Collections Lawyers in West Seneca, NY
Q: How do you collect money from the debtor?
A: First, we send an initial demand letter to the debtor. If there is no response, we file a lawsuit against the debtor. The lawsuit seeks repayment of money owed, interest, all damages available for breach of contract, and if applicable, attorneys' fees. When we are awarded a judgment, the debtor becomes legally obligated to pay, and the judgment acts as a lien on any real property owned by the debtor. Furthermore, interest at the statutory rate of 9% per year will begin to accrue on the judgment amount.
Q: How do you collect on the judgment?
A: A judgment allows us to restrain a debtor's bank account, garnish their wages, or seize their assets. Additionally, a judgment allows us to send subpoenas to the debtor directly, the debtor's employer, or any other creditors of the debtor.
Q: Do you handle cases on a contingency basis?
A: We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, an hourly basis, or a combination of the two. Many different factors contribute to the best possible fee arraignment for our clients. When handling cases on a contingency basis, we only get paid a fee if we collect money for you. Even then, we only take our fees based on the amount we collect. Please contact our office to discuss fee arrangements in greater detail.
Q: What is the difference between your firm and a collection agency?
A: Collection agencies send a series of dunning letters to a debtor, combined with a series of phone calls. Many collection agencies operate on a high volume basis and treat each account with an "assemble line" approach. At our firm, your collection is handled by an attorney. We use the law to collect the debt. Collection agencies cannot file a lawsuit on your behalf. As attorneys, we can.
Q: What are "costs" and "disbursements," and how do they differ from "fees?"
A: Costs are out of pocket charges that we must pay to pursue your case. Costs include the filing fees, service fees, and motion fees that courts charge. We DO NOT charge costs for photocopying (unless there is a great deal to be done), telephone calls, or any other ancillary office charge.
Q: How long will it take you to collect on my matter?
A: Each case is unique, and it is hard to estimate without speaking with you and learning about your case. We will better be able to estimate collection time after an initial discussion with you.
Q: What information do you need to start the collection process?
In order to serve you best, please provide as many of the following as possible:
- Statement listing invoices and payments
- Breakdown of principal and interest owed
- Copies of any checks received from the debtor
- A signed credit application (if applicable)
- A signed personal guaranty (if applicable)
- A copy of any signed contract
- Any correspondence between you and the debtor about the debt (i.e., copies of email, letters, or phone records)
- Invoices or delivery slips containing business terms
Q: How long has your firm been handling collections?
A: As you may or may not be aware, our office has been in business for over 40 years. Specifically, we began our collection practice in 1996, and have grown to one of Western New York's most well respected collection firms.