Commercial Collections

Commercial Collections Lawyer - Orlando, Jacksonville, All Florida

As a small business owner, prompt payment from clients is critical to uninterrupted and continued operations. Additionally, if your small business serves as a creditor (an entity extending credit), it has an indisputable right to seek payment from a debtor (the party who received the credit) on outstanding debts, and there are various methods by which to do so. However, there are also a variety of state and federal laws that regulate collection practices to protect both consumers and businesses. An Orlando commercial collections lawyer and Jacksonville commercial collections lawyer is available to assist you if you have a commercial collections matter.

Let an Orlando commercial collections lawyer and Jacksonville commercial collections lawyer worry about collecting funds from your clients. Christopher A. Pace provides commercial collection services for commercial collection accounts in excess of $15,000. I also litigate to enforce creditor’s rights. My commercial collection services include an initial demand and, if not resolved through the demand, the filing of a lawsuit, settlement negotiations, trial work, and enforcement of and execution on final judgments.

Commercial Collections – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between consumer debts and commercial debts?

A: A consumer debt is a debt incurred by an individual, primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose. A commercial debt arises from an obligation to pay for goods or services used in the conduct of a business or profession. These different types of debt may help a creditor in determining which federal and state laws apply to the collection of the debt.

Q: What is the difference between a secured debt and an unsecured debt?

A: A debt is secured when the debtor has offered collateral for the debt. Most commercial debts, however, are unsecured. Creditors should keep all documentation available on an unsecured claim in case it is necessary to establish the existence of a valid claim. Such documentation includes any sales or credit agreements, past payment records, and correspondence with the debtor.

If a debt is secured and it appears that the debtor is unwilling or unable to pay, a creditor may seek to obtain possession of the collateral securing the debt. A creditor may attempt to repossess collateral by appearing at the debtor's premises and requesting the goods. However, a creditor may not breach the peace or otherwise violate the law in an attempt to recover the goods.

Q: What happens if a debtor attempts to sell or dispose of assets after a lawsuit has been filed?

A: Once a lawsuit has been filed, a creditor has several options available to ensure that the debtor does not sell or dispose of any assets. A creditor may attach the debtor's property. Attachment is a legal process that puts the property under the custody of the court until a judgment is obtained. A creditor may seek a temporary restraining order to keep the debtor from selling or otherwise disposing of goods to which the creditor has a claim.

Q: What if the debtor fails to respond to a lawsuit filed to collect the debt?

A: If a debtor fails to respond to the lawsuit, a creditor may seek a default judgment against the debtor. The court will hold a hearing to determine whether entry of a default judgment is appropriate and what is the correct amount of the judgment. If a creditor succeeds at trial, he, she, or it becomes a "judgment creditor" entitled to seek enforcement of the judgment. Special procedures for collecting the judgment debt are then available, such as execution on property, garnishment, or attachment of wages. If a debtor has declared bankruptcy, this will affect the creditor's rights.

Q: Has Florida enacted laws regarding the collection of commercial debts?

A: Yes, the collection of commercial debts is covered by the Florida Commercial Collection Practices Act, which was enacted, in part, because commercial collection practices were inadequately covered by the consumer collection laws and criminal laws. The Act applies to commercial claims arising out of transactions in which credit was offered or extended primarily for commercial purposes. To prevent unlawful and fraudulent commercial collection activities, the Commercial Collection Practices Act requires registration with the Department of Banking and Finance of any person or business engaged in collecting commercial claims. However, the Act does not require a "credit grantor" - the person or business to whom the commercial claim is owed - to register.

To schedule an appointment with an experienced Orlando business law lawyer and Florida trial and litigation lawyer, please call (407) 872-0600 or email your legal issue.