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The lifecycle of a debt: How commercial collections evolve into legal action…and turns into payment.

On Behalf of | May 30, 2024 | Aggressive Collections, Business Debt Collection, Commercial Debt Collection

At Law Offices of Alan M. Cohen & Associates LLC, our commercial collections attorneys have more than 50 years of combined experience. We exclusively practice aggressive and relentless, yet ethical debt collection. We have dedicated our legal careers to helping businesses get paid.

When you deliver a product or service, it is time to get paid. Understanding the lifecycle of a debt is critical to helping businesses know what to focus on, and when to turn up the heat.

Stage 1: Initial invoicing

The journey of commercial debt collection begins with invoicing. You’ve delivered a product or service and now it’s time to get paid. Proper invoicing is crucial, as it sets the stage for the entire collections process. Accurate and clear invoices are your first line of defense. A clear invoice sets forth clear payment terms to avoid ambiguity.

Stage 2: Nudging the debtor

When an invoice goes unpaid, it’s time for reminder notices. Immediately following-up on late payments sets a precedent. This is your opportunity to communicate the seriousness of the situation to the debtor. Sending timely reminders maintain legal leverage. Escalate the tone with each notice. Don’t forget to keep meticulous records of all communications.

Stage 3: Demand letters

Demand letters turn up the heat. If reminders go unanswered, demand letters are the next step. Here, the language is more formal and the legal implications are clear. At NAP LAW, our demand letters include strong, unambiguous language to demonstrate resolve. A clear deadline for payment to prompt action. Warnings of legal action if the debt is not settled.

Stage 4: It’s time to fight—Proceeding to legal action and obtaining a judgment

When all else fails, legal action provides a tool to enforce your rights. At NAP LAW, we are prepared to:

  • File a lawsuit to recover your debt.
  • File for any appropriate prejudgment attachments.
  • Follow the money to find potential sources for payment.

Once a judgment is obtained, we shift our focus to finding and recovering payment. A judgment is just a judgment, but a judgment gives a creditor the power to move on to post-judgment actions.

Stage 5: Post-judgment actions: The final stretch

Obtaining a judgment is one thing; collecting on it is another. This is often where debtors become most elusive. We employ a variety of post-judgment actions available to us under Massachusetts law. These include asset searches to uncover hidden funds or property, wage garnishments to obtain funds directly from a debtor’s employer, bank levies to freeze and seize debtor’s accounts.

We fight to get you paid

The lifecycle of a debt can be complex and frustrating, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our firm stands ready to guide you through each stage with aggressive, relentless strategies designed to get results. No matter where you are in the lifecycle of a frustrating unpaid debt, reach out and we can tell you more about how we can help you collect your money. Contact us at 508-763-6604 or send us an email and schedule an appointment today.