Debt Collection

businesslawNOTICE: The information contained on this page site is intended to educate the general public and is not intended to provide legal advice. To ensure proper handling of your individual situation, please call (703) 527-1779.

I.S. Law Firm offers nationwide debt collection services by associating with debt collection attorneys throughout the U.S. We will take over the headache of managing all your collection accounts, and we will send you a report each month describing what we have done on your behalf.

Because mismanaging accounts receivable is the leading cause of business failure, your approach to debt collection is critical to your business. A letter from a law firm commands more respect than one from a collection agency, mainly because while agencies can threaten suit, lawyers can actually sue. The prospect of immediate legal action is often all it takes to collect. For a case-specific evaluation or consultation, please contact our office: (703) 527-1779, or via e-mail: law@islawfirm.com.

Initial Consultation

Before we begin the collection process, we will meet with you to discuss your collection needs and preferences so that we can tailor the process to your business. We will ask you:

  • How aggressive do you want to be?
  • Are you willing to sue?
  • Will you settle for a partial recovery, and if so, how much?
  • Do you want to set different parameters for each collection or use one policy for all?
  • Does your firm have a collection policy in place, or do you want our help designing one?

Once we understand your preferred strategy, we’ll begin the process and do our best to minimize your financial loss.

Collection Fees

Our collection fee is what’s known as a contingency fee—it is due only if we collect the debt. The collection fee is what we charge you, the creditor, for collecting an account. It varies from 25-50% of the funds collected, depending on the number of accounts you place with us for collection, the dollar amount of those accounts, and whether the account has been previously placed with a collection agency.

Debtors are ultimately responsible for any court costs that are incurred, but creditors must advance court costs until collection is accomplished. However, court costs are recovered first, before our fees are calculated. Because additional attorney fees may be collected from the debtor, you will likely recover more money if we take your case than if you go through a collection agency. Here is an example:

The debtor pays the 25% attorney’s fee, and our contingency fee, in this example, is 25% of the total amount due. Because the total amount due has increased, the amount you actually recover is over 110% of the original principal.

Principal Debt - $1,000.00
Interest of 18% - $180.00
Attorney’s Fees of 25% - $295.00
Court Costs - $200.00
Total Amount Due - $1,675.00
Contingency Fee - $368.75 (25% of amount due excluding court costs)
Net to Client/Creditor - $1,306.25 ($1,106.25 + court costs)

For each account you turn over to us, we will ask you to submit several important documents. We suggest you turn over past due accounts quickly, since the recovery rate decreases dramatically over time. We will then review the account to determine how to proceed.

The Collection Process

Typically our first step is to send a demand letter to the debtor explaining that his or her debt has been referred to I.S. Law Firm, and that we will file a lawsuit to collect it. Depending on our client’s wishes, we will then file suit immediately or follow up with more letters. If the debtor has no assets or the amount owed is too small, we will not recommend filing suit. However, we will honor our client’s wishes in every case.

It generally takes 60-90 days to collect a debt, but it may take much longer if we have to resort to a lawsuit, skip tracing, or garnishment. Throughout the collection process, we will send you a monthly statement describing the money we have recovered on your behalf. Payments received at the end of the month normally appear on the following month’s statement, after they have cleared our escrow account. We will be glad to format your monthly statements to accommodate your needs.

Unfortunately, some accounts are not collectable, often due to bankruptcy or death. You will be notified immediately if this happens.

A Typical Lawsuit

Once we decide a lawsuit is necessary, we will file suit in the appropriate court. The Sheriff then serves a citation on the debtor, which may take two to three weeks. Once served, the debtor usually has two weeks to respond before we initiate proceedings for a default judgment.

If the debtor denies owing the debt, we will request a trial, and the creditor may have to provide a witness or an affidavit. A debtor may also obtain an attorney, who may ask for a delay of 30 days. Even after a judgment is granted, the debtor has a right to appeal. Only after the appeal is settled can we execute on the judgment, commonly by garnishing wages or seizing bank accounts, automobiles, or real property.

Attorneys at I.S. Law Firm have helped many clients recover money from their debtors. For more information about our services and to schedule a consultation, please contact us: (703) 527-1779, or via e-mail:law@islawfirm.com.

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- I.S. Law Firm - All rights reserved. Address: 1199 North Fairfax Street, Suite 702, Alexandria, VA 22314