Q: Is it always necessary to bring a collection suit against the debtor?
A: With the informed consent of our clients, The Law Offices of Paul P. Young will not hesitate to bring a collection action against any debtor who makes it clear that no other collection method will convince him to settle with our client. That being said, we review each and every case to develop an individualized, aggressive collection strategy to avoid collection litigation, when possible. Often these planning strategies allow us to successfully recover for our clients at a fraction of the cost of litigation.
Q: Can I recover attorney fees and other collection-related costs if I prevail in my collection action against the debtor?
A: If your original contract that created the debt with the debtor included a provision for recovery of attorney fees and other collection related costs in the event of default, or if recovery of attorney fees and costs is authorized by a legal statute, you can recover all or most of these legal fees and costs. If your original contract with the debtor was an oral contract, or was otherwise silent on this subject, you may not be able to recover these costs. The recoverability of attorney fees and other collection costs should be carefully considered when creating a debt collection plan. Lastly, all business owners or others who regularly enter into contracts, should always include a provision in their contracts that requires the non-prevailing party (hopefully the debtor) in a collection action to pay reasonable attorney fees and other collection-related costs. Please contact our office for assistance in drafting this important legal provision.
Q: If the debtor declares bankruptcy, can I still collect on the debt (or judgment) that they owe me?
A: This question cannot be answered with a simple yes or no. In many cases, all is not lost just because a debtor files for bankruptcy. We can represent the creditor in bankruptcy court and fight to preserve many types of creditor liens, or otherwise argue that the debt should be considered non-dischargeable due to its original nature, or by subsequent actions by the debtor. Further, we can take actions to attack the bankruptcy proceedings in an effort to have the debtor denied all bankruptcy protection. We can be successful in many cases in getting you paid after the debtor files for bankruptcy, or even when the debtor receives a partial discharge from the court. You should note that if your particular debt is discharged by the bankruptcy court, you will not be able to take any further collection action against the debtor. This is why it is particularly important to involve us in the proceedings as early as possible.
For assistance with any additional questions call the Law Offices of Paul P. Young today at 626-744-1838.