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An Oklahoma statement of judgment is the vehicle through which someone enforces their judgment. It is closely associated with a lien because that is what the statement of judgment creates.

 

What does a statement of judgment do?

The statement of judgment creates a lien on all real property owned by the judgment debtor within the county in which the statement of judgment is recorded.

What is an example of how a statement judgment works?

That typically means if I file a statement of judgment with the Oklahoma County Clerk for Joseph Smith, a lien is created from the date I record the Statement on whatever real property Mr. Smith owns in Oklahoma County. If Mr. Smith owns real property and Beckham County for example, then I have to record a statement of judgment in back in County.

What is the process for recording a statement of judgment?

Either the judgment creditor (the person you have the judgment) or sometimes an attorney for the judgment creditor files, unsurprisingly, a document known as a statement of judgment with the county clerk. The statement provides the critical details about the judgment including the county, the amount in the name of the judgment debtor (i.e. the person who owes on the judgment).

What does it cost to record a statement of judgment?

It’s $13 for the first page and $2 for each additional page, so usually approximately $15.

What happens after the statement is recorded?

Besides the lien being created, not much. That is unless somebody takes some kind of action to foreclose on the lien, the statement of judgment could sit there for a lengthy period of time. There is another way however where the statement of judgment could trigger some action: if the person who owes the money is selling

If the person who owes the money is selling property or trying to refinance property that they own, typically the lender is going to require the statement of judgment be paid off before closing. As you might expect, this type of leverage can go a long ways towards getting the judgment paid.

Yes, pun intended; I had to get your attention somehow, right?

If you have been involved in commercial lending in any capacity, you have probably come across the guaranty (in this post, I am using the terms “guaranty” and “guarantee” interchangeably, as both a noun and a verb, per Adams on Contract Drafting). In working with clients on issues where a guaranty is required, I have noticed some confusion about what is actually being given. Below is material to clear up the confusion.

Guaranty, defined.

According to dictionary.com a guaranty is a “warrant, pledge, or formal assurance given as security that another’s debt or obligation will be fulfilled.”  The alternative definitions provided by dictionary.com provide that a guaranty can be something that is presented as security or a person who acts as guarantor.

A guarantee (or a guaranty) is promise by a person or a company to be responsible for another person or company’s debt.  Here is a visual example:

untitled-drawing

There are a couple of types of guaranty:

Unconditional Guaranty

An unconditional guaranty means that the person or company that signs it, the guarantor, “unconditionally guarantees payment to Lender of all amounts owing under the Note.” Some of the finer points:

  • This guaranty remains in effect until the loan is paid in full.
  • The guarantor must pay all amounts due under the Note when the lender makes written demand upon guarantor.
  • The lender is not required to seek payment from any other source before demanding payment from guarantor.

Personal guarantee

This is another variant of the guarantee. With this instrument, the guarantor is agreeing to be individually liable for the debt. While an entity may be the actual borrower, the guarantor is agreeing that it will pay the debt if it not otherwise paid. Without the word “unconditional” added to it, this means that the lender may be required to seek payment from the borrower first before trying to recover directly against the guarantor.

The individual guarantee a common requirement when a new business is applying for a loan. Without any credit history, the lender requires additional security beyond the business’s promises to pay and the additional security is one or more individuals involved in the business agreeing to pay.

Distinction

One example of the difference between an unconditional guarantee and a guarantee of payment found in comparing the SBA’s Form 148, the Unconditional Guarantee with the SBA’s Form 148L, the Unconditional Limited Guarantee.

The key point in this discussion is if you sign a personal guarantee, you the are putting your assets at risk to secure the loan. This is not uncommon but it is important to understand the effect of the personal or individual guarantee.

If you are a business owner or someone in a position of authority with a business, do you know if your business required to pay overtime to employees?

You might be surprised by the answer, read on to find out.

For Oklahoma employers covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the FLSA controls the payment of overtime.  Here are the basic requirements your business must meet to required to pay overtime pay:
  • The business must be covered by the FLSA.  Consider this blog post to answer the question of whether your business covered by the FLSA.
  • The employee must not be an exempt employee to qualify for overtime pay.  Consider this post for the type of employees who might be exempt from the FLSA.
  • The employee must work more than 40 hours in one work week. 

 

What is the work week? I have seen some uncertainty about this from employers.  According to the United States Department of Labor:

The Act applies on a workweek basis. An employee’s workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours — seven consecutive 24-hour periods. It need not coincide with the calendar week, but may begin on any day and at any hour of the day. Different workweeks may be established for different employees or groups of employees. Averaging of hours over two or more weeks is not permitted. Normally, overtime pay earned in a particular workweek must be paid on the regular pay day for the pay period in which the wages were earned.

 

To summarize:  All nonexempt employees of an FLSA-covered employer must be paid at a time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in the same work week.


Discouraging fact provided by the Tulsa World:

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

Oklahoma Minimum Wage

image

Have you wondered if there is an easier path to begin the analysis of an Oklahoma non-compete agreement?  If so, you are in luck.

I have written extensively about Oklahoma non-compete agreements, non-solicitation agreements, non-disclosure agreements and related competition documents. Recently, it ocurred to me that there is a better to explain how Oklahoma competition law fits together.

Oklahoma public policy is decisively against non-compete agreements . . . that limit employees.  This directly in contrast to a couple of other areas where Oklahoma public policy expressly allows non-compete agreements.  Those areas are when partners make an agreement about how to handle the break-up of a partnership and if the goodwill of a business is sold.

Determining whether you fit into to the first or second scenario is about 99% of the battle in determining whether the non-compete restriction will be enforceable.  To best understand Oklahoma competition law, think of an analysis moving across two tracks:

 

  1.  Were you an employee when you signed the restrictive agreement?
  2. Were you an owner of a business when you signed the written agreement?

The answer to these questions determines your track.  If you are on tract 1, consider this post for some additional guidance.  If you are on track 2, consider this post for additional guidance.

 

That title is fancy way you can use Apple Podcasts to find audio to learn how to do things and how do use software.

Although you can probably generate a lot of the same results using Google, you can be more focused and therefore more efficient when you want audio learning by using Apple podcasts.

For example, I am interested in implementing Slack in to my small business. I’ve read a few articles about it and read the literature provided by the developer.

However, I’m not satisfied that I have the information I need to understand what caps lock is and how it could be implemented in my business. For that reason, my search for podcast and the Apple Podcast app to find short audio shows were people explain what Slack is and how to use it.
This is an example of the offerings I found:

 

 

I can listen to a few of these short podcast and come away with a much more complete and useful understanding how Slack. Next time you need to learn about a piece of software consider using Apple Podcast as a starting place.

Do you know how many of your employees are entitled to receive overtime pay?

If you do, you will want to check on this issue again in a couple of months because the rules are changing.

The number of employees who are entitled to get overtime pay is about to explode in size.

Most business owners that are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act are aware that employees who work more than 40 hours in a work week are entitled to overtime pay UNLESS the employee fits into exemption. (If you do not know this, you might consider reading this post).

Employees that fit into an exemption do not have to be paid over time.  Watch out though because the number of employees who qualify for the exemption is about to drastically drop:

The United States Department of Labor has issued new regulations which take effect this fall change the amount of money an employee needs to make to be exempt from the overtime requirements.

The Current Law

The current test is that workers who exceed 40 hours on the job in a week do not have to be paid at overtime rates if they meet three criteria:

  • They are employed on a salaried basis.
  • Their jobs are primarily professional, administrative or executive.
  • They make at least $23,660 per year.

The New Law

The new regulations double the threshold salary amount at which executive, administrative and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay to $47,476 from the current $23,660.

According to USA Today, this change is “expected to make 4.2 million additional workers eligible to receive time-and-a-half wages for each hour they put in beyond 40 a week.”

How many of those 4.2 million works who are about to become overtime eligible are your employees?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Help arrives for taxpayers in the crosshairs of the IRS:

Oklahoma Tax Help

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, March 30, 2016:  Today, Cazes Roberts, a full-service Oklahoma law firm, announces the launch of “Oklahoma Tax Help” (irstaxhelpok.com).

Oklahoma Tax Help fights for individuals and companies to get relief from IRS or Oklahoma Tax Commission (“OTC”) tax problems. The IRS is the most powerful collection agency in the world and when it focuses its resources on an individual or company, the pressure is excruciating (so too with the OTC).  For example, an individual’s state-issued professional license (e.g., doctor, nurse, attorney, engineer or anyone else who has a state-issued license) or a company’s sales tax permit, can be suspended for failure to pay taxes.

What can feel like the end of the world does not have to – there is a pathway to resolution with the IRS or the OTC and relief from the tax debt pressure.  Oklahoma Tax Help leads its clients on a pathway through the resolution process that ends with relief from the tax debt pressure and, therefore, peace of mind.

It is exciting to use the experience and skills we have to offer relief to Oklahomans who are being targeted by the IRS or the OTC”, said Dale B. Cazes, Esq., co-Founder of Cazes Roberts and the leader of Oklahoma Tax Help, who has a masters degree in taxation plus 17 years of experience helping taxpayers resolve their tax problems.  Mr. Cazes continued,

Oklahoma Tax Help offers the relief individuals and companies need, with two key advantages over the current businesses in this space – you will meet with a tax attorney personally, which is the actual person who will be in your corner fighting for you and we offer much more reasonable rates without hammering you at a time when you are already under tremendous financial pressure.

Oklahoma Tax Help was spawned by hearing from people who responded to the onslaught of television and radio advertising from tax resolution firms offering tax debt help, who found out those resolution firms charge astronomical rates and demand the entire cost up front. Along with this, people found out those firms often take your case and take your money without getting enough information to determine whether they can realistically help you.  This leads to wasted money and frustrated people.

Almost every week I run into someone who has tax problems and has visited one of the big tax resolution firms”, said Mr. Cazes, “I hear the same story every time:  Either the big tax resolution firms want an enormous sum of money upfront for their help or someone has paid that large sum and is frustrated because they haven’t seen any results. We can provide superior service, the same or better results, without causing sticker shock.

About Cazes Roberts: Cazes Roberts is a full-service law firm that proudly serves businesses and individuals throughout the State of Oklahoma.

For information contact Shawn J. Roberts (405-254-5005 or shawn@cazesroberts.com) or visit http://www.irstaxhelpok.com.

Do you find yourself typing the same sentence over and over again each day each week each year?

Do you have to type similar phrases on lots of different documents?

If you do, there is a better way. I recorded the short screen cast below to show you text expander tools. These are tools which allow you to use a short code like a series of letters or numbers, type the short code into a Word document and email anywhere basically and have phrase or sentence pop out.

The idea is that rather than retyping the same sentence or phrase over and over again, with the chance that you might make a mistake, you type a short code and then the sentence pops out. It saves you time and reduces the chance of mistakes.

As I mentioned in the screen cast, I am using PhraseExpress on Windows. If you use a Mac, Smile makes software called TextExpander which is also excellent.

It is important to know when gifts you make trigger your obligation to file a federal gift tax return (IRS Form 709, United States Gift [and Generation-Skipping Transfer] Tax Return).  I have heard the IRS doesn’t take kindly to individual who fail to file required tax returns 🙂
If a person makes an annual gift or a total annual gifts to one person over the annual exclusion, a gift tax return must be filed with the IRS. However, unless the total of the gifts go beyond the unified credit, 5.4 million, the person will not owe any gift tax.

Since the word “gift” is at the heart of federal estate taxation, it makes sense to understand how the IRS views the term IRS Gift.  The IRS states that a gift is:

The gift tax is a tax on the transfer of property by one individual to another while receiving nothing, or less than full value, in return. The tax applies whether the donor intends the transfer to be a gift or not.
The gift tax applies to the transfer by gift of any property. You make a gift if you give property (including money), or the use of or income from property, without expecting to receive something of at least equal value in return. If you sell something at less than its full value or if you make an interest-free or reduced-interest loan, you may be making a gift.

You need to know when you have made a gift because that act could trigger obligations.