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 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 attorney-agency eBook

Collection Agency-Collection Attorney eBook

Implementing an effective debt collection strategy for your company

Collection Attorney, Stephen Gebeloff is set to release his eBook to help companies with internal debt collection and external debt collection policies and procedures. The eBook is entitled “Collecting Account Receivables.”   The eBook was written to help companies tighten up their internal collection procedures. The sub-title of the debt collection book is “Don’t Let Your Company’s Money Burn.”

Collecting your money-Debt collection methods

Guide to Internal Debt Collection Procedures

The debt collection attorneys at our commercial collection law firm believe that if more companies were more proactive with their internal procedures relating to collecting their past due accounts, they would find that there would be a higher rate of recovery on accounts that they extend credit to.

The eBook discusses the differences between collection agencies and collection law firms. Using a commercial collection agency can be useful in some situations. However, credit managers should be mindful that a collection agency is not licensed to practice law. When using collection agencies, if the collection agency is unable to collect on an account, they then must send the file to a commercial collection law firm. The collection agency will charge your company a higher contingency fee as the collection agency will act as a middleman and want to retain a percentage of the contingency fee.

 

The eBook also discusses the debt collection process once a file is turned over to either a collection agency or debt collection law firm. Once a lawsuit is filed to attempt collection of past due accounts, the various scenarios are discussed.   The e-Book gives an outline of the debt collection process. The collection attorneys at The Gebeloff Law Group are always happy to answer any questions your company may have. We will discuss the differences between commercial collection agencies, commercial collection law firms and how each may or may not be appropriate to help your company recover past due accounts.

Debt Collection Policies

Debt Collection Policies

Having debt collection policies in place will assist a debt collection attorney when you need to hire a debt collection law firm to collect your money

Keeping copies of your customer’s checks can be very helpful to 0ur debt collection law firm after judgment is obtained. Our collection attorneys will ask our clients after a judgment is obtained if they have any information to assist our debt collection law firm garnish or attach assets.   Sometimes a debtor is unaware that once a judgment is obtained a debt collection attorney can issue a writ of garnishment and serve the writ on a bank. Our  debt collection law firm has found that many times the debtor is using the same bank account and may have some or all of the funds in the account necessary to satisfy the judgment.

Collecting your money

Guide to Internal Collection Procedures

When setting up a credit and collection policy for your company your employees should be mindful that one day your customer may stop paying their invoices and your company may have to engage a collection attorney to help your company collect your money. Our debt collection law firm has been assisting companies   with their debt collection policies and procedure. Some companies have credit applications but, surprisingly a lot of our clients learn the hard way once one of their customers stops paying. Having a credit application helps our collection attorneys not only find post judgment assets but, gives our collection lawyers   a better chance of locating the principals of a debtor corporation in the event your customer closes its doors. Our debt collection law firm will also suggest adding an attorney fee provision to the credit application, if there is not already one in place. Without that provision, in some states, you will not be able to recover the fees paid to your collection attorney from your customer.

 

Our debt collection law firm uses all information available to it to determine if there is a possible successor company that may be liable for the debt. Our debt collection lawyers will also explore the possibility that there may be personal liability of an officer for transferring assets. We invite you to call our debt collection law firm to speak to one of debt collection attorneys about your credit and collection policies. Our collection lawyers will be happy to make suggestions to help tighten up the credit application so in the event it becomes necessary to start a lawsuit to recover your money, the chances for successfully recovering your company’s money will be increased

 

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.

Debt Collection Lawsuit

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.

Debt Recovery Firm

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.

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.

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.