Retail Collection Agencies Regulated by the FDCPA
A collection agency is employed to collect debts either on commercial debt collection or retail debt collection accounts. When collecting debts from consumers or individuals who owe money from transactions that are not related to a commercial transaction, the account is considered a retail debt collection account. The collection agency is regulated by the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act). The collection agency is prohibited from employing debt collection tactics that may mislead or be overly aggressive. There are many prohibitions detailed in the act and collection agencies should be very careful when attempting collection of consumer accounts. There are law firms that their entire law practice concentrates on suing collection agencies that violate the act.
Commercial Collection Agencies
Commercial collection agencies that only collect on commercial collection accounts are not bound by the FDCPA. Our debt collection law firm mainly collects on commercial collection accounts as we do not want to subject our debt recovery from to the rigors of the FDCPA. We perform the same services as a commercial collection agency and more. Just like a commercial collection agency our law firm will send out collection demand letters demanding payment for your company’s money. Our debt collection attorneys will also make telephone calls just like a commercial collection agency to attempt to collect money and to determine the nature of the dispute, if any.
Florida Collection Agency
A commercial collection agency is not a collection law firm. Collection agencies are not licensed to practice law. A collection agency cannot file a lawsuit to collect your money. The collection agency has to send your debt collection account to a collection law firm. In most cases, the collection agency will be obligated to charge a higher contingent fee rate to act as an intermediary between the collection attorney and the client. If your company knows form the outset that the account is going to be difficult to collect or require litigation, rather than placing the account with a collection agency, retaining a commercial collection law firm with experienced debt collection attorneys and paralegals.
Feel free to contact one of our debt collection lawyers or paralegals to discuss your company’s debt collection needs.
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 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
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 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
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
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.