January 2014 News From Hecht Walker

Posted by Hecht Walker, P.C.
Posted on January 31, 2014


Issue Number 1, January 2014

Welcome to our newsletter!

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The attorneys and staff of the Law Offices of Hecht Walker are pleased to announce the inaugural issue of our monthly newsletter.


How to Reduce Your Attorneys Hours in 2014, Part 1

An Interview with Greg Hecht, Principal and Mark Walker, Principal
Ever think youd be getting advice from attorneys on how you can reduce your attorneys fees? Greg Hecht and Mark Walker, principals at the Atlanta law firm of Hecht Walker, offer advice for the new year for businesses, lenders, local governments, employers, landlords, tenants and other entities they routinely counsel.

We definitely want our clients to save money, time and headaches by utilizing ongoing diligent business practices to avoid unnecessary lawsuits and financial risks. Of course we also hope our clients know that when they do need our services, we are ready to help, says Greg Hecht.

Attorney Mark Walker suggests clients involve legal counsel early in the process. “Anytime you have something new going on, it never hurts to give your lawyer a call. Often, clients wait until things get out of hand to involve an attorney to try to save a little money. Better to know up front how to avoid expensive mistakes than to hire an attorney to clean up after a situation explodes.


Easing the Taxing Costs of Property Ownership

By Jon W. Jordan, Principal

Owners of real estate, whether residential or commercial are taxed for buying their property, selling their property, and even for simply owning their property. Each year around November, property owners receive a bill for ad valorem taxes on their real property. This bill is a combined tax assessment made by the State of Georgia, the County where the property is located, and in some instances the local municipality as well.

Unlike income taxes which are based upon verifiable data, ad valorem property taxes are often based upon a property valuation opinion made by a panel of taxpayers summoned to serve on the County Board of Tax Assessors. Often times, these opinions are based upon generalized assessments of the type of property being taxed and the general location of the property, without knowledge or consideration of the particular characteristics and condition of the property. After all, local governments simply do not have the resources to make individualized assessments of each and every property in the County before each tax assessment every year. As such, it is up to the taxpayer to ensure that his/her properties are valued and taxed properly. Otherwise, the taxpayer could risk overpaying the government thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars each year.

WHAT IS FAIR MARKET VALUE?

The Georgia Department of Revenue has established guidelines to assist County Tax Assessors with determining property values. Georgia statute defines a propertys fair market value as the amount a knowledgeable buyer would pay for the property and a willing seller would accept for the property at an arms length, bona fide sale.


Creditor Representation

By Mark Walker, Principal

One of the many areas of law practiced at Hecht Walker is creditor representation. Though this area of law is by no means glamorous nor subject to much conversation at social events, it can be satisfying if done properly. Principals at Hecht Walker have decades of experience in creditor representation.

In simple terms, creditor representation is attorney representation of a client, such as a financial institution, credit company, individual, private entity or private investor, in the collection of debt owed to the creditor. This representation includes representing the lender in:

  • bankruptcy
  • real property foreclosures
  • suing on Notes
  • personal property foreclosures

This representation can include several other remedies available under Georgia law that allow the creditor to either regain its collateral which secures the loan, or alternatively, regain the funds loaned back from the borrower.

When a law firm is retained for this purpose by the creditor, the first step for the attorney is to review the creditors documentation to ensure that the creditor is a proper position to enforce the debt instrument. (Read the Full Article)

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