The most cost-effective and timely way to collect debts is often to negotiate a settlement in order to avoid the costs and wasted time of litigation. Customers who are unable to pay their debts in full may be able to create and abide by a payment agreement. The collection lawyer can set up this arrangement for creditors and make sure that the debtors follow the agreement by paying their bills on time. This way, our clients can make up their financial losses without worrying about keeping track of the payments and trying to enforce the agreement.
The key to negotiation is leverage. Effective debt negotiation is not simply asking for more or less money. It involves complex factors about the laws that apply to a given situation and how they help or hurt you, possible legal defenses, current debt/income of the debtor, and possible mistakes or other conduct by either party throughout the process that a judge will take into account. A good lawyer will help see the leverage you have and negotiate the best deal possible given your individual circumstances.
Sometimes customers just do not keep their end of the bargain, and business owners are forced to use legal methods to recover their money. A few options available to business owners are to sue the customer in court and obtain a judgment; to garnish their wages and bank accounts; and/or to execute on and sell the debtor’s property through a sheriff’s sale. The goal is for our creditor clients to earn back the money they have lost throughout the legal proceedings. It is very important that the correct procedures be followed, because the court may issue an order for monetary penalties against either party if they do not proceed properly through the collection process. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act can loom large if creditors use illegal methods to pursue debts.