Debt Collection Attorney – Lawyer
Florida debt collection attorney recently performed with the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beach – Armed Forces Salute. When he is not his saxophone, collection attorney Stephen Gebeloff, manages his commercial debt collection law firm in Palm Beach County. The Gebeloff Law Group is a boutique debt collection law firm with its offices in Boca Raton, Florida.
Collection Attorney – Debt Collection Law Firm
The debt collection lawyer prides himself with offering customizable debt collection strategies to his debt collection clients. As an attorney who concentrates his practice on complex debt collection matters, Mr. Gebeloff explores a wide variety of possible of legal theories that he maybe able to utilize when devising a collection strategy for your company. Collecting money from your customers is the primary goal of our debt collection strategy. Sometimes, a demand letter from a collection attorney may be all that is needed to collect on past due invoices. A letter from a collection attorney rather than a collection agency sends a powerful message that your company is serious about collecting past due accounts.
Contact Our Debt Collection Law Firm
When you contact our Florida debt collection law firm, Mr. Gebeloff will take the time to understand your business and make recommendations on how your company can take better control of delinquent accounts. Our firm has developed an attorney demand letter service that may be appropriate. Our collection law firm also considers officer and director liability. There are times when the corporate entity is more of a sham and is akin to the individual officer him or herself. In that case, our collection attorney will look to assert personal liability for the debt on the officer(s).
When you call our collection law firm, our staff will be happy to answer your questions about commercial debt collection law. We are not a commercial collection agency. There are big differences between using collection agencies rather than collection attorneys when collecting your debt. Let our debt collection attorneys help your company maximize collect of past due accounts.
Debt Collection Attorney Pursues Officers of Companies for Fraudulent Transfers
Creditor fraud is more abundant with a tighter economy. Many officers of companies believe they can simply close down one corporation and then open up another company without liability. Our debt collection law firm concentrates on litigating these types of cases. Our debt collection attorney will look to assert personal liability on the officer of the company, your customer and the newly formed company by asserting various fraud claims, including claims brought under the uniform fraudulent transfer act.
Guide to Internal Debt Collection Procedures
Collecting Past Due Invoices
Our debt collection law firm has represented all industries, including insurance companies seeking to recover insurance premium, staffing agencies, commercial lender, material suppliers, just to name a few. No matter what industry your company is in, it is important to take early steps to help eliminate a greater account receivable. Let our debt collection law firm put together a debt collection strategy to help your company collect more past due accounts from your customers. We are not a commercial debt collection agency. There is a vast difference between a collection agency and a debt collection law firm. Collection agencies can send debt collection letters and make phone calls to try and collect past due accounts, however, collection agencies are not licensed to practice law and would have to send the account to a collection attorney to attempt collection of the account receivable if the collection agency was unable to collect the debt.
Collection Agencies Cannot Practice Debt Collection Law
We invite you to call our debt collection law firm and ask to speak to our collection attorney. The collection attorney will review your case and discuss various scenarios that may come into play while attempting collection of your company’s past due account. Our collection attorney has also authored a book on how to set up internal debt collection procedures and practices. We cannot promise we can collect all outstanding accounts, but we can put your company in a better position to collect the money that is due for services rendered or goods sold and delivered.
Collection Agency or Collection Attorney
December is the time of year many businesses take a pause to self asses the year their business had. Many small businesses struggle with cash flow. Companies that have outstanding account receivable often do not have a system in place to pursue bad debt / past due accounts. Our debt recovery law firm has put together a free -E-book to assist companies with their debt collection policies and procedures. Inside the book our collection attorney provides some strategies that may assist a company sharpen up their internal debt collection procedures.
Collection Attorney Stephen B. Gebeloff
If a business has done everything they believe was possible to collect past due accounts, they often may start to consider sending the account to a collection agency. Collection agencies may be an effect tool for debt recovery, but we have discussed the differences between a collection agency, collection attorneys, and debt collection law firms. A collection agency is not licensed to practice debt collection law. Collection agencies typically send accounts to collection attorneys throughout the United States. To send collection accounts to collection lawyers a collection agency must typically charge a higher contingency fee. The reason is that the collection agency is simply acting as a middleman.
Collection Agencies and Debt Recovery Law Firms Are Not The Same When It Comes To Collecting Past Due Accounts
Most commercial collection law firms can provide the same services that a collection agency can, but as stated above, because collection agencies are not collection attorneys, a debt recovery law firm can be a lot more powerful way to attempt the collection of your company’s overdue accounts. A letter and phone call from a collection attorney lets your customer know that your company is serious in pursuing the collection of the past due account.
There are many variants to being able to collect a past due account. Our debt collection law firm believes that before a lot of money is spent on contingent collection fees, a flat fee alternative should be considered. To learn more about flat fee debt collection attorney fee programs our commercial collection law firm provides, we encourage you to contact one of our debt recovery law firm and ask to speak to someone from our debt collection and recovery team. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE
Letter Demanding Money Due
Even though companies are getting smarter about extending credit for goods sold and/or services rendered, there are still instances when unexpectedly your company is owed money on past due accounts. Internal debt collection procedures should be in place for your company from the outset, again past due accounts are part of the risk of doing business. If you do not extend some credit, sometimes demanding upfront payment on account may lead potential customers to other service providers and/or companies to get product. We have put out a free guide to help your company set up debt collection procedures.
GET YOU FREE E-BOOK HERE
Guide to Internal Debt Collection Procedures
Past blog posts have addressed the major differences between commercial collection agencies, collection law firms and debt collection attorneys. A collection agency does serve a purpose in some instances when your company may have a high volume of collection accounts with small balances where repeated debt collection calls may be all that is needed to collect your company’s money. However, collection agencies are not licensed to practice law. A commercial debt collection law firm gives creditors a stronger approach to attempting to recover the company’s past due account receivable.
Collection Agency of Collection Attorney Letter Demanding Payment
Our debt collection law firm has set up a new attorney demand letter service. For a flat fee our collection lawyer will draft a letter demanding payment of your company’s past due account. Putting the power of an attorney behind your demand for payment will let your customer know your company is serious about pursuing collection of the account. If the demand letter fro payment does not result in your company receiving payment, our collection law firm can tailor a more traditional debt collection strategy which may include litigation to attempt to recover your money.
Call Our Debt Collection Law Firm
When you call our debt collection law firm one of our collection attorneys will speak to you about your company’s collection policies and procedures. Together we will work on a debt collection strategy that is right of your company, whether simply a letter demanding payment or starting a lawsuit to collect on the past due account receivable.
“Collecting Account Receivables”
“Don’t Let Your Company’s
Keeping on top of your company’s account receivables is vital to maintain cash flow for most small businesses today. The Gebeloff Law Group has created an e-book to help companies devise and implement a debt collection strategy. The title of the book is “ Collecting Account Receivables/ Don’t Let Your Company’s Money Burn.” We are offering a free copy of this book. We welcome you to click the link below to get a copy of the book. We are sure that there will be many useful strategies from setting up a credit application to choosing between a commercial debt collection agency or hiring a collection attorney to collect on past due debt.
Guide to Internal Debt Collection Procedures
Our commercial collection attorneys devise unique strategies to help clients stay on top of their past due accounts. What our debt collection law firm can offer clients is the ability to look beyond the initial demand for payment. Our collection lawyers can pursue alternative theories of liability when pursuing a debt collection account. Our debt recovery firm will look to see if there has been any apparent fraud. If so, we will discuss with our collection clients the possibility of pursuing officers and directors of the debtor company and any successor company that may have been recently established in an apparent attempt to defraud creditors.
We get many referrals from other law firms and collection agencies when they have been able to collect on a past due account. Commercial collection agencies are not licensed to practice law. A collection agency must refer the case to a collection attorney to proceed once the collection agency has exhausted its debt collection efforts.
We invite creditors as well as collection agencies to call us for their debt collection needs. We would be happy to assist any collection agency prior to referring a case to our commercial collection law firm to analyze debtor liability and whether the collection case warrants referral to a collection attorney to litigate.
Taking the Debt Collection Case to Trial with a Collection Attorney
If the collection case has gone as far as trial, it is important to be prepared to provide the proper witnesses and be able to produce key pieces of evidence to prove your case. In collection cases to it is important to provide the witness who can testify that they are familiar with company’s books and records and that those records are usually kept in their custody and control. In other words, the sales representative for your company typically is not charged with the financial aspects of the company and someone who ordinarily would track the books and records of the company. Courts adhere to rules of evidence and may not allow a sales representative to testify as to the account statement or invoices. It is important that you speak with the collection attorney in advance to make sure your company will be able to produce the proper personnel at trial. If not, you may wish to discuss the possibility of settling your collection case prior to the court date.
Collection Attorney Stephen B. Gebeloff
It is important to tell your collection attorney about third parties who may have knowledge about the case. Those parties may be subpoenaed to appear for deposition prior to trial to ascertain their knowledge about the case and or to provide relevant documents. If necessary these same parties may be subpoenaed to appear at trial to testify.
Besides witnesses, it is important to provide your collection lawyer with all the documents surrounding the case, including, but not limited to, contracts, statements, invoices, emails or any other documentation from any third party or the debtor relating to the case. Working with your collection attorney, together you will decide which documents will be offered to the court as evidence.
During the collection trial both your company and the debtor will be able to offer witnesses and other evidence for the court to consider. After all the evidence has been presented the Court will make a decision. If all goes well a Judgment will be awarded to your company. Unfortunately, obtaining a judgment does not obligate a debtor to pay the judgment. However, using a collection law firm to enforce the judgment will be the best way to ensure that if there are assets available to satisfy the judgment either through the debtor’s voluntary payment(s) or seizing assets using writs of execution your company will recover some or all of the Judgment.
Debt Collection Lawsuit
Collection Attorneys Litigate Debt Collection Cases
When a debt collection law suit is filed your customer now knows this is their final chance to make payment arrangements. There are no guarantees that your company will get paid. However, the clock is now ticking for your customer. Our debt collection law firm calls your customer a debtor. Going forward we will refer to your customer as a debtor and we are pretty sure by the time you have had to sue your customer, you are also calling the customer a debtor. There are several scenarios that may play out when a law suit is filed and we will discuss those below.
After a law suit is filed a summons is issued and either a private process server or a sheriff attempts to serve the debtor. If the debtor is served, the debtor has a certain amount of days to file a responsive pleading to the law suit. If the debtor does not respond, a default is entered by the clerk of court. After default is entered you typically be able to submit your proof of the debt to the court and request that a default judgment be entered against the debtor for the amount of the debt. The court typically will allow you to recover prejudgment interest and your court filing fees. Your reasonable legal fees will be allowed in some states only if there is a written contract or statute that allows for attorneys’ fees. Some states do not have this requirement and will also allow you to add attorneys’ fees to the judgment.
Collection Law Firm
If the debtor is a corporation or limited liability company most states will not allow the debtor to represent itself. The fact that the debtor has to retain an attorney adds pressure on the debtor to settle with your company before spending money on an attorney to defend a lawsuit for payment on a debt that is justly owed to your company. If the issue for not paying is the debtor’s cash flow, our debt recovery law firm has found that this is the time that the debtor will finally come forward with a repayment plan. Some debtors look to negotiate and will offer a percentage of the debt in a lump sum payment, other debtor will offer to pay the debt off in installments. Our clients our in the driver’s seat and can make a business decision on what payment arrangement they would be willing to accept or even to accept a payment arrangement at all. What is important for our clients to understand is that sometimes it’s best to allow for a payment plan as the debtor will voluntarily pay money. Payment plans are typically reduced to writing and filed with the court. If a debtor misses a payment, our client would be entitled to enter judgment for the full amount sought in the complaint, less any previous payments made and paid on the account by the debtor.
If the debtor does retain an attorney it may be the debtor has multiple creditors and is trying to stay afloat by filing an answer to the complaint and delaying the inevitable entry of judgment down the road and then work out a payment plan at a later date. Other times, the debtor may have some legitimate reason for not pay some or all of the money our client claims is due. At this point in time, the claim becomes contested and like all other civil litigation cases discovery may be warranted. Each side has the right to conduct discovery, propound interrogatories, and request to produce documents and/or take depositions. The case most likely will be scheduled for mediation prior to trial. Mediation is the time in the case where the parties can set their own course and take the decision making out of the hands of the judge and jury. We encourage our clients to keep an open mind at mediation and strive to reach an amicable resolution to their debt collection case. If the case is not resolved at mediation, the case will proceed to trial.
Mediating a Florida Debt Collection Case
Mediation in Florida is required before a Florida Collection case can proceed to trial. Florida debt collection cases are not all the same and it is typical for a debtor to presents defense to payment of debt. Typical defenses to Florida collection cases are that the goods sold or delivered were non-conforming; the goods shipped were delivered late and or the product did not meet the quality standards the debtor expected.
Our Florida collection attorneys-lawyers are all very familiar with the defenses raised in a typical Florida debt collection case. Our Florida collection law firm will propound discovery in the form of interrogatories and request for production of documents to flush out the true nature of the debtor’s defense to the collection lawsuit.
By sending discovery our Florida collection attorneys-lawyers will know before attending mediation what the true obstacles to your company collecting money may be. Before attending a Florida mediation our debt collection clients will be better prepared to make an informed business decision before deciding whether to settle their collection case at mediation or bring their Florida debt collection case to trial.
Our Florida debt collection firm and its attorneys-lawyers are cognizant of the risk and reward of settling a case at mediation rather than waiting to take the collection case to trial. If a client settles a debt collection case at mediation, the client is empowered to decide the outcome of the case the day of mediation, rather than waiting on a trial date. Based on the backlog in the Florida Court system, it may be prudent to take a settlement in a debt collection case rather than wait for payment of the debt down the road. However, because each Florida debt collection case is unique, our collection attorneys-lawyers will weigh the settlement offered at mediation with our debt collection clients against the risks of proceeding to trial having to wait to get before a Florida Judge.
If you have questions about the Florida mediation process, call our Florida Debt Collection Firm and ask to speak to one of our collection attorneys-lawyers about Florida mediation and or litigating your Florida debt collection cases.
Clients often ask our debt collection lawyers how long it takes to go to trial. In Florida after the defendant is served with a collection lawsuit, the defendant will have twenty days to respond to the complaint. If there is no response to the complaint, our law firm will file a motion to enter default and default judgment by filing an affidavit of proof executed by our client. If the Judge is satisfied with the proofs contained in the affidavit the Court will enter Default Judgment.
Florida Collection Attorney and Collection Law Firm
If a debtor retains an attorney to defend the debt collection lawsuit, the complaint can be met with defensive motions attacking the merits of the complaint. Often in a collection law case, these motions are delay tactics to buy the debtor more time. Our law firm wants to schedule these motions quickly on the Court’s motion calendar to get these defensive motions resolved. Once we are able to get past defensive motions, after an answer is filed, the Florida Court Rules allow our collection firm to Notice the case for trial. Once the Court receives the Notice for trial, it will select a trial docket and set forth pre-trial procedures to be followed in terms of discovery and mediation. Most cases in Florida are required to attend mediation prior to trial. Depending on the county, our firm can usually get a contested litigation matter to trial within four to six months.
Please feel free to contact our Florida collection law firm and speak to our Florida collection attorney about 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
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.
Aggressively Pursuing Our Clients’ Interests Tempered by Seasoned Professionalism
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