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Customers will contact me

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  • Customers will contact me

    I filed bankruptcy last year personal and business. I am starting a new photography business and have all my new contact information on my web site etc....I know I will be contacted by previous angry customer demanding negatives or refunds....What should I say to these customers when they call in addition to of course telling them I have bankrupt.....I don't want to be rude to them.

    Giving old customers any Negatives or photographs could re-obligate me to the original contract for any and all customers according to my attorney.
    Last edited by RedBird1; 06-09-2010, 09:14 AM. Reason: add additional info

  • #2
    You say:

    "Here's your negatives"
    All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
    Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

    Comment


    • #3
      not so easy

      If it were that easy I would be thankful......However my attorney said this could re-obligate me to the original contract.

      Comment


      • #4
        What is the back story here?

        You had a photo business, took money from customers, did the photo shoot (or did not do the photo shoot)...and filed BK without giving them the finished product? What gives?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by HHM View Post
          What is the back story here?

          You had a photo business, took money from customers, did the photo shoot (or did not do the photo shoot)...and filed BK without giving them the finished product? What gives?

          The back story is i had a wedding photography business for 18 years without any customer complaints. In 2005 my Moms illness before her death consummed my time and financial resources. There were several customers who had delayed in completing there orders and in the mean time Bankruptcy was my only alternative. I photographed all the weddings and delivered all proofs, they simply drug their feet in ordering their completed album.

          These customers were listed as creditors on my bankruptcy.

          I am simply looking for a some advice on wording my conversation about the bankruptcy when and if they call wanting me to complete any orders or contract.

          thanks
          Last edited by RedBird1; 06-09-2010, 03:22 PM. Reason: verbage and additional info

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          • #6
            How about have your attorney draw you up a release for them to sign and then you give them the negatives?

            If you were holding the only copies of negatives for an event of mine and would not give them over, I would be pissed.
            All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
            Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by frogger View Post
              How about have your attorney draw you up a release for them to sign and then you give them the negatives?

              If you were holding the only copies of negatives for an event of mine and would not give them over, I would be pissed.
              I can understand you would be pissed however there is no difference between these creditors and other creditors such as banks, credit card companies and other misc. creditors we include in bankruptcy.

              We all file for bankruptcy as a form of protection and I don't want to release anything to jeopardize my bankruptcy protection.

              I think all of us in the forum are in bankruptcy or contemplating it, judging someone for not completing there obligations because of bankruptcy seems a little hypocritical.

              Please I don't need anymore hand slapping.......

              Comment


              • #8
                Speak with your attorney about offering a possible release to anyone who calls looking for their negatives which would remove any obligation/inference as to you in providing those negatives. It's hard to take the emotion out of something like this as I too would understand how someone would feel wanting photos of special events that were taken and they are unable to have any keepsakes of the event. They will probably be so happy to get them they won't care about anything else.
                _________________________________________
                Filed 5 Year Chapter 13: April 2002
                Early Buy-Out: April 2006
                Discharge: August 2006

                "A credit card is a snake in your pocket"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Flamingo View Post
                  Speak with your attorney about offering a possible release to anyone who calls looking for their negatives which would remove any obligation/inference as to you in providing those negatives. It's hard to take the emotion out of something like this as I too would understand how someone would feel wanting photos of special events that were taken and they are unable to have any keepsakes of the event. They will probably be so happy to get them they won't care about anything else.
                  Thanks Flamingo! I will speak to my attorney about the letter.

                  All my customers received all their original proofs however they failed in their obligation to complete their choices within the 6 week period they agreed upon. some customers waited as much as 2 years to choose their album photos. They gave me excuses of being busy for 2 years....I understand that a lot can happen in 2 years on both sides. Like my Moms illness and my need for bankruptcy

                  I understand their anger and frustration but I feel they have some.culpability as well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RedBrid1.

                    What is the big deal here, just give them the negatives. The BK discharge takes care of the obligation to them; your attorney is doing what most attorneys do, give you hyper conservative advice that does you no good.

                    I don't think that their "dragging their feet" really matters here, they did not know you were contemplating BK. That is not a risk of hiring a photographer within the scope of common knowledge.

                    Or, they paid you, go ahead and finish the work. Just tell them; get me your final selections within 3 weeks (by ex date), and I will finish the job.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by HHM View Post
                      RedBrid1.

                      What is the big deal here, just give them the negatives. The BK discharge takes care of the obligation to them; your attorney is doing what most attorneys do, give you hyper conservative advice that does you no good.

                      I don't think that their "dragging their feet" really matters here, they did not know you were contemplating BK. That is not a risk of hiring a photographer within the scope of common knowledge.

                      Or, they paid you, go ahead and finish the work. Just tell them; get me your final selections within 3 weeks (by ex date), and I will finish the job.

                      Its quite a bit more complicated than simply giving them negatives....However you say just "Finish the job" hummmm that's like telling a bankrupt individual just go ahead a pay off the loan you owe, (I simply see no difference.) They are all creditors.


                      Thanks for all your input I will speak to my attorney about the release letter.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RedBird1 View Post
                        Its quite a bit more complicated than simply giving them negatives....However you say just "Finish the job" hummmm that's like telling a bankrupt individual just go ahead a pay off the loan you owe, (I simply see no difference.) They are all creditors.
                        Ever heard of word of mouth? These "creditors" can make it so that your new business doesn't do well.

                        While you did get the discharge and they can't come after you for money. They can certainly spread the word about how they don't have any pictures of their special day because the photographer bankrupted them and won't at least give them the negatives. That's not a violation of the stay as they aren't coming after you. They are just spreading the word about their experience with the product that you offer. I know that if I were in their shoes, I would be pissed enough to start talking to everyone I know about this particular photographer. And then those people talk and on and on.

                        I would rethink your position if I were you. I don't see how giving them the negatives will re-obligate you. You are just giving them the means to be able to get their pictures from their special day developed elsewhere. They can't do this with proofs.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by helpmeout View Post

                          I would rethink your position if I were you. I don't see how giving them the negatives will re-obligate you. You are just giving them the means to be able to get their pictures from their special day developed elsewhere. They can't do this with proofs.
                          It doesn't.
                          All information contained in this post is for informational and amusement purposes only.
                          Bankruptcy is a process, not an event.......

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not sure why you need the advice as it really doesn't matter how it's worded if the debt was included in the discharge.

                            Also, I think that the people scorned by whatever (callous) acts you may have performed have probably long gotten over it. Just talking about this stuff, I feel like I'm back in the 80's. WHAM!

                            Just tell them: Thank you for your inquiry but your order/purchase was unfortunately included in the recent Bankruptcy Discharge (insert discharge number). I appreciate your interest in my product.

                            BOOM. DONE.

                            I think that sounds good but then again I've had a couple glasses of wine. GOOD LUCK TO YOU!!!

                            ep
                            California Bankruptcy Central

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RedBird1 View Post
                              Its quite a bit more complicated than simply giving them negatives....However you say just "Finish the job" hummmm that's like telling a bankrupt individual just go ahead a pay off the loan you owe, (I simply see no difference.) They are all creditors.


                              Thanks for all your input I will speak to my attorney about the release letter.
                              Your rationalizations for being a shit don't really cut it. You were hired to perform a "service" and produce a "product", so, it is not like a debt to a creditor. For example, if a Bankruptcy attorney prepares a clients BK petition, and the client has paid the attorney, but the attorney decides he doesn't want to file it, 2 things happen (1) the attorney has done th work, so is entitled to compensation, but (2) the attorney is still required to turn over the product to the client that was paid for, the petition (redacted to some degree for attorney work product). I see no difference here, the client's still have a right to the "product" if it still exists. Just turn over the negatives if they ask.

                              Frankly, you probably got off easy as the people probably didn't know what to do in light of your BK at the time, but could have objected to the discharge of debt in BK court (under certain circumstances) or in the alternative, have the BK court order you turn over the negatives.

                              However, I am not 100% confident you are on good legal ground by retaining property that arguably belongs to another. Especially if the BK has been discharged and the property abandoned by the trustee. I know it is standard practice in the photo industry for the photographer to retain possession of the negatives. And if your contract states who owns the negatives, then you are probably fine, but at the same time, the negatives have no value to you at this point; so what will you lose by giving them back.

                              Bottom line, you have nothing to lose by giving them back, and the "karma" affect of giving the negatives if requested is probably huge
                              Last edited by HHM; 06-12-2010, 10:28 AM.

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