Q: Why use a collection attorney instead of a collection agency?
A: It has been proven time and time again that an attorney has more clout with debtors and therefore more success in the recovery. Ask yourself, if you were a debtor, would you pay more attention to a law firm or a collection agency?
Q: Does your service have any hidden fees or charges?
A: NO. Simply put, if we don’t collect your debt, you owe us nothing. We have no hidden costs, fees or other charges you need to worry about. The only exception is that if collections prior to filing suit fails, the decision to file suit rests solely and always with the client. The client is always responsible for our firm’s out-of-pocket costs related directly to the litigation matter (including, by way of example only, court filing fees, service of process fees, etc.).
Q: If I am paid directly by the debtor after placement with Joshua P. Friedman and Associates, Inc., do I owe Joshua P. Friedman and Associates, Inc. a fee?
A: Yes. We encourage your debtor to pay you directly to improve your cash flow. It is not uncommon for debtors to feel more comfortable paying directly to the original creditor than a law firm with which they are unfamiliar. You will obviously be billed by our company for our fee.
Q: Can Joshua P. Friedman and Associates, Inc. help with out-of-state claims?
A: Yes. We utilize a network of creditor’s rights specialists throughout the United States. We will ensure that your case is properly referred and handled and our creditor’s rights attorney will stay involved throughout the litigation process and keep you informed of the progress of your case.
Q: How can I maximize the monies I recover?
A: The age of your past due account will play an important role in the collection results. Retain our legal services as soon as the debtor gives you reason to feel uneasy. Once you assign a claim to our offices, we strongly suggest that you do not have any communication with the debtor. Our collection program is designed for quick and superior results. In the event your debtor contacts you to make a “special” arrangement, please remember all the debtor is doing is attempting to further delay payment to you or avoid our law firm, which can be an intimidating presence for many debtors. Our experience overwhelmingly indicates that intervention will cost you money.
Q: What is the length of time for a typical collection case from inception to conclusion?
A: The length of time to successfully prosecute a collection case may vary considerably, depending upon the complexity of the case, the amount of the claim, the financial status of the debtor, and other factors. There are time guidelines in the California Code of Civil Procedure that govern lawsuits and ensure that all parties to a lawsuit receive a full disclosure of all relevant facts. If a debtor does not respond to a lawsuit, a default judgment may be entered as soon as thirty-one (31) days.
Q. Can you describe the basic steps which are involved in the litigation process in California?
A. Your case is initiated by filing a lawsuit with the Superior Court of California. The debtor is served with the lawsuit by an authorized process server and then becomes a defendant in the case. At this stage, third parties may be brought into the lawsuit as necessary. A defendant has thirty (30) days within which to respond to the initial lawsuit or be defaulted.
After this initial pleading stage, the parties enter into the “discovery” stage. Sworn testimony can be elicited from the defendant and other witnesses concerning the facts of the case. A defendant who improperly disputes a claim may be exposed at this stage.
As discovery winds down, the parties are typically required to attend non-binding mediation. At this stage, the parties attempt to voluntarily resolve the case with the help of a trained mediator. The vast majority of cases are resolved at the mediation stage.
If the parties are unable to voluntarily settle the claim, the parties prepare for and proceed to trial. The issues in the trial can be decided either by a single judge or by a panel (jury) of disinterested citizens chosen from the community.
If you prevail at trial, you will be awarded a judgment. The defendant may pay the judgment once a decision has been rendered. It is also possible for a defendant to appeal a money judgment, but the judgment debtor is generally required to post a significant cash bond for the right to appeal the trial court’s decision to the appellate court.
The defendant also may choose to neither pay the judgment nor appeal the judgment. In such a case, our offices are equipped with the knowledge and experience to handle judgment enforcement proceedings (see Judgment Enforcement).
Q: Is it possible to quickly resolve a claim without the time and expense of litigation?
A: If you would like your case quickly resolved, we will make every effort to see that this occurs. In many instances, simply involving a competent California attorney in the collection process will see a claim quickly paid.
Q: I have a judgment against a California business, but it appears that the business is no longer operational. Is it still possible for me to recover on my judgment?
A: The answer depends on whether the debtor business improperly transferred assets to third parties or insiders or otherwise did not properly wind down its business affairs. In certain instances, a creditor can pursue third parties who are holding assets of the debtor.
Q: Who will answer my routine questions?
A: Our phones are answered 24 hours per day, and we invite you to call when you have questions. Joshua P. Friedman is available and willing to personally answer any and all questions you may have during the entire collections process. Most questions can be answered by our staff during normal business hours. If more research is needed to answer your question, we will try to return your call within 24 hours.
Please feel free to complete the Account Inquiry form and we will respond as soon as possible to your questions, comments or concerns. Thank you.