulated in such a way that there *may* be a regulatory body which could intervene in your case--e.g. certain segments of the financial and insurance industries. However, in the vast majority of cases, the *only* way to recover money that you believe you are owed (e.g. under a contract, from a promissory note, for services rendered) is by bringing a lawsuit, which may not be cost effective.

There are actions you can take to try to get "justice," like complaining to the BBB, or to the state attorney general or law enforcement (though in the latter cases, generally only if there is a violation of a law, not a contractual or similar dispute); however (1) those actions will not get you paid; and (2) be careful what you say, because you don't want to find yourself on the short end of a defamation suit (if you make any negative and potentially false factual assertions) or lawsuit for  tortious interference with contractual relationships (if you try to disrupt business operations).


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