“Yea, I’ll get that money right over to you,” said the voice on the other end of the phone call, but the money does not come. You delivered your product or service to your customer, you have met all your obligations under the agreement between you and your customer yet, you have not been paid. You are now a creditor when you only intended to be a supplier. You think to yourself…. My business is not a bank, we cannot affordto not get paid, we did our job, and how am I going to meet my obligations without this payment.
Is it time for a lawyer? You bet it is.
Engaging a knowledgeable and capable attorney can be most useful when you have a debt you need to collect but are failing to do so on your own. Here are just a few facts to consider as you evaluate hiring an attorney to assist in a debt collection:
- The introduction of an attorney will let the debtor understand that you are serious about collecting the debt and sometimes just the contact from an attorney can make a meaningful impression upon the debtor and encourage them to pay.
- An attorney doesn’t have the emotional attachment which you and/or the debtor party might and this can be a major liability in negotiating with the debtor. The debtor may be a friend or a long-time customer and by inserting a new voice can often time remove an emotional cloud for both parties and be helpful in affecting a remedy.
- If a negotiated settlement can be achieved, you will want to have it properly and clearly documented, you will want to make sure that if adhered to that the relationship between the parties is properly defined and if not adhered to, you will want to make sure that you have not inadvertently forfeited any rights to your claims for amounts due.
- If a negotiated settlement cannot be reached, involving an attorney early on will provide your counsel with an in-depth understanding of the case. Attorneys are also keenly aware of what issues to take note of, how to properly notice the debtor in a way that best prepares your claim before the court and when it comes time to file your lawsuit, will have all of the facts and chronology of professional efforts to remedy the situation without involving the courts.
It is also important for you to note the there is a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) which prohibits many behaviors from a creditor toward a debtor and should you succumb to your emotions and violate any of these provisions you could, in fact, harm yourself and your claim. In California, there is an additional law that applies not only to professional debt collectors but also to creditors; therefore, it is essential that you operate within the requisite framework of these rules.
Leiva Law Firm is here to help you with a team of dedicated and experienced attorneys that will help determine how to approach your case and get you the best outcome. Call us today at (818) 703-1777or you can contact us online to get a case evaluation and protect your claim.