There are really three ways to collect your debt. Collection is broken down into three kinds of areas. There’s the pre-litigation, the litigation, and the post-judgment enforcement.
The pre-litigation really involves the clients there and the efforts the client puts in to make sure that they can collect their money and set themselves up so that when the case is turned over to me, I can do my work to help collect.
First, those who are supplier clients, those supplier clients need to really keep an eye on their customer’s credit and credit lines. Understand your client, and who your client is, and know how far they should be extended.
For you contractors, think about what you need to do, the work you’re doing, and change orders. A lot of work and a lot of disputes become change order disputes. So know your contract, think about what your contract says for you to do, and how you can ultimately meet your change order requirements.
In the pre-litigation area, there are also things like mechanic’s liens, your stop notices, your payment bond claims, and your license bond claims. There’s a lot of effort, and a lot of things that the customer can do preliminarily, before the case comes to me, to make sure they’ve set themselves up to collect.
The Litigation Phase
The second phase is the litigation phase. The litigation phase is when a file comes to our office, and we start our effort to start collecting. We file a lawsuit, and it’s in that lawsuit that there’s a lot that goes on, that can help you collect your money. There are mediations, there are settlement conferences where we informally sit together with our opposing parties and say, “How can we settle this” so that you can get your money. Because collecting the money is the most important part. It’s all about the money. And ultimately, in litigation, if you can’t settle, then it’s about winning. You want to win in the end, because you want that piece of paper that gives you that judgment that says here you have a judgment. You’re the winner. This is the amount of money you’re owed.
The Post Judgment Collection Phase
The third phase kind of transitions with the litigation phase. The third phase is the post-judgment collection phase. Once you’ve won your case, you have a piece of paper. That paper is called your judgment. It says you’re owed a certain amount of money. But just because you’re owed that money doesn’t mean that you’re actually going to get that money, that someone’s going to give you that money. You still have to go out and collect it.
That third phase is really the part we use in that effort to collect that. That is something that we do a lot of here. We have a whole team of people who collect judgments, we have a whole collections team.
There’s lots of stuff you can do: bank loans, wage collections, you can record liens against your customer’s property, personal property, and real property. You can ultimately foreclose on that property and sell people’s houses. You can sell people’s equipment, sell contractors’ equipment. A lot of steps that you can take once you have that judgment.
That’s something we excel at, something that we spent a lot of time working on. So we have become subject matter experts on those kinds of things. So that’s something we can do. We can help you collect your judgments after you’ve gotten that judgment. Then we take those steps to help you collect.
It’s all about collection, everything you’re going to do. It starts with the pre litigation, you’ve set yourself up to make sure you give us the best case we possibly can have and the most ability to collect. We take it on the litigation section and in the post judgment once we’ve won. We help you collect and ultimately, the end goal is for you to collect your judgment and get all the money.