Once a claim is accepted for collections, the first step is investigation – into the debtor and its assets and liabilities. This can be accomplished through public records and private data sources available to us, including subscription only databases to which we belong. Depending on the results of the investigation, we may either send a final letter or call, or immediately file suit – especially if previous instances of debt default come to light.
Next, litigation is filed to collect past-due receivables with the goal of obtaining a judgment or settlement. Most commercial collections cases are not subject to contested litigation because there is no defensible objection. Summary judgment (judgment given prior to trial) is often passed based on the investigatory documents and a supporting affidavit. In cases with chronic default, we may seek a pre-judgment remedy against the debtor, such as an attachment against their assets or an injunction to preserve the status-quo or prevent fraudulent transfers of assets. This ensures that a debtor cannot hide or wrap up assets that could be used to pay you back.
After judgment is passed, the final stage is judgment enforcement. This is when we will enforce the judgment against the assets of the debtor and turn it into cash using a variety of enforcement tools permissible by law.