Girardi | Keese

How is a dispute with a California business resolved?

Small businesses or individuals who are involved in a dispute with a much larger business may have a hard time shouldering the financial risks that go along with that kind of a fight. Complex business litigation can take a long time and cost a fortune when all is said and done. Disputes such as breach of contract or claims denials by insurance companies need diligent attention and perseverance.

California has a Department of Business Oversight through which a complaint may be filed against an entity allegedly violating state law or that has acted improperly in some way. Submitting a complaint will allow the government to first determine if this department has jurisdiction over the matter. If it does, it will take the appropriate action to hold the licensee accountable for any infractions according to the applicable laws. This department primarily regulates financial businesses such as banks, mortgage companies and payday lenders.

This type of government oversight doesn't interfere with or result in legal remedies for damages that the injured business or individual may seek. For example, if the circumstances require recovery of money or cancellation of a contract, then civil litigation with the assistance of an effective advocate may be an additional avenue to explore. This department doesn't provide advice to a consumer or business, nor does it support either side of a dispute. It acts as a facilitator between or among the parties involved.

Providing an opportunity for license compliance review within the various industries that can help minimize investment fraud activities is a sound reason to file such a complaint. For individual recovery of damages or contract dispute resolution, it can be done in conjunction with other legal remedies. Based on a review of the facts, experience and skill in the civil litigation field will allow for devising an effective strategy that may or may not include a lawsuit. Many times a positive outcome can be achieved at the negotiation table.

Source: California Department of Business Oversight, "Consumer Services: File a Complaint" Aug. 28, 2014

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