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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Collections

Gross & Romanick has an extensive and substantial history in the practice area of debt collections. (We've even started a new blog that you may want to read--Legal Collection Blog. For many years the Law Firm handled a large volume of collection matters. During that period the firm represented creditors in thousands of cases, working with numerous collection agencies, other collection law firms, forwarding lists and large companies. The Law Firm was a member of the Commercial Law League of America, the leading organization of collections, creditors' rights and bankruptcy professionals. In addition, Edward Gross, the managing partner, developed a collection software program (GoldSoft) that was sold to and is still used by many collection law firms across the United States.

In 2000, the law firm purposely chose to change focus from a volume collection practice to concentrate on larger dollar value collection matters. The lawyers at Gross & Romanick routinely apply the knowledge gained from collecting so many debts in their past to assist its current clients who are generally owed a substantial amount of money. Gross & Romanick continues to utilize the latest technological advances in its collection practice. The Law Firm has access to huge databases and extensive online research tools.

Collection of judgments requires creativity and persistence. Businesses that owe money to our client must either pay or go out of business. Here are just a few of the collection techniques used by us in our practice:

Investigations

Our firm has the internal ability to investigate the debtor and the likelihood of collection. In some cases we use private investigative services, locator services and other outside professionals to locate the debtor and the debtor's assets.

Demands & Settlements
In many cases a lawsuit can be avoided by an aggressive demand letter. If the debtor is willing to make and the client is willing to accept a payment schedule, we structure settlement agreements to assure, as much as possible, payment of the debt. Often, we utilize confession of judgment notes, consent orders, UCC-1 Financing Statements, Deeds of Trust and other security to back up the promise to pay.

Judgments
It is important to sue all of the parties who may be liable for the debt, including tradenames and guarantors, in a manner that improves the likelihood of collection after the judgment. While many law firms simply sue the obvious parties responsible for the debt and do not consider the ultimate collection of the judgment, our firm performs a thorough review of the documents, facts and parties before filing the lawsuit. When it can be done in "good faith", we include fraud, conversion and other causes of action that may prevent a judgment from being discharged in bankruptcy.

Prejudgment Attachments
In some circumstances the court may authorize the seizure of property and bank accounts of the debtor even before suit is filed. Obtaining a prejudgment attachment is very technical and requires a firm with a great deal of experience to succeed.

Garnishments & Seizures
The seizure of bank accounts, debts owed to the judgment debtor, personal property and other intangible property is a favored collection procedure. Finding the property, serving the proper parties and filing the proper paperwork takes a tremendous amount of experience and aggressive effort. The judgment debtor must be made to understand that non-payment will result in disturbance to its business and personal finances.

Debtor's Interrogatories
The judgment creditor is entitled to question the debtor about the location of its assets. We generally conduct debtor's interrogatories before a commissioner or a judge, and have a court reporter transcribe the debtor's testimony. This procedure discourages perjured testimony and aids in understanding the potential location of all assets. If a debtor is personally served with the Summons ordering attendance at Debtor Interrogatories hearing and fails to show, our Law Firm routinely requests that the debtor be arrested for disobeying the Court Order and only released upon the posting of a bond.

Fraudulent Conveyances

In some cases a debtor may transfer assets to a third party or other entity in order avoid payment of the debt. We have filed many legal actions to pierce corporations and to pursue the third parties to whom the assets were transferred.

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy does not necessarily end our pursuit of the debt or the judgment. We have successfully collected money from many debtors who filed bankruptcy. It some cases we have objected to discharge based upon fraud, conversion or other allowable objections to discharge under bankruptcy law.

For more information or to speak to one of our lawyers today, please contact Gross & Romanick by calling 703-273-1400 or filling out our online Information Request form.