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Creditor's Pursuit

SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

December 29, 1985|TOM FURLONG

Not many people would argue that the world of banking--in particular the legalities of lending relationships--provides grist for fun and amusement. But that's what Los Angeles lawyer Stanley W. W. Kesselman is setting out to prove.

Kesselman, whose law firm, Frandzel & Share in Beverly Hills, caters to the banking and savings and loan industries, has just unveiled a new board game called Creditor's Pursuit that he hopes will inject zip and pizazz into teaching his clients about banking law.

According to the game's promotional material, Creditor's Pursuit was born out of Kesselman's frustration with trying to explain complex issues during tedious legal seminars. The product of about 350 hours of research, the game combines a quick education about banking in general with nitty-gritty information about the rights of debtors and creditors.

Here's what's involved:

There are two players--one the debtor, the other the creditor. The goal is to race around the board as quickly as possible. Who wins depends on luck and how much banking trivia you know.

For example, if players land on spaces labeled "Interrogatory," they must an answer a question on banking industry minutiae.

One sample: "Question. In the Beatles' classic, 'Penny Lane,' what do we see the banker waiting for? Answer. The train."

Want another? "Q. What is depicted on the reverse side of the $20 bill? A. The White House."

And finally: "Q. What is Gosbank? A. The state bank of the USSR."

The real education, however, comes when the Debtor or Creditor lands on the space labeled "Lawyer's Letter." This does not trigger more questions, but rather legal statements that determine if the players should go forward or backward.

It is these "Letter" cards that Kesselman hopes will prove both educational and useful to bankers.

For example, according to one "Dear Debtor" letter: "The judgment lien on personal property created by filing a notice of judgment lien in the Secretary of State's office terminated because it was filed more than five years ago."

That's good news for the debtor, so he or she advances two spaces.

Then there's this "Dear Creditor" letter:

"Your financing statement is defective because it only lists the debtor's fictitious business name and not its corporate name. Truth is better than fiction." That's bad news, so the creditor must move back three spaces.

Kesselman's law firm has sent about 700 games, which cost about $16 each to produce, to banking industry officials.

"The reaction has been tremendous so far," he says. "We're now looking at the option of going commercial."

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