One of the most frustrating aspects of running a small business is trying to collect what you are owed. Although the vast majority of your clientele pays on time, there are inevitably individuals who, for whatever reason, simply do not pay up.
Small business owners with outstanding accounts often face a difficult choice in deciding whether to try to collect the money on their own or to hire someone to do it for them.
Attorney Rob Cohen prides himself in his ability to recover what his clients are owed for a cost that they can afford. Hiring an attorney, rather than a licensed debt collector, has its advantages, as you will see below. If you need help in collecting delinquent payments in Northern Illinois, contact him today for a free consultation.
The Law Surrounding Debt Collection
In Illinois, debt collection is regulated at both the state and federal levels.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates debt collectors nationally. Debt collectors generally cannot contact third parties about debt, except the debtor, the debtor’s attorney, or a credit reporting agency. Although they can contact the debtor’s spouse and co-debtors, they may not do so if the debtor asks them to stop by letter. Debt collectors may also contact third parties to determine a debtor’s whereabouts.
Under the FDCPA, debt collector’s may not harass, threaten, or mislead debtors and may not contact debtors during inconvenient times, at work, or directly if they know you have hired an attorney.
The FDCPA does not apply to all debts. It only applies to personal or household debts. It does not apply to those not regularly engaged in collecting debt.
Under federal law, there are several advantages to hiring an attorney to help you collect your debts. First, they are accustomed to acting civilly when discussing heated subjects. They excel at not harassing or misleading those they deal with. Second, they usually do not engage in debt collection. The FDCPA may not even apply to them.
Illinois regulates debt collectors through the Illinois Collection Agency Act (ICAA). It requires that all debt collectors obtain a license, and mirrors much of what the FDCPA requires of debt collectors. Notably, the Act requires that, at first contact, the collector must identify what the debtor owes, to whom they owe it, and must give notice that the debtor can challenge the debt.
The ICAA does not apply to attorneys, an obvious advantage to those that hire attorneys to help them collect what they are owed. Although attorneys must abide by their own ethical rules, they are unencumbered by the additional requirements of the ICAA.
Again, if you are owed money and are unsure how to collect it, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney to help you recover what you are owed. Collecting debts can be stressful, time-consuming, and ultimately frustrating. If you need help in collecting delinquent payments in and around Northern Illinois, contact Attorney Rob Cohen today. No claim, nor business, is too small.