#bad debt collection
All businesses have accounts receivable and occasional disputes. Don’t wait to resolve unpaid bills. It is a statistical fact that the age of an account receivable determines the potential for collectability. The older an account, the more difficult it becomes to collect.
Contract should include Buyer liable for court costs and legal fees
In your sales agreements, you should charge interest, costs and attorneys fees in the event of failure to pay according to schedule. Require the person or company receiving goods on credit sign a purchase agreement. Otherwise, you cant recover attorneys fees or interests if the debtors fails to pay and tries to stiff you . Unless the contract specifically states the buyer is liable for attorneys fees upon default, the judge cannot direct that the buyer pay your legal fees if there is a default.
Special Civil Part Court handles cases up to $10,000 In New Jersey, the court that hears disputes under $10,000 is called the Special Civil Part. The maximum amount which can be awarded has been raised from $5000 to $10,000. If you are owed even $15,000, you can file suit in Special Civil Part, but the maximum award you can receive is $10,000. In the Special Civil Part, the court costs of filing a complaint is under $50.00. Your attorney must prepare a complaint and a summons and deliver copies to the Special Civil Part Clerk. The complaint and summons is then mail by Certified and Registered Mail to the Defendant by the Court.
Don’t let debt collectors violate Fair Debt Collection Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, 15 USCA Section 1692 was originally enacted in 1977 to provide remedies for unfair practices initiated by debt collectors in the collection of consumer- not commercial- debts. This applies to debt collectors trying to collect a debt for another company against a consumer. This law does not apply to a company trying to collect the debt itself. A formal verification notice must be mailed to the consumer debtor under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. The five items of information are
1) the amount of the debt
2) name of the creditor
3) a statement that unless the debtor disputes the validity of the debt within 30 days after the receipt of the notice, the lawyer will assume the debt is valid;
4) a statement that if the debtor notified the lawyer in writing within 30 days that the debt is disputed, the creditors will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment and mail it to the debtor;
5) a statement that the creditor will provide the debtor with the name and address of the original creditors, if different from the current creditor, if the debtor represents this in writing within 30 days;
The collection letter must contain the language This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.
Where it is obvious the debtor has not intent on paying, the don’t wait to file suit.
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Kenneth Vercammen is the Managing Attorney at Kenneth Vercammen & Associates in Edison, NJ. He is a New Jersey trial attorney has devoted a substantial portion of his professional time to the preparation and trial of litigated matters. He has appeared in Courts throughout New Jersey each week for litigation and contested Probate hearings.
Mr. Vercammen has published over 125 legal articles in national and New Jersey publications on elder law, probate and litigation topics. He is a highly regarded lecturer on litigation issues for the American Bar Association, NJ ICLE, New Jersey State Bar Association and Middlesex County Bar Association. His articles have been published in noted publications included New Jersey Law Journal, ABA Law Practice Management Magazine, and New Jersey Lawyer.
He is chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American Bar Association General Practice Division. He is also Editor of the ABA Estate Planning Probate Committee Newsletter and also the Criminal Law Committee newsletter. Mr. Vercammen is a recipient of the NJSBA- YLD Service to the Bar Award. And past Winner “General Practice Attorney of the Year” from the NJ State Bar Association. He is a 22 year active member of the American Bar Association. He is also a member of the ABA Real Property, Probate & Trust Section.
He established the NJlaws website which includes many articles on Elder Law. Mr. Vercammen received his B.S. cum laude, from the University of Scranton and his J.D. from Widener/Delaware Law School, where he was the Case Note Editor of the Delaware Law Forum, a member of the Law Review and the winner of the Delaware Trial Competition.
RECENT SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS ON WILLS, ELDER LAW, AND PROBATE
Edison Adult School -Wills, Elder Law & Probate- 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 [inc Edison TV], 2001, 2000,1999,1998,1997
Nuts & Bolts of Elder Law – NJ Institute for Continuing Legal Education/ NJ State Bar ICLE/NJSBA 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2000, 1999, 1996
Elder Law and Estate Planning- American Bar Association Miami 2007
Elder Law Practice, New Ethical Ideas to Improve Your Practice by Giving Clients What They Want and Need American Bar Association Hawaii 2006
South Plainfield Seniors- New Probate Law 2005, East Brunswick Seniors- New Probate Law 2005
Old Bridge AARP 2002; Guardian Angeles/ Edison 2002; St. Cecilia/ Woodbridge Seniors 2002;
East Brunswick/ Halls Corner 2002;
Linden AARP 2002
Woodbridge Adult School -Wills and Estate Administration -2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996
Woodbridge Housing 2001; Metuchen Seniors & Metuchen TV 2001; Frigidare/ Local 401 Edison 2001; Chelsea/ East Brunswick 2001, Village Court/ Edison 2001; Old Bridge Rotary 2001; Sacred Heart/ South Amboy 2001; Livingston Manor/ New Brunswick 2001; Sunrise East Brunswick 2001; Strawberry Hill/ Woodbridge 2001;
Wills and Elder Law – Metuchen Adult School 1999,1997,1996,1995,1994,1993
Clara Barton Senior Citizens- Wills & Elder Law-Edison 2002, 1995
AARP Participating Attorney in Legal Plan for NJ AARP members 1999-2005
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