Yes, typically in order for a creditor to collect attorney’s fees from the debtor there would be to have a credit application, purchase order or invoice that clearly stated that in the event the creditor has to proceed to take collection action, the debtor would be responsible to pay for the reasonable fees and costs of collection. Without any writing allowing for recovery of attorney’s fees, depending on the facts of the case, there may be a Florida Statute that would allow for the award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in the litigation. Absent the above, the general rule in Florida is that each party is responsible for their own attorneys’ fees.
However, if there are no provision for attorneys’ fees in the creditor’s documents, a Florida creditor may wish to consider a Proposal for Settlement. In short by filing a proposal for settlement, the creditor would need to be awarded at least twenty-five (25%) percent more than its offer to the defendant. Thus, if a creditor was owed $100.00 and filed an offer for settlement of $50.00, the creditor would need to have a court award at least $75.00 or more. If the creditor extends such an offer and the debtor does not timely accept the offer and the Court awards at least 25% more than the offer, the creditor can apply to the Court for an award of its attorneys’ fees from the date the offer was to have been accepted.
This can be an effective strategy to get a debtor to be more realistic about settling a case. The drawback for the creditor would be that if the debtor accepted the offer for settlement, the creditor would have to settle for 25% less of the full value of the case. Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection attorney about Offers for Settlement and the specifics facts surrounding your Florida debt collection case. You may mail or email your supporting documents to our collection firm. Our Florida collection attorney will review your account and then contact you to devise a collection strategy for your Florida collection matter.
Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A.
5255 N. Federal Hwy., 3rd Floor
Boca Raton, FL 33487