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debt collection law firm

5 Steps To Take If Your Client Isn’t Paying You

Small business owners naturally deal with many challenges that can range from frustrating to financially devastating. Perhaps one of the most common is a client or customer who fails to pay what they owe. This is particularly challenging when a business owner works within a service industry. Contractors executing work on a home, for example, are often left with two choices when billing clients. Neither of them is ideal.

Essentially, you can either bill the client prior to the work being done, or you can send them an invoice afterward. If you bill a client prior to the work being executed, they may not agree to work with you at all due to distrust. Furthermore, if the work ends up being more intensive than you initially predicted, you may end up losing money as you billed them too little. If you bill a client after the work has been completed, they may decline to pay. When small business owners are starting out in an industry, it can be difficult to choose any option but the latter, as they’re still building their reputation. But what do you do if a client refuses to pay?

1. Be Persistent

If a client refuses to pay, whether verbally or simply through silence, you shouldn’t be shy about requesting what you’re owed. It’s very likely that the client will not work with you again anyway, and you probably won’t want to work with them in turn; so rather than handling them with kid gloves, you should be upfront about what you’re owed. While you may begin with an online invoice, follow up with emails and phone calls if the client refuses to communicate. Be polite but firm. You should be frank about the fact that you work with a debt collection law firm if you already do. This is not a threat, but simply informing your client that you are prepared to pursue legal action and that they need to take the issue seriously. For a lot of people, this will push them to pay.

2. Charge Late Fees

Think about it this way: either way, your client will need to pay eventually, even if you need to work with a collections lawyer to ensure that they pay. It’s in their best interests to pay before they starting accruing too many late fees. You should have this policy in place immediately, and make sure that your clients are aware of it so that it will keep them from avoiding payments.

3. Offer A Payment Plan

It’s understandable if you’d rather not immediately engage with a debt collection law firm and want to give clients a chance to pay. Consider offering them a payment plan, breaking up their payments into smaller installments. There’s no guarantee that this will work, but it can be an option to give them before you start pursuing more serious debt collections strategies.

4. Go To Small Claims Court

If the amount is worth going to court over, you’ll want to take the matter to small claims court. It’s an inexpensive process and usually somewhat quick in the grand scheme of things. You should consult with a debt collection law firm to see if your case is worth the legal expenses required to take it to small claims court. At the same time, it’s not your only option, and sometimes is not the most effective measure in terms of ensuring that clients pay.

5. File A Mechanic’s Lien

You may also want to consider filing a mechanic’s lien against your client’s property. This can be filed 90 days after the project has been completed, and can be a great incentive for the client to pay as it would keep them from selling their property down the road. Consider filing a lien through a debt collection law firm if small claims court is not an attractive option.

Don’t feel defeated if your client isn’t paying. Though this is a setback, it’s far from impossible for you to receive your payment. Move forward with legal action through a collections attorney if necessary and consider how best to avoid this situation in the future.

How a Collections Attorney Can Improve Your Odds of Debt Recovery

At one point, every creditor faces the much-dreaded situation of recovering money from reluctant clients. Debt collection can be a sticky process for most businesses. This is especially true when implementing debt collection practices while minimizing legal risks.

Understanding debt collection law is instrumental in recovering money owed to your firm. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) illegalizes the use of harassment, as well as unfair or dishonest tactics to force the debtor to pay. Debtor evasion tactics can cause the collection process to draw out. That’s where a debt collection law firm comes in.

Attorney Vs. Collection Agency

When it comes to debt collection, there are many benefits of hiring a Florida collections law firm over a collection agency. Collection agencies have limited capabilities to recover any commercial debt. They are not authorized under law to take any legal action against the debtor. However, a collections lawyer has the right to initiate a lawsuit against the debtor.

By choosing a Florida collection agency, you limit yourself to phone calls and emails, as well as the skills of the agent or the willingness of the debtor. An attorney, on the other hand, can comb through your contact agreements to gather information to prove your right to sue. The lawyer can then enforce post-judgment collection techniques to collect the debt due.

Post-Judgment Collection Methods

It would be nice if the debtor could just sign a check upon delivery of the judgment. Far more often than not, winning the lawsuit is one of the easiest phases of the debt collection process. It is in the collections attorney’s hands to take appropriate measures to enforce the ruling and collect the balance due. Here are some standard post-judgment collection techniques.

  1. Settlement: This formal collection method is popular when it becomes apparent that the debtor cannot or will not pay as per the ruling. The Florida collections lawyer can begin a negotiation process that allows the accused to pay less than the full judgment. Giving a discount ensures that you recover a percentage of debt owed in the long run.
  2. Wage Garnishing: One of the most familiar post-judgment collection techniques is wage garnishment. It is a legal ruling where a judge orders an employer to withhold a portion of the debtor’s earnings and pay back the creditor. The garnishments are subject to limitation under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. It may take longer for you to recover a high-value debt from an individual with low income.
  3. Judgment Lien: Your debt collections attorney can attach the debt to property owned by the debtor within a specific jurisdiction. The lien prevents the debtor from selling the property without first paying out the judgment collection. Statutory interests continue to accrue the entire time the debt remains unpaid.
  4. Judgment Levy: It is a far less common judgment collection technique. A local sheriff is ordered by the court to seize a portion of the debtor’s personal property to satisfy the judgment. The cars, furniture, jewelry, etc., are sold in a public auction, and the money raised is used to pay the creditors in line with lien priority.

Debt collection can be a frustrating process for most entrepreneurs. Engaging a collections law firm can increase the odds of recovering the balance owed. Once armed with a favorable ruling, your lawyer can aggressively pursue the judgment collection.

judgment collection

5 Important Facts about Judgment Collections in Florida and Breach of Contract Cases

A contract is an understanding where one party makes an offer in return for something else. It can be in oral, written form, or implied by the law and prevailing circumstances. It often involves the exchange of money, labor, and services, among other things. For that reason, many cases of breach of contract end up in the claims court.

Here are five things you need to know about collections for breach of contract:

Proving Breach of Contract

Most judgment collection cases happen due to disputes about the fulfillment of the terms of a business contract. In court, the plaintiff has an obligation to show how the defendant breached the contract.

For the court to issue a judgment on the breach of contract, you may have to:

 

  • Provide proof of the identity of the debtor
  • Show there was a contract between the two parties
  • Demonstrate that you fulfilled your end of the deal
  • Show that you did not receive payments

Breach of contract disputes often starts when one of the parties disagrees on aspects of the terms. That’s why you should put together all the relevant documents, letters, and valuations.

Writ of Execution

After obtaining the judgment, the creditor can request the court for a writ of execution. The sheriff of the county will have the power to enforce the judgment and seize assets by:

  • Holding any assets owned by the judgment debtor if non-exempt
  • Garnishment of checking and savings accounts
  • Garnishment of wages, stocks, and bonds
  • Receive debts owed to a judgment debtor
  • Getting Payment

A judgment collection lawyer needs to work ethically and professionally when obtaining payments from debtors. In breach of contract cases, you need to show the conditions were unfulfilled. But one aspect that can jeopardize your case is the misrepresentation of information.

In some instances, the court may rule that the contract was invalid or fraudulent. That may happen if the plaintiff did not reveal all the relevant information to the defendant during the transaction. At times, the court may deem statements fraudulent even when the error was unintentional (negligent misrepresentation).

Demonstrating Resulting Damages

After you’ve demonstrated that there was a breach of contract, next is to show there were resulting damages. The court may need proof that you, indeed, incurred losses as a result of the breach before obtaining the judgment.

Discovery Tools

Judgment collections firms use discovery tools to locate debtors as well as their assets. The law firm can obtain documents, request written statements, as well as depositions through discovery tools.

Additionally, the collections law firm will use Skip tracing software to determine whether the debtor is disclosing all information. By looking into their assets, they can get insights into the nature of their financial affairs. The attorney may discover fraudulent transfers and illegal transactions done to avoid collections.

There are many instances where you can resolve the case quickly and amicably with the debtor. When the debtor is uncooperative, the judgment collections attorney can file a suit and collect judgments. Also, it is wise to be flexible because different situations will require varying levels of assertiveness. If you need to issue a demand letter or any other services of a judgment collection attorney in Florida, kindly contact The Law Offices of Noam J. Cohen P.A. today.

pre school tuition debts

Prep School Takes Hard Line On Tuition Debts

North Broward Preparatory Schools, based in Coconut Creek, is receiving an “F” from parents fuming over a legal assault the school has launched to collect nearly $200,000 in tuition the school claims they owe.

The dispute centers on the for-profit school’s iron-clad admissions contract that parents call “unconscionable,” their attorneys call ”draconian.” but the school’s president calls “prudent.”

Though the contract is similar to those that private schools routinely require parents to sign, no other area school has pursued payments so aggressively, seeking full tuition from parents who pull their kids out before the start of the school year, or from those whose children were expelled.

In the last year, the school has sued nearly a dozen parents for contract debts. In one case, it even repossessed a parent’s Mercedes-Benz.

NBPS President Philip Morgaman defends the lawsuits, calling them a “prudent” business decision designed to ensure the financial survival of the school. But many of those who have been sued say they would rather pay their lawyers than give the school a dime because of the way administrators have treated them.

North Broward’s aggressive posture includes the hiring of Noam Cohen, a Miami attorney whose website reads “When it comes to collections, we are aggressive and persistent.”

The school also recently hired Kekst & Company in New York City, a public relations firm specializing in crisis communications and known for handling the early days of the Enron fiasco, issues related to the anti-anthrax drug Cipro, and Kmart’s bankruptcy.

STRING OF SUITS

John Wirt is the most recent defendant in the string of lawsuits filed by the school in Broward Circuit Court.

The lawsuit, filed in February, alleges that he and his wife. Pamela, owe nearly $20,000 in tuition for the 2004-05 school year But the Wirts’ sons, Alexander and Bobby, never attended the school that year because the family moved back to Illinois before school began.

PARENT COUNTERSUES

Wirt, a lawyer, said he read the contract and told school administrators he didn’t want to sign it because his family might be moving. In a countersuit Wirt filed last month against NBPS that seeks punitive damages, he claims school officials encouraged him to sign the agreement to guarantee that if the Wirts didn’t move, their sons would still have a place there.

The counterclaim alleges fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and violation of Florida’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

VERY UNDERSTANDING

Wirt says he was assured by William Spaice. the schools’ assistant headmaster, that they were “very understanding” of families that moved out of state and that the contract was simply a formality to discourage parents and students from accepting entry to several schools and then picking one over the other.

“He said what we are concerned about here is people picking vanilla over chocolate ・ picking one school over the other – but if people move away, it’s not a problem,” Wirt said

Confident he would not be held liable, Wirt said he signed. But when his family decided to move in July 2004, he says the school changed its tune.

“Stacey [Gordon) told me the school had a mandate to sue parents,” Wirt said, referring to the school’s in-house attorney.

In an interview, Spruce said the school can’t guarantee parents a slot without a contract and that a case ends up in court “only after repeated attempts by the school to try to work something out and being rejected or ignored along the way.”

At the time the Wirts signed the contract, it required parents to pay full tuition unless they notified the school by certified or registered mail, on or before June 1, that the student would not be attending the fall school term. That date has since been moved up to April 1 to coincide more closely with the signing of teacher contracts, according to Morgaman.

“There comes a time at which we plan for the next school year,” Morgaman said. “We try to coincide people’s enrollment obligations becoming fixed at a time when we are also fixing all of the expenditures and plans for the next school year.”

Skardon Bliss, executive director of the Florida Council of Independent Schools, which NBPS is a member of, defended the school’s actions.

BUDGET CONCERNS

“You can’t plan for a school year based on a certain number of kids signed up. and then have four or five leave at $10,000 a pop. Then you have a big hole in your budget” said Bliss, whose organization provides member schools with model contracts to make sure they are written properly.

Mitchell Adler, a Fort Lauderdale contract lawyer not involved in any of the litigation, was asked to review the school’s contract. He called it “onerous.”

“It’s a pretty school-oriented contract. It looks like a difficult contract to get out of.” he said. “A case like this will have to go through the court system.”

Morgaman defends the contract, saying its purpose is “designed to make sure the parent has a place for their children in the school that they have chosen, and to make sure the school has tuition to run.”

Morgaman contends that if someone signs a contract because they want to make sure their child has a slot “it means they wanted us to refuse someone else the opportunity to have that slot.”

If a student’s slot can be filled, then the obligation will be waived, says Morgaman. But filling a slot is not simply filling a seat in a particular grade. The incoming student would have to fit the outgoing student’s profile, taking the same classes that child was scheduled to take.

In the past two years, court claims against NBPS parents total close to $170,000.

“I am sure [Philip] Morgaman has noble and good intentions, but I think he is being misguided by investors. He has this pressure to raise money to get investors to go on this buying spree, and that has led him astray.” said Wirt.

Last year, Morgaman launched a $500 million international venture to acquire as many as 20 schools worldwide under the Meritas Schools title in the next five years.

WILLING TO NEGOTIATE

Morgaman said he is willing to work with anybody financially as long as they want to work with the school

“We are not a school that pulls people out of class and says goodbye when they can’t meet their financial obligations.” said Morgaman. ”It’s only under the most extreme circumstances we will do that.”

But parents say they can’t even get the school to return phone calls, let alone work with them. “They won’t talk to you. After I sent them a letter, they wouldn’t even take a phone call,” said Richard Higgins of Lighthouse Point, whose son attended Lighthouse Point Academy, an NBPS school for children with learning disabilities, for four years.

He said he personally delivered a letter before the contract deadline, June 1. 2004, telling the school his son would not be returning.

NOT CERTIFIED MAIL

The school claims that because the letter was not sent certified, as required by its contract, Higgins owes $18,950 plus interest. “l think it’s reprehensible,” said Mark Schecter, Higgins’ Fort Lauderdale attorney. Morgaman called Higgins’ claim “suspect.”

“We have never received a notice within the time period and then rejected it because it wasn’t sent certified mail. But if somebody comes a year later with a photocopy of a letter they say they sent, and nobody ever saw, then the letter is suspect, yeah it is,” Morgaman said. Abbey Freiberg of Boca Raton is seething at her plight. After NBPS sued her, they tried to impound her car. Freiberg said she was walking out of a grocery story when a police officer said he was confiscating her 2003 Mercedes- Benz because the school had put a lien on it. The car, she said, was not even hers, but belonged to the feds.

Freiberg’s dilemma began in 2004 when her husband, Irving, pleaded guilty to defrauding investors out of more than $20 million. As part of the plea deal, he agreed to forfeit more than $3.5 million in cash and assets including his mansion, several cars and jewelry.

At that point. Abbey Freiberg said she notified NBPS that she no longer could afford to send her son, who suffers from a learning disability, to the school.

“When they got my letter, they told me they will see me in court,” said Freiberg. “We have nothing. I don’t have 2 cents to my name.”

Freiberg said she had a daughter at St Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, and they not only didn’t require her to pay tuition but refunded her deposit.

DEFENDS DECISION

Morgaman said impounding the car was simply a sound business decision.

“If we have somebody who has not attempted to work with us and who was driving around in a $70,000 automobile, I think it’s prudent to pursue the matter and do what you need to do.” he said. He added that the idea was simply to record a judgment so that if in the future the family has money, the school will be able to collect. “When I am doing that, I am being a trustee on behalf of these kids and I think it’s appropriate,” he said. In December 2005, a Broward judge entered a final default judgment against the Freibergs for nearly $26,000.

Anna Korol says she would rather pay her attorney than pay the school the $17,426 it says she owes. She claims her son was expelled in November for failing to tell school officials that some of his fellow students were selling drugs. She says her son was singled out and that the student selling the drugs was allowed to stay. “They are suing the parents for the whole year tuition, which to me is an absurdity,” said Steven Warm, Korol’s Boca Raton attorney.

Warm also questions the legitimacy of the contract which he calls “draconian.”

“Take a look at the scope and breadth of that language and how many of your rights they presume to take away,” Warm said. “In theory you can put your kid in on Monday and they can say they don’t like the way he parts his hair and throw him out Monday afternoon and you still owe them the whole year’s tuition.”

city planning lawyer

City Planning

While Wannado City gets high marks from the kids who visit, the financial performance of the $40 million theme park at Sawgrass Mills mall has yet to make the grade.

Wannado officials say Hurricane Wilma disrupted attendance at the Sunrise park, where kids play out grown-up careers. That created cash flow problems, prompting vendors who hadn’t been paid to sue. The park said it recently paid the overdue bills.

Getting a handle on operating a theme park the size of three football fields has been a challenge for Wannado, which has tweaked staffing levels, operating hours and ticket prices. Wannado has been slow to attract more corporate sponsors, a key revenue source. And its aggressive expansion plans have yet to materialize.

Nevertheless. Rene Aziz, president and chief executive of Wannado Entertainment, remains upbeat Wannado is part of Mexico’s Corporacion Interamericana de Entretenimiento (CIE).
“It’s been tough to come to the U.S.,” Aziz said. “But we will be much more successful in the years to come in the U.S.”

The 140.000-square-foot Wannado opened in August 2004 to much fanfare. It’s modeled after a similar park in Mexico City.
In its first full year of operation, Wannado attracted more than 500,000 visitors (423,000 paid). But it had forecast more than 600,000. Wannado missed its attendance target largely because of Hurricane Wilma.

“We were dead for six weeks,” Aziz said. “No one was coming to Sawgrass.”

Also, schools canceled trips to Wannado to make up for the lost class time from Wilma, spokeswoman Laura Lieberman said.

REVENUE DIP

CIE doesn’t break out Wannado’s performance. (It’s one of 10 amusement parks owned by CIE. with the others in Mexico and Colombia.) But CIE mainly blamed the hurricane for a 24 percent drop in fourth-quarter revenue in its amusement park division.

The storm hurt Wannado’s ability to pay some of its bills on time. It was late paying $200,000 in state sales and use tax, prompting the Department of Revenue in February to record a warrant – which gives it the ability to freeze bank accounts and seize property. Wannado paid the tab earlier this month before such drastic measures.

Three vendors sued after they weren’t paid for services.
“We did communicate to vendors that we would be slow to pay, but that they would get paid.” said Curtis Parks, Wannado City’s general manager.

Gene Wall, president of Another Off the Wall Production, a Houston-based company that produced television and radio commercials for Wannado, last week expressed frustration with trying to get $20,800 he said he was owed.

“I can’t do business with a company that doesn’t pay its bills,” Wall said. After The Miami Herald inquired about the suits. Aziz said Wannado paid what it owed. Noam Cohen, a Miami lawyer representing Wall, confirmed his client has been paid in full.

Wannado also was late in paying rent on office space it leased in Plantation, but it has worked out a settlement with the landlord.

“THE LEARNING CURVE”

In a conference call with analysts in October to discuss third-quarter results. CIE Vice Chairman Rodrigo Gonzalez said “the learning curve has been high” with Wannado.

“For example, we now recognize this park is big – in fact, larger than the attendance it currently supports,” he said. “So we need to adjust the administrative and expense functions in order to strengthen margins.”

Among the changes: Wannado at the beginning of the school year opted to close the park on Mondays and Tuesdays – save for school breaks. It also trimmed staff, cutting 10 positions last month. And it’s tinkered with its pricing policy. Prices have fluctuated, with admission for children going from $34.95 to $23.95 before the current $29.95. Admission for adults is also back to $15.95 after it was lowered to $9.95 last year.

“It took us a while to figure out the right price,” Lieberman said. She added discount tickets are available through Publix and AAA. Aziz said Wannado will finish in the black this year.

Wannado had anticipated having 30 corporate sponsors in the park by the end of last year, but it’s been stuck on 14. Aziz said Wannado is completing negotiations with five new sponsors, including Nestle for the park’s chocolate factory and Ringling Bros, and Barnum & Bailey for the park’s circus. (The Miami Herald is the sponsor of the park’s newspaper.)

SPONSORSHIP

Sponsors have been slow to come on board because they anticipated more than one park, Lieberman said. While Aziz has promised an “aggressive expansion” with parks in Chicago. New York, Los Angeles. Dallas and Atlanta, so far the Sunrise location is the only Wannado to open.

Plans are underway for Wannado parks in China. Dubai, Japan, London and Paris, Aziz said. And it plans to go into Meadowlands Xanadu – a New Jersey project being developed by Mills Corp., the Arlington, Va, firm that built Sawgrass Mills, Aziz said.

But mounting troubles at Mills – including a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, accounting restatements, a shake-up in its ranks and canceled projects – have raised doubts about Xanadu.

“We expect to grow with the Mills Corp.,” Aziz said.

Meanwhile, CIE*s Gonzalez said in a conference call last month that it wouldn’t move ahead with additional Wannado parks unless it was “completely comfortable with the level of performance of the unit that we have opened.” Plus, it also wanted to ensure it lined up investments from third parties before proceeding.

A Citigroup Global Markets analyst took that to mean CIE ‘has suspended the roll-out of Wannado in the U.S. for now.” The analyst, who wasn’t available for comment, lowered revenue projections for CIE’s amusement-parks division for this year and 2007.
Aziz still likes Wannado City’s prospects, though.

“lt’s a slow process,” he said. “But we strongly believe this is a product that will revolutionize the theme park business all over the world.”

collections attorney

How to Collect On Debts Owed to Your Business

For many small business owners, being paid on time and in full can be a constant struggle. But while most customers will ultimately pay what they owe, you may eventually work with a client that refuses to make good on their debts. If you’ve rendered a product or a service but you’re facing difficulties when attempting to obtain payment, you may need to delve further into some debt collections tactics. In the interest of receiving what you’re owed, you may want to try the following tips.

Document and Gather Data

One of the best things you can do is to document every interaction you have with the indebted customer. Not only will this help you keep important details straight, but it will also strengthen your case if you determine that hiring a collections law firm is the right course of action. All email correspondence should be saved and any notification sent by mail should be copied and certified. If it’s legal in your state, you should record phone conversations; in areas where this is not allowed, you should attempt to transcribe your conversations with the client to the best of your ability. Be sure to gather any and all documentation or other data you have as it pertains to this client, as well, including a history of late payments or other evidence. Even if you don’t have to take this case to court, simply having this data can often compel the client to pay what they owe.

Be Persistent Without Harassing

If you expect to collect on money owed to your business, you can’t simply hope for the best and wait for the check to arrive in the mail. You need to be proactive about contacting the customer on a fairly regular basis and present them with options to pay their debt. This does not mean, however, that you should contact them every hour (or even each day) and make threats. There are certain regulations to which creditors are held — and even if your extreme tactics are technically allowed, they’re not likely to produce your desired result. Be strategic in the way you contact customers who owe money and remember that you’ll catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Consider Legal Remedies

Of course, there are some clients who will avoid paying what they owe at all costs. If you’ve already tried collecting the debt on your own and have come up empty, it may be time to consider working with a collections attorney. In some cases, a collections attorney may advise you on some strategies that can allow you to receive the amount you’re owed with no further action required; the threat of involving a collections lawyer may be enough to convince your client to cooperate. However, it may also be that you’ll need to take legal action. Most states allow creditors to sue in small claims court depending on the amount of the lawsuit (which can range from a few thousand dollars to $10,000). Involving a collections attorney at this stage can be one of the only ways for you to receive what you’re owed — or, at the very least, for a judgment to be made against the customer. While there’s no guarantee that the client will have the means to pay their debts, pursuing a lawsuit with help from a collections attorney may prove effective when other methods of debt collection have not.

If you’re struggling to collect on debts owed to your business, you may benefit from professional legal help. For more information or to schedule a consultation, please contact the Law Offices of Noam J. Cohen today.

demand letter

Your Rights as a Contractor: Writing a Demand Letter and Filing a Mechanics Lien

If you are a contractor, subcontractor, or supplier who has never received compensation for a job you performed, you have options at your disposal. In the state of Florida, a mechanics lien can be filed within 90 days of the last furnishing of labor or materials provided on a property. While this type of lien helps reserve the rights of filers to seek any unpaid compensation, it is also advised that you work alongside a collections attorney to ensure that everything is filed appropriately.

A debt collections attorney will understand the laws and how you can best go about legally obtaining the compensation owed to you. Similarly, they can also help you draft a demand letter — which acts as a preliminary step to help resolve disputes before additional legal action is taken in court.

Additionally, unlike a collections agency, a collection attorney has the legal power to bring your debtor to court to ensure that you can receive payment. This can be particularly important, as you can be assured that you’re concerns are dealt with effectively and not put on the back burner by an overwhelmed agency.

What is a Demand Letter?

First and foremost, an attorney can help you draft and send a demand letter to your debtor. In the demand letter, you can specify that, unless terms are met, you will be filing a mechanic lien against the property. This notice of an intent to lien can be a good motivator towards getting the debtor to pay what they owe. Submitting all of this is the first step in helping you receive compensation and a few outcomes can occur from it.

There are a few different outcomes that can occur after a demand letter is sent.

  • Firstly, in the best-case scenario, the debtor accepts the demands and makes the payment owed to you.
  • Secondly, they could make a counteroffer which means that, while they don’t accept the original terms, they are willing to negotiate. This offer does not have to be accepted on your part and you may choose to send your own counteroffer back to the debtor.
  • Thirdly, a debtor can refuse the demand letter or returned counteroffer, in which case it will be necessary to move forward with a lawsuit.

In the event that your demand letter is refused, you can work with your collections attorney to help set up your lawsuit and bring the debtor into court. While this can be time-consuming, it is well worth it to ensure that you get the proper compensation you are owed. Additionally, because you are working with a professional who knows the laws, you will have a much better chance of receiving the compensation you are owed, as opposed to potentially losing out on the money altogether.

If you are missing out on compensation for a job that you provided labor and/or materials for, reach out to a collections attorney today to speak more about your options and get the ball rolling on writing your own demand letter. While the letter itself will hopefully be enough to spur payment, in the event that you do need to go to court, you’ll be thankful for the legal aid of a qualified attorney and the increased chance of collecting what is owed to you.

debt collection law firm

How To Find a Debt Collections Attorney

Debt collection can be a sticky situation for any business, even as consumer debt continues to grow, reaching $14 trillion in 2019. It now represents an increase of approximately $2.3 trillion since the peak of the Great Recession in 2009. Now more than ever, companies need to work with a collections agency or a debt collections law firm whenever they need to recoup the money they are owed.

A debt collections lawyer has the right to take a debtor to court-a factor that collections agencies might not be able to. But how do you find the right Florida collection attorney? Here are some tips to guide you through the process.

1. Experience

It is essential to consider the competence of your collections lawyer. Which law school did they attend? How many debt cases have the debt collection law firm handled so far? What is their success rate? Find an attorney with strong credentials and a track record of successfully litigated cases. A collection lawyer with more experience may raise the odds of recouping some of the debt you are owed by leveraging their skills.

2. Specialization

You may need to find a debt collection law firm with a firm footing in matters regarding unpaid accounts. The lawyer should understand the complexities of debt and bankruptcy laws. A collections attorney with a fundamental understanding of debt collections may help you avoid legal pitfalls when trying to recover your money. The law firm will also help you adhere to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

3. Communication

The Florida collection lawyer needs to maintain open and on-going communication with their clients. Personalized attention allows the attorney to present a realistic assessment of your case. The debt collection law firm can also advise on collection possibilities and the real cost of litigation for your case. Proper communication with the lawyer is essential to a successful resolution of you.

4. Accessibility

You may need to find a Florida collections law firm that can dedicate time to your case. The collection attorney should move quickly to seek relief from an automatic stay of bankruptcy. The pre-judgment remedies will help protect your business and preserve potential assets before they disappear. The lawyer should also point out to their clients of debtors who have been dishonest or misrepresented their assets and seek legal action.

5. Fees

You need to determine how your preferred debt collection law firm sets its legal fees. Some lawyers charge a flat fee, especially when you only need a specific service, such as drafting a demand letter. Other law firms may opt for a contingency model. They set a percentage which you only pay once your case has been concluded. You may also choose to go with a law firm that charges on billable hours.

6. References

Finding a debt collection law firm can be overwhelming, especially when you do not know where to start. You may ask your friends, family, or business associates to recommend a lawyer they know. You can also head out to local or state bar associations. Check past client reviews of the candidates that you shortlist. Find a debt collections attorney that you can quickly gel with.

Businesses are on an everyday struggle to recoup money owed to them by debtors. The tips above can help you located the right attorney for your case. Finding an experienced lawyer can set you on a path to getting your money back.

 

Most Popular Breach of Contract Scenarios in Schools

Most states in the U.S. allow creditors to sue any person or business in small claims court provided the lawsuit requires less than a given amount. The amount differs from state to state but ranges from a few thousand dollars to $10,000.

Most people think that breach of contract only happens in employment and business contexts. However, the truth is that it is applicable in an educational setting. Read on to find out five top ways in which colleges and schools breach contracts.

Schools and Colleges Misleading Students

Before joining a school or college, students are given information on how long it will take to complete their studies, expert instruction to be provided in particular subjects, and the marketability of the course being pursued.

If any of the information provided by the school is false, that is referred to as breach of contract. The school or college can be sued for fraud. Hiring a collections law firm is recommended if you need help in such a situation.

Negligence

What if a school or college fails to offer adequate care and a student is injured as a result? For example, a college that does not adequately prevent harassment to its students.

In such a case, to confirm negligence happened, you must prove harm. Harm could be emotional, academic, or physical. A collections lawyer is better placed to take you through this process as it can be confusing.

Tuition Fees

Schools have canceled on-site schooling in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. Roughly 100 lawsuits have been filed by students seeking tuition refunds. Hiring a collections law firm is necessary when faced with such a situation. A reliable collections law firm will review the contract you made with the school and determine what rights you have. You also get advice on the solutions available.

Special Education

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that schools provide special accommodations for students with special needs. If a school fails in this duty or tries to sidestep their responsibilities, it breaches the contract made. You can sue the school or college for resolution. In such a case, seek professional help from a trusted collections lawyer.

Improper Expulsion from School

Students have the right to proper education. If a school or college unfairly expels you, you are in a good position to sue them. Schools have different policies about what is acceptable and what is not. You cannot sue a school if you break its rules. However, you can sue it if you are suspended or expelled on weak grounds.

If you are in such a situation, hiring a collections law firm to take you through the entire process is highly recommendable.

Final Word

Complaints against private colleges or schools can be frustrating. It is highly advisable that you seek guidance and advice from a reliable collections lawyer. If you are looking for a reputable collections attorney in Florida, contact us today.

Top Collections Lawyers Give the Personal Attention Needed to Collect for Your Business

Households tend to carry credit card debt at an average of $8,398. That’s a lot of debt that may need to be collected in the future when people try not to pay what they owe. What options does your business have when you need to collect the debt owed to you? This is the question most businesses are faced with when it comes to retail and commercial collections. You need a collections law firm that will focus on your collections. A collections attorney is 100% dedicated to collecting accounts receivable and outstanding debts for you in a professional and prompt manner. There is no better way to collect money owed to your business than using a professional collections law firm.

Get the Personal Legal Attention Your Company Deserves

A collections law firm puts its clients first and affords them the personal attention needed to focus on collections for them. It goes beyond just getting attention, although that is important. Hiring a collections law firm means you are going to receive collections services from a firm that is well-equipped with specialized software as well as the most advanced techniques for skip-tracing. This gives them the ability to locate any debtors as well as their assets.

What about their fees? Generally, a collections law firm doesn’t get paid until you do on a 1/3 contingency basis. Essentially, they will only be paid when they have collected for you. You can expect to get valid information with clear communication that keeps you abreast of the status of your cases, as well. Using the services of a Florida collections law firm ensures you are getting a persistent and aggressive pursuit of debts so you get the money that’s due to your business.

A Florida Collection Attorney Resolves Matters Amicably

Collections can be a very sticky situation. Your business has a reputation to uphold, even when collecting debts owed to you. If you resort to using a collections service instead of a collections law firm, they may send intimidating and threatening letters. There really isn’t any need, and those letters may make it even more difficult to collect debt. A legal demand letter resolves matters in a more amicable fashion and can curtail the need to file a suit. The main reason a legal demand letter works better is due to the fact that debtors are more receptive and responsive to an attorney’s correspondence.

There are times that a debtor refuses to pay their outstanding debt. In this case, a suit will be filed to take them to court. Having a collections law firm on your side ensures that a lawsuit is filed correctly on your behalf so judgment is obtained for you. This is one of the main reasons a debt collection law firm is better than trying to use a collections agency. A collections law firm also has the ability to enforce judgments and collect through various legal remedies including the garnishment of wages, seizing assets, and collecting through bank accounts. Put your trust in their collection strategies that they can tailor concerning how aggressive you want your collections to be.

Why Should You Hire a Debt Collection Attorney?

Do you really have the time and resources to focus on debt collections? It pays to hire a collections lawyer that will focus on collecting outstanding payments. This gives you the freedom to focus on other important factors concerning your business. You can’t just ignore debts that are owed to your business. Seek professional help from a collections law firm.

How Is a Debt Collection Attorney Different from a Debt Collection Agency?

You’re more than likely heard of debt collection agencies as well as debt collection law firms. What is the difference between the two? A collection law firm has the experience and knowledge required to uphold your rights within the law. They are the best option if you need to be represented in court, and when you require legal advice to get the most money back.