THIRD PARTY COLLECTIONS
COLLECTION AGENCY OR COLLECTION LAW FIRM
When your internal collection efforts have failed, it is time to consider turning the account over to either a collection agency or collection law firm. Your company has to consider whether they want to pursue hard or soft collections.
Soft collections is used when client relationships want to be maintained. Your customer is sent gentle demand letters and telephone calls are made to try and work with your customer to determine the root cause of the delinquency and then to try and establish creative solutions to recover your money in both an amicable and most expeditious way possible. The goal is not to alienate your customer with the hopes that once your customer’s account is brought current the business relationship can continue.
Hard collections are employed when it is apparent that your customer has no intention of or does not have the resources to pay for the services you have provided or for the goods that you have sold and delivered. The telephone calls are made and demand letters are written in a manner to make it clear to our customer that if payment arrangements are not made immediately, litigation may be started to recover your money.
A collection agency may be considered where balances on accounts are too small to consider filing a lawsuit. In this instance, the debt collection agency can continue to make collection calls and send letters. They can be a valuable resource for a company that has multiple small balance past due accounts. However, collection agencies have their limitations in that they are not attorneys and can only go so far in demanding payment. If litigation is required the collection agency has to outsource the account to a collection attorney and your company will end up paying a higher contingent fee as the collection agency typically charges a higher rate once an account is sent to an attorney.
A debt collection law firm can perform the same debt recovery services as collection agency and more. The law firm is equipped to make telephone demands and send collection letters. The collection law firm can also utilize soft collections or hard collections as necessary. Importantly, the debt collection law firm gives your customer a stronger sense of urgency to resolve the outstanding debt. Further a collection attorney is able to file a lawsuit, levy on assets and garnish bank accounts if necessary to collect your money. A lawyer can give provide you with legal advice and opinions on the best course of action to take an alternative theories in which it may be possible to impose personal liability on officers of the company for the debt even if there are no personal guarantees on the account.