Once a judgment is awarded to you, there are several avenues to consider when attempting to collect your money. Our Florida debt collection firm will review your judgment and devise a strategy to give your company the best chance at getting paid. Our collection lawyer will discuss post judgment discovery, with the goal of being able to levy on assets and/or garnish wages. Florida law provides many exemptions to garnishment. Our collection lawyer can make sure that the exemption to garnishment is legitimate. Our collection law firm will file the proper response with the Court to asserted claims of exemption.
Our collection attorney can garnish – freeze – the bank account of a debtor. Our Florida debt collection law firm advises its clients to always keep copies of their customer’s checks. If there ever comes a time when your customer owes you money, having bank account information will assist our collection lawyer. With this information the collection attorney can petition the court for a writ of garnishment. Once the writ is served on the bank by the sheriff, and if there is money in the account, the bank must freeze your customer’s bank account. The money that was frozen and set aside by the bank, upon Court approval can be turned over to you.
Post Judgment Discovery
If you do not know where your customer has a bank account, our collection attorney will serve documents on your customer which require that a financial disclosure be turned over to our debt collection law firm. The information obtained is useful in assisting the collection attorney in getting appropriate court orders to seize assets. Once assets are frozen or in the hand of the Sheriff, the collection lawyer will file appropriate court documents to request that these assets be turned over to our collection firm to pay the judgment.
Call Gebeloff Law to Speak to Our Collection Attorney 561-953-4600
A Florida Collection Lawyer Can Help Your Company Collect Delinquent Account Receivable In 2018
Our Florida collection lawyer has been concentrating his practice on commercial debt recovery for more than twenty-five years. Our collection lawyer looks at each debt collection case when it is received in our collection law firm to devise a strategy to maximize the potential to collect money for each client. No two debt collection cases are the same. Our collection attorney will explain the debt recovery strategy to your company so that the company is made aware of the various scenarios that could occur when pursuing collection of past due invoices.
Florida Collection Attorney Gebeloff
Collection Lawyers Versus Collection Agencies
When collecting debt, your company should be aware of the differences between using a collection agency to collect your company’s money versus using the collection lawyers at a debt collection law firm. Collection agencies are very limited in what they can legally do to attempt to collect past due accounts. Collection agencies can only send demand letters and make debt collection phone calls. A collection lawyer not only is able to make collection calls to recover past due accounts, but can send demand letters for payment. The power of a collection lawyer signing a demand letter for payment has a much bigger impact than a debtor receiving a demand letter from a collection agency. When a debtor receives a letter from a collection lawyer, they are made aware that litigation may be imminent to collect on the debt.
Call Our Collection Lawyer
We encourage you to call our Florida debt collection law firm and ask to speak to our collection lawyer. Our collection lawyer will take the time to understand your particular debt collection needs. Working directly with our collection lawyer, our debt recovery law firm will be able to devise a collection strategy that is just right for your company on each case to help your company achieve a higher rate of collecting past due account receivable.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.