Money is the lifeblood and nourishment of a business. When your business needs to collect on a debt, it can be a very serious issue. Or, when someone is trying to take away your business’ lifeblood, it can be equally serious – maybe more so. Debtor/Creditor services are part of the nutritional cycle of your business body. If you perform work for a customer, you expect to get paid. If they promise to pay you, you’ve just become a creditor. If you’ve promised to pay, you’re a debtor.
If you’re collecting on a debt, there are specific laws and practices that have to be followed – or else! Failure to abide by the appropriate laws can exposure your business to fines, penalties, forfeiture of your right to recover, or even Contempt of Court! It’s important to know the law and what you can and can’t do to collect on a debt.
- Can you file a lien? Are you sure?
- Can you call the debtor? At night?
- What can you do if they tell you to stop calling? Are you violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?
- Can you sue them for the money they owe?
You need an attorney to help guide you through the process and/or to do the collection work for you.
If you’re a debtor, what protections do you have? Debtors have rights too. No one is suggesting that your business doesn’t want to pay its debts. But collections can become aggressive, stressful, and even result in bullying. Using the available laws to ensure that you are treated fairly and have the opportunity to pay your debts is important. You need an attorney to protect you from the harassment and represent your best interests in negotiations with the Collectors.
- What effect does bankruptcy have for you? Are you sure?
- Can you make the collectors stop calling?
- Are your business assets open to seizure?
- What effect is this having on my credit?
Sometimes it takes outside help to get customers to “feed” your business with the money that you are owed for the work you have done. Without money coming in, your business can starve. The same is true if you’re on the other side: if you owe money, sometimes you need help to “stop the bleeding.” We can help whether you are trying to collect on debts owed or whether you are trying to defend against an unreasonable debt. Contact our office for a consultation with one of our Business Attorneys.