Guides to help those who manage another people’s money

          The Consumer Protection Bureau is a government agency that helps protect consumers from being exploited.  Through their office they have published helpful guides for those who manage other people’s money, such as powers of attorney, trustees, guardians and conservators. The purpose of the guides is to protect the consumers who are acting through their fiduciaries and instruct those persons managing their money concerning the proper use and accounting of transactions in behalf of financial caregivers.  The website may be found at

                                                                                                                     Posted 12/17/2018

Freeland Martz Negotiates a Settlement of Racketeering Claim valued at $1,595,986.02

         The firm’s clients became the victim of a bank fraud and check kiting scheme in which their names were forged on loan documents – the loan proceeds of which were used to help fund a multi-million dollar check kiting scheme. The clients stopped paying the loans they thought were legitimate after they subpoenaed the account records of the check kiters and, through a review of the voluminous account records from various banks, discovered the kiting scheme. When the clients realized the loans they had been unwittingly paying arose from an unlawful kiting scheme, they stopped making loan payments and began litigation with the various banks who the clients alleged actively participated in the scheme. Freeland Martz settled with four of the banks, and a remaining bank denied its responsibility or participation in the scheme. The Federal Bankruptcy Court denied the Bank’s attempt to dismiss the racketeering claim after which the parties negotiated a resolution of the clients’ claim against the bank. The settlement valued at $1,595,986.02 included $795,981.02 in debt forgiveness, $400,000.00 in payments in behalf of the clients, and forgiveness of the bank’s claim for attorney’s fees of $400,000.00 based upon terms in the bank loans. Each party settled for their own reasons and the bank denied liability for the claim. To date, the firm has helped the clients realize $8,071,176.31 in settlement of loan forgiveness and settlement payments. The firm worked as a team in resolving these cases.            
                                               Posted 11/29/2018
Freeland Martz recovers thousands of dollars in Equipment taken from Estate property
            Freeland Martz was hired by a substitute executor of an estate after the Mississippi Secretary of State asked the prior executor to resign. After the decedent’s death, thousands of dollars of equipment was taken from the Estate property, the executor knew where it had been taken, and sought to recover the equipment. The owner of the property where the equipment was located claimed the equipment and would not allow the executor access to the property to recover it. In order to identify the estate’s equipment located on the private property, a drone flew over the property and photographed the equipment there (see below).  The photos taken from the drone were used in court to identify the estate’s equipment by witnesses who had been employed by the decedent and operated the equipment. After a hearing, the court entered an order allowing the executor to recover the equipment, which the Court found belonged to the estate rather than the private property owner that claimed ownership of the equipment.”
                                                                                                                      Posted  11/06/2018
Chancery Court sustains objection to Finance Company’s claim filed in Conservatorship
        As an elderly gentleman lost capacity, unrelated persons who were supposed to be his house cleaners began to take advantage of the gentleman. They began to prey on him financially, obtaining loans, vehicles and furniture through his good credit. The predators ruined his credit and went through significant amounts of his money which he had saved over the years. Two local businesses, a bank and an insurance agent, saw something was wrong when the predators brought the gentlemen to their businesses to get his assets and notified the gentleman’s daughter. She engaged the firm and initiated a conservatorship proceeding.

         The gentleman was examined by a court appointed expert who found the gentleman incapable of managing his financial affairs and susceptible to undue influence. As a result, the Court found the gentleman incompetent and appointed his daughter as his conservator.

         Thereafter, a finance company filed a claim for over $900.00 for furniture obtained on credit and a $1500.00 mailed out check sent to the gentleman. The Conservator objected to the claim. The Chancery Court found due to the appointment of a conservator, and the gentleman’s diminished capacity, he lacked the ability “to make a contract and give mutual consent.”

                                                                                                                      Posted: 10/31/2018

Client’s $177,019.00 judgment given priority over Bank’s deed of trust of $701, 000.00  

A farmer came to the firm after he filed a judgment of $177,019.00 in a county where the judgment debtor was located. The judgment debtor owed approximately $701,000 which was secured by a deed of trust on his property by “Bank A”. The judgment debtor sold the property and the purchase price was financed by “Bank B.” Bank B paid off the first debt owed on the property, releasing the deed of trust owed to Bank A. However, the farmer’s judgment was not paid off when the sale of the property occurred. Bank B sued the farmer claiming the farmer’s judgment was void and that it was not “fair” that the framer’s judgment debt would have priority over Bank B’s debt because the bank had paid $701,000.00 and financed the purchase. Because the Bank B’s deed of trust was filed after the farmer’s judgment, and the Farmer had properly filed his judgment, the Court denied Bank B’s motion which placed the farmer’s $177,019. Judgment ahead of Bank B’s $701, 000.00 deed of trust.

                                                                                                                              Posted: 10/22/2018

Predator incarcerated for six months for taking pray upon elderly clients 

After the chancery court entered an order prohibiting a predator who was determined to financially exploit an elderly gentleman – even while serving a 90-day jail sentence for contempt – the chancery court extended the predator’s sentence for an additional six months hoping that would get the predator’s attention to leave the gentlemen alone.


Hale Freeland to address the use and abuse of powers of attorney

          Hale is presenting a program concerning the uses of powers of attorney and problems that arise from the abuses of powers of attorney through self-dealing. The educational program will be presented to Northeast-Mississippi attorneys sponsored by the Prentice County Bar Association as a part of the Prentice County Bar Association’s annual continuing education program on July 27 at J.P. Coleman State Park near Iuka.

                                                                                                                            Posted: 07/15/2018

Hale Freeland obtains Court protection through a guardianship for Navy Veteran

A Navy Veteran’s sister and her other siblings’ discovery that a relative was taking advantage of the Veteran as she lost capacity with memory lapse. The relative used a power of attorney that the Veteran had signed to obtain her home and the income from her Veteran’s Navy pension. At a loss of what to do, the Veteran and her sister came to the firm.  The Veteran recognized she needed assistance, wanted her house back and wanted to avoid the abusive use of the power of attorney she could not remember whether she signed.  The firm obtained protection from the  Court through a guardianship which the Veteran agreed to, through which her assets could be recovered and her income will be protected and accounted for. The firm was also able to get her house back.

                                                                                                                              Posted: 07/12/2018

National Business Institute’s Evaluation of Attorney Reed Martz

      In making his presentation on the recent changes applicable to Mississippi Gun Laws Reed  Martz received a total evaluation score of 64 out of 65 (average 4.92 where 5 is “excellent”/top score).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Posted: 07/12/2018

Gun Law in Mississippi

             Reed Martz will be speaking on topics which have recently been before the legislature, the courts and in the news; “Gun Law in Mississippi” in a seminar put on by National Business Institute on June 15, 2018, in Olive Branch, and then again on June 19th in Pearl, Mississippi. He will be covering topics such as Firearms and Their Regulation, Firearms Dealers and Licensing Requirements, and Ethical Considerations When Representing Gun Owners or Dealers. Also, Reed will speak on July 13, 2018, at the University of Mississippi Center for Continuing Legal Education’s “Current Issues in Civil Rights” seminar on the Second Amendment as the Courts have interpreted and applied it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Posted: 06/15/2018

This week Reed Martz became licensed in Georgia. The firm now has attorneys licensed in Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Posted: 06/01/2018


  Recovery for heirs after Executor of Mother’s Estate discovered Mother’s funds converted through a power of attorney

           After a client’s Mother’s estate was opened the Executor began determining what assets the decedent his Mother had and found irregularities in accounts held in common, and not jointly with other her Brother.  Before being appointed as his Mother’s executor, the son lacked access to the accounts which she failed to monitor as she lost the capacity to do so. Her funds were converted through the use of a power of attorney her brother had signed as the Brother and Sister began to lose the ability to keep up with their funds. The attorney in fact for the Brother took the funds held in the Brothers and Sister’s names for himself. The suit was filed on behalf of the Mother’s Estate and the firm was able to receive over well hundred thousand dollars taken by the attorney in fact.