Hurricane Irma – Harder to Collect Money in Florida

Collecting  Money Owed After Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has brought the Florida economy to a halt. The strain on small businesses may make it harder for your company to collect money from customers to whom you have extended credit.   Hurricane Irma has caused many businesses to board up and close.  This will obviously have an economic impact on everyone and may make it more difficult for your customer to make payments that are  due  because of  cash flow issues.  Once the storm clears,  and things get back to “ business as usual” in Florida,  it is important for your business to stay on top of their collection accounts.

Collection Lawyers - Collection Attorneys

Collection Attorney – Debt Collection Law Firm

Our debt collection law firm is sympathetic to cash flow problems that small businesses may encounter. However, unless your company stays on top of collecting money owed to your company, your company’s account receivable may end up on the bottom of the stack of invoices your customer must pay.  Our collection attorney will make demand for payment and stress the urgency that your customer make payment arrangements to pay the debt owed to your company.  If payment arrangements are not made, our debt collection law firm will recommend that suit be started to collect the money.

Call Our Debt Collection Law Firm

Once a lawsuit is commenced to collect the money owed to your company, if your customer is serious about paying the past due invoices, a payment schedule can be set up. The payment schedule would be filed with the court. If the customer missed a payment, your company would be able to secure a judgment for the amount owed to your company.   Litigation does not always secure payment of money owed to your company.   However, once suit is filed your customer should feel the urgency to get the debt owed to your company resolved.

Speak to a Collection Attorney

Call our debt collection law firm and ask to speak to our collection attorney. Together we will devise a collection strategy that is just right for you.

Debt Collection – Collection Law Firm or Collection Agency

Collecting on Past Due Accounts Using a Collection Agency or Debt Collection Law Firm

For small business owners, collecting on past due accounts from your company’s customers is time consuming and keeps you from focusing on your company’s core business.  Because of that, many businesses turn to commercial collection agencies and or debt collection law firms to assist with debt collection efforts.  A collection agency can offer some value for those companies that have many small balance accounts that need to be sent to outside collection.  However, as we have previously talked about in previous articles is the fact that collection agencies are not licensed to practice law. A collection agency must send accounts to collection attorneys and debt collection law firms for further debt collection efforts once it is determined that the collection agency will be unable to collect on the past due debt. In doing so the collection agency raises its contingent collection fee.

Debt Recovery Firm

Collection Law Firm

Collection Agencies Can Serve a Limited Purpose

Debt collection law firms send out demand letters as well as make debt collection calls to your customers just as a commercial collection agency would do.  However, a major distinction between a collection agency and a debt collection law firm is that the demand for payment of your company’s past due accounts will come from a collection lawyer.  Receiving a demand letter for payment from a collection attorney lets your customer know that your company is prepared to take your customer to court if an amicable resolution to the past due account cannot be reached. In addition, your company will not have to pay an inflated contingency fee by sending accounts directly to a collection law firm as your company will not have to pay the collection agency an extra fee for simply sending the past due account to a collection law firm.

Call to Speak to Our Collection Attorney

We invite you to contact our debt collection law firm and speak to our collection attorney.  Together we would devise a debt collection strategy that was just right for your company.  We would be happy to go into more detail about the differences between  your company using a debt collection law firm rather than  a  commercial collection agency.

 

 

Debt Recovery – Debt Collection Law Firm

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 Lawyer Stephen Gebeloff

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

Collection Agency Agencies Demand Letter

 Collection Agency Litigation Departments Forward Claims from their Collection Agencies

A collection agency is not licensed to practice debt collection law. Collection agencies set up departments in their collection agency to forward accounts for collection of past due account receivables to commercial collection attorneys.  Our debt collection firm has established a division that gives credit managers the opportunity to forego using a collection agency and send their accounts for collection directly to our commercial debt collection law firm.

Debt Collection Agency

Debt Collection Law Firm

AttorneyDemandLetters.com  May Save You Money  When You Use An Attorney Debt  Collection Service Instead of a Commercial Collection Agency

AttorneyDemandLetters.com was established to offer credit managers a low cost solution to paying high collection agency contingent fees. Just like collection agencies our collection lawyers will draft a demand letter for payment.  In addition, we offer an attorney telephone demand service to let your customers know that your company is serious about collection past due accounts that are due.  Collection agencies typicaly charge between thirty – forty percentage contingency fees.  With our flat fee service, you may save thousands of dollars using this debt collection service instead of utilizing a collection agency.

Collection Agencies  May  Not Be As Effective

Once your customer sees that you have retained a law firm to assist your company collect past due debt, the debtor will know that if arrangements are not made with your company for payment, litigation may be imminent.  Today, most debtors recognize that a collection agency cannot bring suit.  Collection agencies rely on commercial collection attorneys to bring suit on behalf of their collection agency clients.  The collection agency in effect is acting as a middleman. As a result, you end up paying a higher contingent fee.    By cutting out the collection agency you are eliminating the middle man and will save on contingency fees.

Collection Attorney Debt Collection Trial

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 Lawyer Stephen Gebeloff

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.

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 LAW FIRMS COLLECT PAST DUE RECEIVABLES

USING A DEBT COLLECTION LAW FIRM TO ASSIST COLLECT PAST DUE RECEIVABLES

Our collection lawyers recognize, in this tough economy, many businesses are struggling with cash flow. Our collection law firm can assist a company in collecting their past due collection accounts. Our collection attorneys are sensitive to the tough economy and work with our collection clients to implement a debt collection strategy. Not every debt collection matter is the same. Each one of your customers is unique and our collection lawyers work with you to identify the specific issues presented. Our collection attorneys work with you to identify what may have put your customer in a situation where they are now behind in paying their past due invoices.
Our collection law firm will not only send a collection demand letter but, our collection attorneys will investigate the customers corporate status, attempt to speak with the owners of the company and then make a recommendation as to the best debt collection strategy for your company. Sometimes we may suggest that your company may better be suited using a debt collection agency. Our collection attorneys will ask you specific questions that will help you decide whether to use a collection agency or a collection law firm.

Florida Collection Law Firm

Palm Beach County Court House

If your company has many low balance past due accounts, a collection agency may be ideal. However, a collection agency cannot give legal advice and a debt collection agency cannot file a law suit if necessary. Not every debt recovery matter needs a collection lawsuit. That is why it is important to speak to our collection attorneys and decide together a debt recovery strategy. Sometimes it makes sense to place some of your past due accounts with our collection law firm and other accounts with a collection agency.
Call our collection law firm and ask to speak to one of our collection attorneys. Together, we will devise a debt collection strategy that is just right for your company’s past due accounts.

DEBT COLLECTION ATTORNEY TO HELP CASH FLOW

Debt Collection Attorney

In the beginning of 2015 many businesses will look at their account receivables and realize their cash flow could be better if their customers paid their invoices on a timely basis. A business decision needs to be made when  to use the services of a collection law firm to help recover delinquent accounts. Our collection law firm and attorneys work with our clients to strike a balance between aggressive collection strategies or simply to send a gentle collection letter to the client’s customers who simply need to see that past due payments are no longer going to be ignored by your company.

Debt Collection Attorney

Debt Collection Attorney

Our debt collection law firm has many years of debt recovery experience in most industries.Our collection attorneys have the experience to use a gentle debt collection approach to help the client maintain the business relationship; or our collection lawyers can recommend a more aggressive approach, including filing a lawsuit to attempt recovery of your receivable when necessary. Our debt collection firm will also explore naming officers of the debtor company, when it appears that the customer may have fraudulently misrepresented their financial position in order to induce your company to ship product.
Please call our debt recovery law firm and ask to speak to our collection attorney or one of debt collection paralegals. We will be happy to discuss a debt collection strategy that is just right for your company. Do not let past due collection accounts put a damper on your cash flow. Call our debt collection law firm and debt collection attorney today.

Why Use a Collection Attorney / Why Use a Collection Agency

A collection attorney has the ability to send out collection letters to customers that owe you money. The collection attorney can provide insights to you on alternative methods of effectuating debt collection. Our collection law firm is constantly looking for ways to pierce the corporate veil and assert personal liability against corporate officers of a company even when there are no personal guarantees on the account securing the debt.

Another advantage in using a collection attorney law firm over a collection agency is that the collection attorney can file a lawsuit to help you collect your money. If your customer does not enter into a payment agreement with our collection law firm, our collection attorney will enter judgment. Once judgment is entered, there are many different ways our collection attorney can discuss with you on how to locate assets to satisfy the debt.

Florida Collection Law Firm

Palm Beach County Court House

If you have smaller balance accounts that it does not make sense to litigate with a debt collection law firm, a collection agency may be the answer. The collection agency will also send demand letters and make phone calls. But, of course a collection agency cannot provide legal advice or file a lawsuit to collect your money.

If you need to discuss your account receivable issues with our collection attorney, please feel free to contact our debt recovery law firm and our collection lawyer will be happy to devise a debt collection strategy that is just right for you. steve@gebelofflaw.com