Collection Agency or Collection Law Firm

 Debt Collection Agency or

 Debt 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.

Using a Collection Agency

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.

Debt Collection Agency

Debt Collection Law Firm

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 onthe 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.

 

Florida Debt Collection Agency

Florida Debt Collection Agency

What to consider when deciding to use a Florida  Collection Agency

A Florida debt collection agency may be ideal for creditors with multiple past due accounts with small balances that are past due. When collecting money a Florida debt collection agency may send demand letters and make phone calls in an attempt to collect your money. A Florida debt collection agency usually hires debt collectors   to make numerous phone calls   to persuade the debtor to pay.

A Florida debt collection agency cannot practice law. If the Florida debt collection agency is unable to collect your money with phone calls and debt collection letters the collection agency must then send the account to a Florida debt collection law firm.

Florida commercial collection agency

Florida Debt Collection Agency

Our Florida debt collection law firm receives many accounts from a Florida debt collection agency that has been unable to collect the debt by phone calls and letters alone. We find often that a Florida debt collection agency will hold on to the account to long before forwarding the claim to our law firm for collection. The collection agency does not want to forward the account if it does not have to because their contingency fee will be reduced in that the case has now been sent to a collection lawyer.

 

 

Please keep in mind that our debt collection law firm   uses collection lawyers and debt collection paralegals to attempt the collection of past due accounts. Just like a Florida debt collection agency our debt collection firm can send demand letters and make collection phone calls. The advantage to a client coming to our collection practice instead of using a Florida debt collection agency is that the contingency rate will be lower if the account has to go to litigation, collection demands are coming from a collection law firm and collection attorneys and paralegals are handling the account. Putting the power of a debt collection law firm may be right for you before your company considers a Florida debt collection agency. Please feel free to contact our debt recovery law firm to discuss your options.

Collection Agencies Must Be Licensed

Collection Agencies Must Be Licensed

Florida collection agencies are licensed in the State of Florida to collect debt. It is important when choosing a commercial collection agency in Florida to make sure the collection agency is in fact licensed. Several of our clients have come to our Florida debt recovery law firm after first utilizing the services of what they believed at the time to be a reputable licensed full service commercial collection agency.

Our collection law firm recognizes there are several good commercial collection agencies in Florida. As we have stated in past articles, a Florida collection agency can be a very good option for clients that have a high volume of debt collection cases with small balances. The collection agencies can send out several demand letters and make multiple collection calls in an attempt to collect on the past due account receivable. These small balance cases do not warrant filing a law suit to recover your company’s money as the cost would be prohibitive.

Florida commercial collection agency

Florida Commercial Collection Agency

It is important for our law firm’s clients and potential clients to recognize that a commercial collection law firm can provide the same debt collection services as a Florida commercial collection agency. However, what is most important to recognize is that Florida commercial collection agencies are not licensed to practice law. The collection agency cannot file suit. The case must be referred to an attorney. The end result is that you will have to pay a higher contingency fee on the collection of your money as the collection agency will share the contingent fee.

 

If you would like to call our Florida commercial collection law firm, one of our collection paralegals or collection attorneys would be happy to assist you in deciding the best debt collection strategy that is right for your company.

 

Internal Collection Procedures

Debt Collection Attorney to Author E-Book

Our debt collection clients have been asking our debt collection law firm questions about collecting their past due accounts.  There are common patterns  in the debt collection cycle.  We decided to begin putting together an e-book on  debt collection  to try and help our clients maximize their recovery of  account receivables.  The  debt collection book  will discuss  internal company credit and collection policy and procedures as well  as what to expect when an account is turned over to a debt collection attorney. Below are several paragraphs from the book.   As we progress with written the book, we will post excerpts as they become available.

  • Internal Collections

Whether your company has full time employees assigned to credit and collections or if you are a sole proprietor managing this task, it is important to have internal collection procedures in place. Be proactive when it comes to collecting the money that your company has earned by providing services or for the goods sold and delivered to your customer. Make sure that you provide an invoice at the time of providing the service or at the time of delivery of the goods sold and delivered. If the invoice cannot be generated immediately make sure that an invoice is generated within the first forty-eight (48) hours.

If payment is not received from your customer within the payment terms you have established, do not hesitate to make a phone call. The first call can be as simple as determining whether or not the invoice was received by your customer. You would be surprised that by simply calling to see if your invoice was received will move the invoice up on your customer’s payable list. The phone call also helps establish a rapport with the customer and perhaps some repeat business. Most customers will be glad to hear from you, talk about the product or service. You will find most of your customers will even tell you a check is being mailed on a date certain. Make note of when payment was promised and if not received within a reasonable time after that date make a second call.

Debt collection Law Firm Florida

Debt collection law firm

Unfortunately, in some instances during the initial call, this may be time that you may pick up on the fact that your customer may be struggling and will not be paying the receivable in a timely manner. Depending on the nature of the call you will be able to determine if your customer is sincere in its desire to pay your company or is ducking the obligation. During this call make notes of what your customer may tell you. If a reasonable repayment plan can be established, confirm the plan in an email. Ask your customer to confirm the debt and repayment plan. This may prove useful later down the road if the account has to be turned over to a lawyer for suit. Remember, the goal is to get paid and receive repeat business. In an ideal world this would be the case. However, in today’s economy, this is not always the case.

 

Send   a statement of account to customers with balances over thirty (30) days old with a handwritten note simply stating “Please be so kind to pay your balance.”   This is another gentle reminder that payment is past due and that payment is expected. If payment is not received within forty-five (45) days, place another call. This is the time where it will become apparent if payment will be forthcoming, if payment terms need to be discussed or if it is time to turn the account over to a third party to assist with collecting your money.

How To Maximize Collecting Your Receivables

Debt Collection Attorney to Author E-Book

Our debt collection clients have been asking our debt collection law firm questions about collecting their past due accounts.  There are common patterns  in the debt collection cycle.  We decided to begin putting together an e-book on  debt collection  to try and help our clients maximize their recovery of  account receivables.  The  debt collection book  will discuss  internal company credit and collection policy and procedures as well  as what to expect when an account is turned over to a debt collection attorney. Below are several paragraphs from the book.   As we progress with written the book, we will post excerpts as they become available.

  • Consistent Company Credit and Collection Policies

The name of the game in any business whether it be large or small is cash flow. Without cash flow most businesses, unless they huge reserves set aside struggle. Being consistent with your companies credit and collection practices is essential to keeping the money earned from services your company has rendered or has invoiced for the product your company has provided.

It is important all the personal in your company are made aware of your company’s credit and collection policies. Customer retention should be the goal. However, there will become a time in any business where a debt becomes past due. At some point your company has to start to make a decision, is the customer having a temporary cash flow issue that a simple phone call may determine or is it becoming apparent that the customer no longer has the ability to pay or does has the ability to pay but, simply is ignoring demand for payment.

When it is apparent to your company that an acceptable repayment plan will not be established, the debtor simply will not pay or the debtor is in the process of liquidating, it is time for your company to get third party help to help collect the money that is due to your company for services rendered and/or goods sold and delivered.

  •  The Importance of the Credit Application

The Credit Application is very often overlooked by many companies. Our debt collection law firm cannot stress the importance of having your customer provide complete and accurate information on the application. From this document you can gain insight on how creditworthy your customer is. The customer may not always be truthful about its financial status but, from a credit and collection standpoint what our collection law firm is looking for, if the account becomes delinquent, is there a valid address to serve the summons and complaint and to see if a legal entity is even identified.

Too many times we see our clients invoicing a company that does not even legally exist. You can verify the corporate charter of any business by going to the Department of State, Division of Corporations Website, in the State that your customer claims it is incorporated.

Debt collection Law Firm Florida

Debt collection law firm

The credit application should have a paragraph added to allow for the recovery of costs and collection fees in the event your company has to retain a debt collection law firm to assist with the recovery of an account receivable. Unless specifically stated in the credit application or allowed by state statute, recovering your costs and attorneys’ fees, if you do have to take a case to court. varies from State to State. In Florida, if the credit application, contract or a Florida Statute does not specify entitlement to attorneys’ fees, each party to the lawsuit would be responsible for paying their own costs and attorneys’ fees. For this reason we advise all of our clients to include a paragraph substantially similar to: “In the event (name of your company) has to pursue collection on past due invoices for services rendered and/or goods sold and delivered, (name of your company) shall be entitled to recover its costs of collection, court costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees.”

 

 

Personal Guarantee paragraphs should be added to the credit application. With so many businesses open today and closed tomorrow a personal guarantee will ensure there is still someone to pursue if your customer goes out of business and there are still past due invoices that due to your company. However, keep in mind, a personal guarantee is only as good as the individual guaranteeing the obligation. There are some customers whose officers will refuse to sign a personal guarantee. A business decision needs to be made whether or not to extend credit to. If your company is willing to take a risk by extending credit to a newly formed business do so with open eyes.

In sum, your company needs to make decisions on who to grant credit to. Use the information obtained in the credit application to make a prudent decision. But, perhaps if an officer is unwilling to sign a personal guarantee that should be a red flag that the officer of the company is not willing to personally back the obligation.

( C) Copyright, Stephen B. Gebeloff, P.A. June 2015

Florida Debt Collection Paralegal to Run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Florida Debt Collection Paralegal Gabriella Pecora to Run for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Gabriella Pecora “ Gabby”, a paralegal at the Gebeloff Law Group, a Commercial Debt Collection Law Firm, has committed to run her first half marathon with Team in Training to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for patient services and to fund research. She will be running the Space Coast Half Marathon in Cocoa Beach on November 29, 2015. Those who know Gabby can tell you she is tenacious and once she sets her mind on accomplishing something she follows through until she has accomplished the task. There is no doubt she will be crossing the finish line.

Gabby is experienced in all aspects of commercial debt collection. She is able from the start of a debt recovery case ascertain what will be needed from the firm’s debt collection clients to assist our collection lawyers properly analyze the case. From the outset, Gabby helps determine the prospects for recovery of the account receivable and or possible officer-director liability.

Debt collection Law Firm Florida

Debt collection law firm

Gabby will also be able to explain to our debt collection clients the different commercial debt collection services our collection law firm can provide. One new debt recovery service is an Attorney Demand Letter Service. This is offered to creditors who would like to try a flat fee attorney collection letter first before being obligated to pay a contingent fee for collection of their company’s debt.

Please feel free to call our commercial debt collection law firm and ask to speak to Gabby, our commercial debt collection paralegal. She will be able to assist you with answering your company’s debt recovery questions. She most likely will also tell you about her Saturday morning long runs.

DONATE HERE TO SUPPORT OUR DEBT COLLECTION PARALEGAL

If you would like to support Gabby’s mission and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society you can go to her secure donation.

Debt Collection Services in Florida

Debt Collection Services in Florida

Call our Debt Collection Law Firm

Debt collection services in Florida can be provided by commercial collection agencies. Commercial collection agencies in Florida need to be licensed. It is important to make sure when retaining a commercial collection agency in Florida to make sure that the Florida collection agency in properly licensed to provide debt collection services in Florida.

When providing debt collection services in Florida the Florida collection agency should first send out a collection demand letter. The letter should be clear and indicate to the debtor that the commercial collection agency is providing debt collection services in Florida. The letter should not mislead the debtor in anyway or imply that the debt collection services in Florida are not from a debt collection attorney.

Debt Collection Services in Florida

Debt Collection Services in Florida

The Florida collection agency is allowed to make collection phone calls when providing debt collection services in Florida. When making debt collection phone calls the Florida collection agency should try and ascertain whether the debtor is still active, whether the debt is disputed and/or an amicable solution can be obtained before recommending the case be forwarded to a Florida debt collection law firm.

Debt collection services in Florida are not always best handled by a Florida collection agency. There are times where it is apparent that the debtor has transferred assets, closed its business and opened a new corporate entity and/or has simply implied it will not pay a debt that is justly due and owing. Most reputable Florida collection agencies will then forward the case to a Florida collection attorney to continue to provide debt collection services.

Debt collection services in Florida provided by a debt collection attorney can sometimes be more effective. A collection attorney can put the power of a lawsuit behind your demand for payment. Another option The Gebeloff Law Group offers is an Attorney Collection Demand Letter Service.

Feel free to contact our law firm to discuss debt collection services in Florida.

 

Debt Recovery Lawsuit

Where Should Your Company File a Debt Recovery Lawsuit

The question is often asked by our commercial debt collection clients where should suit be filed against their customer with delinquent account receivables when their customer is not located in the same State. There are two choices. A debt collection lawsuit can be brought in the State where the client is located or a collection lawsuit can be brought in the State where the client’s customer is located to attempt recovery of the debt.

Bringing a debt recovery lawsuit in the State where the client is located has logistical advantages but, not always the fastest way to recovery debt from a customer who seems to be intentionally ignoring the obligation to pay. It is true that our client may not have to incur the cost of traveling to the debtor’s State to attempt recovery of the debt but, typically if the debt recovery suit is brought in the client’s State the debtor will simply ignore the suit and a default judgment will be obtained. At that point, the client will then have to domesticate the judgment in the debtor’s State to be able to seize the debtor’s assets. This slows down the debt recovery process.

Debt recovery law firm

Debt Recovery Law Firm

Our commercial debt recovery law firm recommends that   debt collection lawsuit be brought in the debtor’s State. If the debtor is still operating that is where the debtor’s assets are going to be to levy and or garnish. It is true that the client may have to travel to attend trial but, typically if a debtor is simply stalling and not offering any legitimate defenses, our debt recovery attorneys have found that the same default judgment can be obtained in the debtor’s State and debt recovery efforts can begin sooner. In this scenario the client would not have to travel at all. The default judgment could be obtained simply by providing an affidavit as to the delinquent account receivable.

Our debt recovery law firm has a network of highly skilled debt recovery lawyers throughout the United States. Please call our debt recovery lawyers and discuss what the best strategy is to pursue recovery of your delinquent account receivables no matter where your customer may be located.

Marketing Debt Collection-Essential to a Debt Collection Firm

Marketing our Debt Collection Law Firm and Debt Recovery Services

Marketing our law practice is essential to ensure the continuing growth of our commercial debt collection practice. Our law firm is aware of the important role social media plays in getting our firm’s message across.   Our objective is to engage not only our current commercial debt collection clients but, to reach new clients that are having issues collecting their account receivables.

Our debt collection attorneys have created a Blog to write current articles pertaining to debt collection. The Blog posts cover a variety of topics ranging from how to make demand on a debtor for payment prior to litigation, the litigation process, defenses a debtor may raise during a debt collection case, obtaining a judgment, how to collect on a Florida judgment and ways to possibly recover against third parties for the debt if there has been fraudulent activity.

Debt Recovery Law Firm

Debt Recovery Law Firm

Our firm has a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Google Plus Account and Linkeden Page. We use these pages to keep our commercial debt clients up to date and to also share information with others who may have a need for our debt collection services or know someone who does. Part of our marketing strategy of course is to be found by new clients who are looking for our debt recovery services.

Search Engine Optimization “SEO” is an important part of our marketing. Today clients looking for our Florida debt collection services or our Florida debt collection attorneys do not go to the Yellow Pages, most perform a Google Search. It is no secret that if our debt collection law firm is not found on the first page of Google, potential commercial collection clients will not find us.   To help our debt collection firm be found on Google, our collection attorney recently enrolled in a SEO course offered by ScaleUP Academy.

The course was presented in ten (10) videos that showed our debt collection law  firm simple steps to take and adjustments to make to our web pages. The course was easy to understand and even though we are a debt collection law firm and not web designers or computer programmers, we were able to follow along. We implemented most of the strategies suggested by ScaleUP Consulting. Our  collection law firm is now showing up on the first page for Google searches for potential debt collection clients looking for our debt recovery services. We have noticed a significant increase in new debt collection client telephone calls coming into our debt recovery law firm.

How Fast Can Judgment Be Obtained in a Debt Collection Case

How Fast Can Judgment Be Obtained in a Debt Collection Case

Our debt collection client’s frequently ask our collection attorneys-lawyers how long will it take to collect their companies past due account receivables. It is important to note that every debt collection case is unique. Below we will summarize what to expect when your account receivable manager places an account for debt collection with our law firm.

If after a debt collection lawsuit is filed by our collection law firm, the debtor files no responsive pleading to the complaint, twenty (20) days after the summons is served, default will be entered. Thereafter, our debt collection client simply has to execute an affidavit of proof and our collection lawyers-attorneys will prepare a Motion for Default Judgment. In this scenario Judgment can be obtained anywhere from thirty (30) to forty-five (45) days.

Debt Collection Case

Debt Collection Case

If a debt collection case is disputed by a debtor, the timing of a debt collection case depends on the dollar amount of the account receivable. In Florida, if a debt collection account is under $15,000.00 that would put the account in the jurisdiction of the Florida County Court Judicial System. In Florida, debt collection cases filed in the County Court typically go to trial within four to six months after the debt collection case is filed. Debt collection cases filed by our debt collection law firm in Florida that have an account receivable above $15,000.00, put the account in the Jurisdiction of the Circuit Court. Cases in this jurisdiction typically take longer to go to trial than debt collection cases that are filed in the County Court.

 

 

As previously indicated, each debt collection case is different. Our collection attorneys-lawyers work with our clients to try and streamline the process and get the debt collection case to trial and secure a judgment as expeditiously as possible. Once a judgment is obtained by our debt collection law firm, our collection attorneys-lawyers and debt collection paralegals will then devise a strategy to then attempt to liquidate the judgement.

We encourage all account managers to call and speak to our collection attorney to devise a comprehensive debt collection strategy for all of their account receivables that have become delinquent. There are many studies that show the longer a creditor waits to take action on collecting past due accounts, the percentage of recovery drops over time.