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Debt Collection in Illinois

Date Added: June 01, 2008 03:48:20 AM
Author: Brian Johnson
Category: Illinois: Estate Planning and Probate
Invariably, all business owners will have clients or customers who will not pay their bills. When this happens, these businesses generally send the accounts receivable to collection attorneys. Some companies, like physician billing services, have high volume and low dollar amount bills. Other companies, like banks, have low volume and high dollar accounts. Generally, the dollar amount dictates the method of collection. For example, in lower-dollar, high volume accounts, Johnson, Bunce & Noble, P.C. receives the creditor’s account information via a secure computer connection. The information, including the debtor’s name, address, and other important data, is downloaded into a collection processing system. The system generates letters and stores account status information on servers, which are backed up requently. For high-volume accounts, this system is the most efficient and provides little worry for our clients. Of course, an attorney reviews each step to ensure that our clients’ best interests are protected. In high-dollar accounts, our clients usually send the pertinent information directly to the attorney. The attorney then determines a collection method which will be best for each particular case. Usually, letters demanding a sum due are effective and continued collection efforts are unnecessary. JBN’s practice has been and continues to be relationship focused. Our approach to collection is different from other attorneys or agencies— be aggressive but be respectful. This means that the collection letters are respectful yet firm. Because many of our clients are in relationship-oriented businesses, our clients appreciate this method as opposed to a more aggressive approach to collection. Although the first set of collection letters generally results in the matter being resolved, some debtors will choose to ignore the letters. At this point, usually a draft complaint (a court document which begins a lawsuit) is sent to the debtor. If no response is received, the complaint is generally filed. Thus, the litigation process begins. Usually, a judgment is rendered in favor of the client and against the debtor. Then, payment arrangements are made and post-judgment collections can begin (wage garnishments, bank garnishments, etc.). Many times, companies turn to collection agencies instead of attorneys, mistakenly believing that collection agencies can yield better results. Collection attorneys have a distinct advantage over collection agencies. First, attorneys can follow through with court proceedings. Collection agencies cannot do so unless they employ attorneys. Second, attorneys, at least JBN’s attorneys, stay updated on the latest changes in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and bankruptcy laws. Thus, our clients’ interests are served without the our clients being subject to potential liability for wrongful collection activities.
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