Debt collection is one of the most common types of legal action taken. When services, materials or products have been provided but not paid for, it is time for our Chicago debt collection attorneys to step in. Debt collection often involves other legal actions, such as breach of contract and other related claims.
Since our Chicago law firm’s founding, litigation, including debt collection, has been central to the firm’s practice. From negotiating or litigating small debt collection issues for clients to the coordination of complex litigation of multiple claims in jurisdictions within and outside of Illinois, our lawyers bring thoughtful and practical experience to achieve desired results. Our attorneys can help you obtain a judgment and collect the outstanding debt.
Why Hire a Chicago Debt Collection Lawyer?
Has someone failed to pay on a promissory note, loan agreement, vendor agreement or personal guarantee? Has someone breached a contract by failing to perform or pay as promised? Does your company have outstanding accounts receivable? Do you have yet to be paid on a judgment entered in your favor? Our Chicago debt collection lawyers have the experience to help.
Debt collection agencies can make phone calls, send letters and make other demands in attempt to recover money for their client, but are often not able to file a lawsuit if the debtor refuses to pay. Unlike collection agencies, our attorneys stand ready and able to take the necessary legal action on your behalf to collect on unpaid balances. We will consult with you to develop the best strategy for your debt collection matter.
Types of Debt Collection
Our Chicago law firm handles commercial debt collections, business-to-business debt collections, as well as personal debt collections. In other words, whether a business or individual owes you money, we can help. We regularly pursue various commercial litigation and business litigation matters involving both business and personal debts. We also pursue piercing the corporate veil and fraudulent transfer matters for our clients when necessary. Our lawyers Chicago can also register and pursue collection of foreign judgments that were entered jurisdictions outside of Illinois.
In sum, our debt collection practice includes:
- Commercial debt collections
- Consumer debt collections
- Judgment collections / post-judgment collections
- Judgment enforcement
- Foreign judgment collections
- Unsecured collections
- Commercial litigation
- Illinois debt collection
- Illinois judgment collection
- Foreign judgment domestication
Steps in the Debt Collection Process
The following are steps involved in collecting against a debtor. Not all of the steps are required or necessary. Additional steps and procedures may be necessary, depending on the particular circumstances. Consult with our Chicago debt collection lawyers to determine the best strategy to collect your outstanding debt.
The first step is usually to investigate the debtor. This step involves gathering all of the information, including contact information, to determine where the debtor is located and, if possible, what assets are known. This step includes property record searches and other publicly available asset searches. It can also include searching for other lawsuits or bankruptcies.
After investigating the debtor, the next step, when appropriate, is sending a letter to the debtor explaining the debt and demanding payment. The demand letter will specify a deadline for a response and/or payment by the debtor. If the demand letter does not lead to payment of the debt, formal legal action is usually necessary.
Formal Legal Action
In the event that the debt collection involves a previously entered judgment, our attorney will file and serve the debtor with a citation to discover assets. This formal legal process allows creditors to discover money, property, wages and other assets belonging to a debtor. It requires the debtor, when properly served, to respond and answer questions regarding assets. Citations to discover assets can also be served on third parties, such as banks, family members, businesses and friends that might be holding money or property belonging to a debtor. Wage garnishment is also possible in the right circumstances.
If judgment as not yet been obtained, our lawyers are able to file a civil action (complaint) against the debtor. The complaint will most likely include claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, and the like. The purpose of the civil action is to prove the debt in court so that judgment is entered. Once a judgment is obtained and if it is not paid by the debtor within a reasonable time, citations to discover assets can then be issued against the debtor.
What to do Next to Collect My Debt
If you have a debt to collect, whether it is based on a judgment or a breach of contract or other agreement, call us to consult with one of our attorneys regarding your collection matter. We offer seasoned legal counsel regarding debt collection and related disputes to both individuals and businesses.
Our Chicago law firm makes every effort to collect payment before a breach of contract lawsuit, debt collection lawsuit, or other formal legal action is necessary. Negotiating settlement payments by debtors is almost always preferred over formal legal action. If a lawsuit is necessary, our business litigation attorneys have experience to guide the collection matter through litigation and the post-judgment collection and enforcement processes.