When You Sit Down With A Potential Client Who Is Trying To Satisfy A Debt, What Type Of Information Do You Need To Determine Whether The Debt Is Worth Pursuing?
What is the amount of the debt? What do we know about the debtor’s finances/assets? Are there any claims that the debtor might assert back against our potential client; i.e., will we likely have to both assert a claim and defend against a counterclaim? Is the counterclaim more than the claim our client is attempting to collect? How old is the debt? Are there any personal guarantees? These are all factors we look at in determining whether or not a debt is worth pursuing. If there are already several lawsuits ahead of us, maybe it is evidence that the debtor is not able to pay its debts or is insolvent.
Sometimes clients do not care and want to pursue their claim. So long as they engage in the collections process with their eyes wide open, then that is their choice. Obviously, we try and do what is best for our clients, and we would likely counsel against pursuing a claim if it is uncollectible.
What Sets Your Firm Apart In Representing Clients Who Are Seeking To Satisfy A Judgment Or Collect A Debt?
While every law firm can say they are experienced, we truly are. Our practice has focused on collections for over 30 years, and we have presented seminars on the collections process to other attorneys.
There are many attorneys who are very competent in prosecuting a lawsuit and obtaining a judgment, but they don’t know the ins and outs of how to then collect on the judgment. They might write a demand letter to the debtor but if the debtor does not voluntarily pay, it may be best to turn to an experienced collections attorney who is well-versed in the California Enforcement of Judgments Law and knows all the tools that it provides to help collect a debt.
Also, we usually often work on a contingency basis on collections matters, so we are not asking our client to pay us regardless of performance. Instead, we are performance-based, which means we have skin in the game with our client.
We think those two things — the level of experience we have and the fact that we are willing to defer payment of our fee until we achieve a positive result for our client — set us apart. Plus, we’re a small firm, so when you have a matter, you get our founder. We do have a team of attorneys and paralegals, as well, but he is involved throughout the process to make sure we are doing everything possible to collect.