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Frequently Asked Questions | Brown & Joseph

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

In what states does Atlas & Leviton collect?

The Law Offices of Atlas & Leviton has the resources, expertise and local contacts to collect in all 50 states as well as in most foreign nations.

What are Atlas & Leviton’s collection fees?

Atlas & Leviton’s standard commercial collection fees are based on the amount of the claim and are on a purely contingent basis. For a fee quotation please contact dleviton@atlas-law.com or call us toll free at 1-847-621-6072.  

When should I place an account for collection?

This is a difficult question that doesn't have any one right answer. However, the reality is that a delay in collection efforts is detrimental to the ultimate collection of outstanding accounts receivables. Therefore, we recommend not letting an account go more than 90 days past due before placing it with our law firm. With that being said though, Atlas & Leviton does accept claims of any age.

How do I place an account for collection with Atlas & Leviton?

Accounts can be placed for collection in several ways: by mail, fax, e-mail or a website claim submission form.

Can Atlas & Leviton guarantee recovery of our money?

No reputable law firm can guarantee they will be able to collect on a delinquent account. This is because the collectability of an account is contingent on so many outside variables, one of the most important being the age of the account when placed.

Do you require a minimum number of accounts be placed in order to take on a new client?

No. We have no requirement as to the number of accounts that must be placed. We have clients who only have one account to place with us for collection and those who have thousands.

What tools are available for a company to manage its debt?

The most effective tool is the Credit Application. The collection is in the credit. Use credit applications for new customers, asking for credit references where credit has been extended in an amount equal to the amount the customer is seeking. In other words, if the prospective customers wants credit of $30,000, do not accept a credit reference of nominal amounts. Call the references.

Know what type of entity your business is dealing with. Is it a corporation, LLC, sole proprietor? If in doubt, ask and check the state corporations website.

If the prospective customer is not creditworthy, a personal guaranty of the principal may be an option.

Credit applications should set forth the terms and conditions of the relationship.

If you wish to discuss your existing credit application or want us to draft a custom credit application for your business, we can do this.

Can attorneys’ fees be obtained from debtor in order to compensate the company for the expense of retaining an attorney to collect?

The award of attorneys’ fees differs in each state. The most straightforward is a provision for contractual attorneys’ fees if placed in the credit application or contract.

Can interest be charged on the delinquent amounts owed my company?

Yes, under most state’s law, there is a statutory interest provision which runs on commercial accounts. Be sure you add this provision to your terms and conditions.

What if a long term customer has cash flow problems, but the company does not want to begin collections procedures?

You can always negotiate terms with a good customer who has cash flow problems. Suggest a simple promissory note whereby the debt is paid off on a monthly or periodic basis with interest.

What are the chances of actually collecting on a judgment?

This depends upon what type of entity we are dealing with and how old the judgment is. Is it a corporation and if so, is it up and running or defunct. If the latter applies, the chance of collecting is poor. If a successor corporation took over the assets and liabilities there may be an opportunity to recover. If it is a sole proprietorship, the individual owner may be liable and may have assets such as a house, car, or other sources of income that may satisfy a judgment. There are many factors involved as to the success of collection

Can my company’s judgment obtained against a debtor in my state become enforceable in a foreign state or can my company’s judgment obtained against a debtor in a foreign state become enforceable in my state?

There are two ways to domesticate a judgment. (Domestication means taking your judgment from one state and causing a like judgment to be enforceable in another state.) The first is by filing another suit on the judgment obtained in the foreign state and the second is a summary procedure known as the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgment Act. If your state has adopted this Act, the domestication is somewhat simplified. An exemplified copy of your judgment is filed in the county of the judgment/debtor’s residence or corporate office, with a certified copy of the notice to the judgment debtor. Generally, in a fairly short time, a judgment from that county will be issued.

If my company files a mechanics or materialmen’s lien, does it also have to file a lawsuit?

Yes, in most states, in order to perfect your lien, you must file a lawsuit against the contractor shown in the claim of lien within a certain time from when the claim became due.

What tools are available to collect or recover on a judgment?

In most states, garnishment of bank accounts and employers is available. A creditor’s lien generally may be placed on residences and vehicles, as well as levys on personal property which is free and clear with the debtor. These are only examples, and recoveries may not be limited to these available remedies.