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.
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.
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 debt collection attorneys handle cases in state and federal courts throughout Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Kane and Will Counties. For additional information about our debt collection services, please contact us at (312) 789-5676 or by email.