So a client owes you a ridiculous amount of money, and while your in-house AR department is doing all they can, the client simply refuses to pay. In order to stop wasting time and money, it’s time to call the legal services of a knowledgeable commercial debt collection attorney. But not just any attorney, a really good one. In order to find out how good they are, start by asking the following questions:
1. How are you paid?
Clearly this is an important question so you know what you’re getting into before you dive in. Many collections attorneys or agencies work on a percentage basis where they only earn fees on the debt collected. While this pay-for-per performance model seems more appealing, most agencies that work on a percentage basis will charge high percentages and are only motivated to collect on larger accounts. At our firm, we are flexible with payment structures offering different options – contingent, hourly, and hybrid fee agreements. With this model, we treat every case the same – both small and large.
2. What is your strategy?
Upon being hired, many debt collection attorneys or agencies begin the debt collecting process by sending letters or making phone calls to the debtor. An experienced debt collection attorney knows this approach rarely works and instead, will immediately file a lawsuit to pursue debtor’s bank accounts and income stream. By doing so, debtors have less time to hide assets. At our firm, our strategy is simple – file suit, attach assets and/or injunctive relief where appropriate, and get you paid.
3. Once a judgement is obtained, what’s next?
An experienced debt collection attorney shouldn’t just stop after obtaining a judgement. Make sure they follow through by relentlessly pursuing the following (where applicable): Injunctive Relief, Sheriff Sales, Receivership, Ex-Parte Attachments, Post-Judgement Actions, Supplementary Process, and Rule 69 Deposition.
4. What is your strategy is the debtor is located out-of-state?
Three simple words – Domesticate Foreign Judgements. This is important because many attorneys who do not specialize in commercial debt collections will put out-of-state cases on the backburner. Make sure your debt collections attorney has the knowledge to domesticate foreign judgements giving them the ability to collect from debtors that are located out of state.
5. Can you advise my business on how to avoid future debt collection issues?
Ask your attorney if they offer services that help prevent future debt collection problems. These may include reviewing credit applications, notices of contract, and other commercial contracts. This will help avoid collection issues before they start or give you the information you need when the client won’t pay.
Are you in need of a Massachusetts commercial litigation attorney who can help you collect unpaid debt? Contact the offices of Alan M. Cohen today by calling (508) 620-6900 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.