Handling business accounts receivables can be a tricky process as they start to accrue amounts owed on them, and sometimes they end up going delinquent during inconvenient times.
A delinquent business account should not be left unattended because after all, your clients and customers are not entitled to free services. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire a third-party debt collection agency to come in and help you obtain the money owed you, and possibly even an Arizona business debt collection attorney if the amount you’re owed is excessive.
Pursuing any of these options can be pricey, so you should take stock of your business situation before pursuing debt collection.
The Amount Must Be Right
The biggest factor in determining if you need outside help in collecting amounts owed to your Arizona business is the total amount owed by one or more client or customer. There’s not really a set amount that determines whether you need to hire a collections agency or attorney, but most will recommend that that amount is over five thousand dollars owed to you. Small amounts of money are not usually worth the hassle of using legal channels and will usually end up getting paid via other equally aggressive non-legal methods.
Reliability Of The Customer Or Client In Question
It’s important to pay attention to how many times your customer has paid on time or late with past invoices before taking action against them. For example, if they’ve always been reliable with payments before deadlines in the past, it’s probably not necessary to take extreme action against them for the first payment missed. But if you’ve noticed a habit of multiple payments being missed in a row, it may be time to terminate service or contract and call in professional help to collect what you’re owed.
What You Should Do First
Before you call up your Arizona business debt collection attorney or even a debt collection agency, you should make sure you’ve done everything you can to let the debtor know they owe you what’s due. That entails sending them courteous letters, emails or phone calls reminding them that their account balance has an outstanding amount on it. If they ignore your notices or continually promise to pay but do not follow up on that promise, then it’s probably time to take action against them. But once you do decide to take action you need to make sure you follow the legal framework to do it.
Being Aware Of The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)
Federal law has set parameters on what tactics can be used to collect debts owed, and you want to make sure you follow all regulations regarding how you collect. Arizona’s Attorney General also has information on state laws regarding collecting debts. This is one area that an attorney can provide guidance in making sure you’re making legal collection attempts. If you’re going to turn over the collection of a commercial invoice to a third-party collection agency, make sure you choose a company that’s gained a good reputation with the Better Business Bureau and hasn’t been known to harass debtors.
Taking The Matter To Court
You need to make sure you hire an attorney with a solid track record in winning debt collection cases as well as one that will make sure you’ve used every avenue available before taking a delinquent debtor to court. Filing a lawsuit to recover debt can be a time-consuming process and you’re going to need to provide the attorney with a complete list of documents before the suit can be prepared, filed with the court, and served on the debtor legally. You should check to see how the attorney charges fees as some charge to take the case to court, but others charge a percentage of the winnings once the case has been litigated. Some collection matters can be settled with a strong legal demand letter.