Debt Collection, Garnishment, Repossession

questions & answers

Question: A neighbor verbally agreed to pay half of the cost to replace a shared section of backyard fence after it blew down from a storm. She said she couldn't pay at the time but would pay later, and never has. She will not answer her door or phone, so I sent a certified letter but no response. Other neighbors paid when job was complete. She owes me $378. I want to avoid small-claims court but can't find information about mediation. What are my options?

Answer:

Mediation offers people an alternative way to settle their disputes without having to go throught the court system.  Both parties must agree to the mediation and if a settlement is made it is then written up as a contract that is signed by the parties.  Many mediators are also attorneys, even though that this not a requirement of being a mediator. Because some mediators are attorneys, you can find mediators in many of the same ways that you would find a lawyer.  For example, the Maricopa County Superior Court  has a lawyer/ mediator locator that allows you to go through a series of menus to search for a mediator by area or by subject matter.  The State Bar of Arizona also offers a the Find a Lawyer link, that can be used to find a mediator by selecting the topic area of "Alternative Dispute Resolution".  Lastly, many law schools offer clinics that may have free or low fee mediation.  You may want to contact the school in your area.

Arizona State University Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

 Phone: (480) 965-6181

Phoenix School of Law

Phone
(602) 682-6800
Toll Free: 1-888-749-5291 (PHX-LAW1)

University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law

 Tel: (520) 621-1373

 

QUESTIONS

  • A neighbor verbally agreed to pay half of the cost to replace a shared section of backyard fence after it blew down from a storm. She said she couldn't pay at the time but would pay later, and never has. She will not answer her door or phone, so I sent a certified letter but no response. Other neighbors paid when job was complete. She owes me $378. I want to avoid small-claims court but can't find information about mediation. What are my options?

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OTHER LEGAL RESOURCES

  • State Bar of Arizona
    www.azbar.org
  • Maricopa County Bar
    www.maricopabar.org
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    www.pimacountybar.org
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
    800-799-7233
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
    866-553-0893
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program
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