At the Law Offices of Maier & Associates, we have a full staff of collection attorneys and collectors ready to serve the greater Massachusetts community. The focus of our collection effort is to combine the best features of a collection agency with the collection law firm.
Our basic procedure in terms of handling claims is to open the claims as they are received and program in a series of letters, one of which is an acknowledgment to the client, the second of which is a demand to the debtor. The demand is followed up by a phone call from one of our collectors to the debtor within five days. Prior to the initial phone call, we investigate to determine the debtor’s legal standing, i.e. corporation, proprietorship or individual, and if a corporation who the principal officers are, their home addresses, and whether the corporation is in good standing, etc. We check UCC filings to determine who the major secured creditor(s) are.
If our collectors are unable to reach some sort of an accord with the debtor within several days, our next focus is on viable assets to attach. Obviously, if we can secure the obligation through attachment of assets to the extent allowed by law our client is in a much better position in terms of ultimate collection. If the assets to be attached are essential in order for the debtor to maintain its operation, it also provides the impetus for a quick resolution.
If we believe the matter is collectible but the collectors are unable to resolve the matter amicably, we advise the client and request authorization to institute suit. At that time, we will also advise as to our advanced cost requirements, i.e. the out-of-pocket costs necessary to institute suit, including the court entry fee and service of process by deputy sheriff, etc. Should you become a high volume client forwarding accounts to our office regularly we can work out an arrangement whereby we advance costs on your behalf and bill you on a monthly basis. This saves time and work for everyone involved.
While the litigation is proceeding our collectors will continue in their attempts to resolve the matter amicably. We have found that keeping pressure on the debtor in terms of constant communication, to the extent allowed by law, provides the best impetus for successfully resolving a collection matter. Likewise, when we get a debtor on a payment schedule our collectors are on top of it to make sure the schedule is maintained and payments are being made in a timely matter. We have a fully integrated computerized collection system with automatic dunning correspondence capability, and a tickler system whereby all accounts are diaried in such a manner that they come up on both the collector and attorney’s calendar for review.
As to our fee structure, we handle collection matters on a contingent fee basis, usually on a 1/3 (33.3%) basis. The client is billed for out-of-pocket costs relating to court expenses and/or asset investigation, i.e. the costs municipalities, etc. charge to provide information concerning property ownership, assets, etc. In terms of our in-house collection effort, we have collectors working until 8:00 p.m. most evenings, since if people are working that’s usually the time to reach them!
If you have any further questions, or if you would like to come up and visit our office, please do not hesitate to call 1-800-497-1331 or complete our request information form.