Collecting money from a debtor often requires filing a lawsuit in court. Before filing suit, it is recommended that you at least speak with a New Jersey Collections Attorney, because there are often other legal considerations and pre-suit procedures to be followed.
For example, if you are a business collecting from a residential consumer, you must send a Federal Fair Debt Collection Act letter and wait the statutory time before filing suit. If you do not, you will be subject to financial penalties. If you are collecting under a contract agreement, there may be language requiring arbitration or another procedure prior to filing suit. If your collection invoices work on real estate, you may have deadlines from filing a lien and required arbitration procedures. And if you are a corporation, the law requires that it be represented by an attorney in the suit.
Potential counterclaims should also be evaluated. For example, there is a particular danger to residential home improvement contractors seeking to collect from consumers. New Jersey law requires home improvement contracts to include specific terms and notices. If this is not done, and a suit is filed, the contractor might be countersued for consumer fraud and face treble damages. It is worth having an attorney review your contract and dispute before filing any lawsuit against a consumer.
You and your collections attorney should also consider the ability to collect against the debtor. Insolvency or bankruptcy may severely limit your ability to collect funds. Post-judgement collection procedures may become necessary.
Contact an Experienced Collection Attorney
The attorneys at Shanahan & Voigt are well-versed in these procedures. Your time and expense spent to collect a debt only adds to a difficult situation. We can meet with you and discuss the options on how to best proceed in order to preserve time and money. Good counsel is worth the expense when considering debt collection. We would like to help you.