Florida Collection Agency Limitations

Florida Collection Agencies Have Limitations

In previous articles, we have been discussing why collection agencies may not be the best alternative when your company is trying to collect an account receivable. A collection agency is not licensed to practice law and cannot give your company legal advice about debt collection in Florida. Many Florida collection agencies retain our Florida debt collection law firm once traditional collection practices employed by a Florida collection agency have been exhausted.

A Florida Collection Agency Cannot Practice Law

There are basic steps every Collection Attorney should undertake when representing a judgment creditor in order to assess the likelihood of recovering from a judgment debtor. In addition, a Florida Attorney undertaking to collect on a Judgment should be versed in the various rights and remedies that are available to Judgment creditors afforded by Florida Law, that when used correctly, may lead to recovery of money towards satisfaction of the Judgment.

Below are steps that a collection attorney should perform when analyzing a collection matter and making an assessment as to the viability of collection:

  1. Speak to the creditor client to determine if the client has any knowledge if the Judgment debtors may be associated with any business entities and officers, directors, partners, members. This information is useful as Florida law permits a charging lien to be issued and served on an entity against a Judgment debtor’s interest in an entity.
  2. Perform their own search of the Florida Department of State Division of Corporations to see if the Judgment debtor is listed as an officer or managing member or partner in any business.
  3. Use public record search programs made available to collection attorneys such as Accurint or Lexisnexis to get a broad profile on the debtor including, but not limited to, addresses the debtor has lived at, corporations the debtor was and/or is an officer, properties that are and/or were owned by the debtor, automobiles that were and/or are owned by the debtor.
  4. Try and ascertain a place of employment
  5. Ask the client about their knowledge of what assets the debtor may own that may satisfy the judgment, including, but not limited to household furnishings, automobiles, jewelry and/or other personal property of value
  6. Ask the client if they have copies of any checks from the debtor or know where the debtor does bank to possibly attempt garnishment.
  7. Ascertain if a Judgment Lien was recorded with the Division of Corporations. If not advise the Client of the effect of filing a Judgment Lien and discuss whether it would be prudent to file a Judgment Lien even if it is decided by the client they do not want to spend any more time or money pursuing collection of the Judgment.
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Once an analysis of the information is obtained from the non-inclusive list above, a discussion with the client should be undertaken explaining possible costs involved, strategies that can be put in place to attempt collection and a reasonable timeline provided as to how post judgment collection proceedings may play out depending on how a debtor may or may not respond to post judgment collection efforts.

Once it is decided that the client wishes to proceed with collection efforts below are several, non-inclusive steps, that an attorney may utilize to attempt collection

  1. Writ of Execution
  2. Writ of Garnishment
  3. Pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.560 obtain Post Judgment Discovery in Aid of Execution, including, a Fact Information Sheet directed to the debtor ( Pursuant to Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.977), and/or any other form of discovery including request for documents, interrogatories and/or depositions of the debtor or third parties.
  4. Commence proceedings supplementary pursuant to Florida Statutes Section 56.29

 

Feel free to contact our Florida debt collection law firm. We will discuss how we differ from Florida collection agencies. A Florida collection agency can only provide limited debt collection services in Florida.

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