Texas Corporate Debt Collection
Based in Tyler, Texas, the Volberding Law Firm offers expertise in collecting debts owed by one business to another business. So if you own or work for a business and another business owes your company money on a contract or vendor trade account, we may be able to help your company.
What We Do
With some exceptions, we are only interested in collecting money in two situations:
- A business sells products or services to another business and the customer fails to pay;
- A business signs a written contract with another business and the party fails to perform the contract, causing measurable financial losses.
We do not represent:
- Businesses seeking to collect consumer debts from individuals;
- Individuals seeking money owed by another individual.
We only file lawsuits in Texas. We only send demand letters or negotiate with entities domiciled or residing or with a presence in Texas.
Collections on Delinquent Customer Accounts
So, for instance, if your company has sold products or services to another company, which has not paid your company, then it may be possible to sue the delinquent company for the amount owed. Your company has a delinquent customer account. Presumably, you have emailed and written the customer for payment without luck.
If hired, and assuming jurisdiction in Texas, our law firm will send your customer a formal demand letter by certified mail. If the customer does not pay your account within 30 days, or otherwise settle, then we will file suit against the customer in an appropriate Texas court. We will prosecute the lawsuit to a final judgment or settlement.
Collections for Breach of Contract / Default
Or, if your company is owed money under a written contract, our law firm will send the defaulting party a formal letter explaining the contract, the party’s breach of that contract, and the consequences if the contract is not satisfied or paid within 30 days. If not paid or settled, then we will file suit against the party in an appropriate Texas court and seek damages under the contract.
Collection and Receivership
Once we have a judgment against the customer, we will take appropriate steps to collect it. One step involves a procedure called receivership. The receiver’s fees will be paid by the judgment debtor from the money collected.
How We Are Paid
Texas law (and law of other states) allows recovery of legal fees in contract disputes. If your company is owed money by another business by virtue of an unpaid vendor account or a written contract, then your company is entitled to recovery of its legal fees for suit and collection.
If we agree to represent your company, our law firm will be paid in one of the following manners:
We will collect our fees and expenses from the delinquent business. Our fees would be calculated on an hourly basis or a percentage. If we do not collect any money, your company will not owe any money to our firm, unless for out-of-pocket expenses, if set forth in our representation contract.
We would require payment of a retainer to cover some or all of our hourly fees.
The decision as to how the law firm will be paid depends on our assessment of the collectability of the money owed to your company. If your right to payment is clear, and the delinquent company is solvent, then we will likely take the case on a contingency fee agreement. If the delinquent company has a meritorious counterclaim against you, then it is likely will we will require a retainer and charge hourly rates.
Hourly rates are $300 per hour for partners and shareholders, $175 per hour for associates, and $85 per hour for legal assistants.
In either instance, we may require you to deposit money in the firm’s client trust account to cover out-of-pocket expenses, filing fees and deposition costs. Typically, this amount is $750 to $2,500.
Limitations and Caveats
Not surprisingly, certain limitations apply. Here they are:
- As mentioned, we only file suit in Texas courts, so we must ascertain whether Texas courts have jurisdiction over your dispute.
- You must have appropriate documentation of your claim against the customer.
- We cannot accept cases in which the other party has a counter claim against your company, or alternatively, we may charge a retainer for our fees and charge hourly rates.
- The customer must not be in bankruptcy. Otherwise, different rules apply. We discuss these in a moment.
- Any demand on the customer for payment, and any lawsuit against the customer, will be in accordance with the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct, and the Fair Debt Collection Act.
- Any efforts to seize non-exempt assets from a judgment debtor would be in accordance with the same rules. Only non-exempt assets may be seized. Certain assets owned by an individual are exempt, such as the debtor’s homestead, and his or her tools of trade. Texas law does not permit garnishment of wages or government payments.
If the delinquent business files bankruptcy, then all efforts to collect the debt are automatically suspended by federal bankruptcy law. Within certain deadlines, your company would be required to file a claim in bankruptcy court for the money owed. Next, there would be complicated procedures for determining whether your company will be paid.
If the business that owes your company money files bankruptcy, or has already done so, we can evaluate whether your company should proceed in bankruptcy court. We can refer you to good bankruptcy lawyers.
Contact a Business Debt Collections Attorney
If a business owes your company money on a contract or vendor trade account, contact the Volberding Law Firm to speak with an experienced collections attorney.
We do not represent you until you sign a written attorney representation agreement that contains all of the terms of our representation. If the agreement requires you to pay money, then representation will begin only when the attorney representation agreement is signed and we receive your check.