Trial lawyers have a ton to lose. it costs money to file those papers, they have to pay their legal assistant to draw the papers up, and they do try to do what's best for their client. it depends on the atty's on whether they try to settle or not. some will because they do not like to be in front of the judge, but a lot won't settle unless it's really best because they're not intimidated by the judge. they do have a lot to lose though... money being the biggest. especially if it's an auto accident case because they go off of a contingency fee,meaning they don't get paid if they don't win. this is a really deep question. it could take a lot of time and space to give you a complete answer. but i hope this helped.
I am unsure what Georgia law is concerning who can see what. But I know as a former landlord, and someone who dealt with credit issues and tenants with questionable credit histories. Asking for the info UPFRONT is easier than trying to obtain it after the fact. Your property manager should have, at the least, advised you of their scores on their credit reports, so that you could judge for yourself, whether they were credit worthy. My rule of thumb is this, most renters, NOT ALL, have some hinkey credit issues, hence the reason most rent instead of buy. A potential tenant who lies, however, is a bigger credit risk than one who is forthright about it. I will work with someone who has had credit issues in the past and tells me about it, VS I find out about it through the credit check. A release can be signed, and should have been signed by the tenant allowing the release of this information, if not to you directly, then to your property manager, so that a decision could be made concerning one applicants suitability VS another ones. And if she/he is your agent, then it should extend to you by the fact they are acting as your AGENT in this transaction. I suggest a call to the property managers manager/supervisor, the local Realtor board, and a lawyer just OUTSIDE the area in which they are operating (so there is no possibility of a conflict of interest). I would also check to see where the security deposit is being held and make sure I would have access to it, after court proceedings and be ready to lay claim to it and begin eviction proceedings IMMEDIATELY. I know when I was doing this, the first notice needed to be a 3 day Notice to Quit-followed by a copy of that, along with the filing at the courthouse and a Notice to Appear a few days later. I usually tacked the 3 day notice on the door AND mailed it CERTIFIED and kept ALL copies and receipts showing when things were sent, signed for, or not picked up, along with a door service and sometimes a pic of the notice on their door. But mostly, I would start with phone calls. I would keep it polite, professional and most of all, not do it when stressed or p O'ed, as I want compliance not a person in possession of my property with the potential to not only make me lose rent money, but also destroy the property while in possession of it. Trust me, not a good idea to piss off tenants who still have rights to a place. Ask them if they need more time, can they make a partial payment? Maybe the car transmission blew and they had to decide between paying rent on time, or getting the trans fixed so they would still have jobs. Think about it......what would you do? Try to be a tad sympathetic, but not too much, after all, you are an owner, but you also are a human being. Offering a little extra time, keep it short, a week, two weeks? Whatever you think is in order, AFTER you find out WHY they are not paying. If they have some hardship, try and extend some understanding. "I am sorry to hear about your Suzy being sick and you having to miss work. Is she better? Have you returned to work? Would breaking the payment down a little, help you? Can you send me $200 now and then next week another $200?" And so on. If they are bums, they won't send anything, will be unable to send anything at all on short notice and so on. If they are good people, they will make SOME effort to pay a portion, to make a payment plan, and then to stick to it. You can send a letter, affirming your arrangements, ask them to sign and return with to you. You can even state you are not WAIVING any of your rights as a landlord, you can tell them, if they move out by a certain date, and leave the place clean and in good order, you will not pursue a court case against them and so on. There are lots of things you can do. Going to court was never my favorite course of action, but sometimes, a deadbeat would force it. I used the "If you move by" date on one who simply lost his job, had 6 kids and could not pay his rent. He left the place immaculate enough I was able to immediately re-rent the place. Sure I lost 2 months rent (but going to court would not have solved anything) and chances are good, he would have simply had another month to find a place a move and I still would not have gotten any rent for it. This way, the place was left clean, rentable, then turnaround was quicker than going to court and I had no damage and he was quick to leave. Another tenant had tried the not pay rent and stay routine, wouldn't give up a dime, wouldn't pay a portion, wouldn't come to any arrangement and her son was destroying my place. I immediately filed the 3 day, followed on the 4th day with the court date and another notice to vacate and appear with expedited proceedings due to the destruction of property (still took a month to get into court), which I documented, BEFORE filing! Because you are an absentee landlord, this makes it more difficult. No property managers I knew of, woul