In this current economy, as a business owner, you may find yourself in the unenviable situation of having clients that are not paying you. Consequently, this puts your business at risk.  There are many reasons this may happen, and many are sad stories.  If you have made reasonable attempts at coming to an amicable arrangement and have failed, your next step should be to consider hiring a professional debt collection law firm to handle the process.

It is important to not wait an extended period of time to initiate this process.  As a rule, the longer you wait, the less likely you will be able to recover your debt.  When selecting a debt collection law firm, you need to find a firm that is professional. In addition, you should avoid those that use unethical tactics and techniques.  In other words, you need a firm that has demonstrated success through integrity and ethics.

Here are some specific areas that you should review before engaging a firm.

1. What is the firm’s experience?

Does the firm have a good history?  All firms have to start somewhere, but initially you should look for firms that have a proven history handling debt collection cases.  You should not only look at a firm’s website, but you should also call them and ask them about their experience and success stories.  Ask for specifics.  How they respond also gives you indications of how they would be to work with.

2. How easy is it for you to talk to the actual attorney working your case?

How does the firm assign your case?  If they primarily assign your case to a secretary or paralegal, then you may want to shop around and find a firm where you case is assigned to a practicing attorney and more importantly, you are able to speak to that attorney without having to jump through hoops.  Very large firms often lose the personal touch and forget the attention to individuals.

3. Does the firm have a practice specialty in debt collection?

Ideally you should look for a law firm that has debt collection as a primary practice area.  It does not have to be their only area, but you want to avoid a general law firm that doesn’t deal with debt collection cases on a regular basis.  Ask them for success stories and for those situations that did not work out.  Not every case ends well, and their acknowledgement of this, helps confirm their honesty and integrity.

4. Can you afford the debt collection law firm services?

Make sure you ask early in the process about the terms and costs?  The specifics of the case will drive the details, but it will save you a lot of time if you get an idea early on the cost.  Remember that you are paying for the firms expertise ad experience, and that is very valuable.  For example, the firm may take 28% of the collection, but without using a firm, you may not receive any return.

There are many more questions you could ask, and we’ve shared some in other posts on our site, but in summary you should be looking for a firm that you feel good about, has appropriate experience and deals with both you and the debtor in a professional and honest manner. Contact one of our professional attorneys today for more information.