At Hoffman, Luhman & Masson, one of our main areas of practice is collections work. As a legal matter, “collections” is almost always a breach of contract action. Typically, but not always, what makes a breach of contract action a “collections” case has to do with difficulties in locating assets to pay for the debt as opposed to difficulties establishing that the debt is, in fact, owed.
In most of these cases, our clients have performed their side of the contract by providing goods and services, but the debtor has not performed his or her side of the contract by paying for the value received. Litigation is typically characterized by establishing that the goods or services were provided and that the debt is owed followed by post-judgment proceedings where we attempt to identify income or assets available to the debtor and ask that the court order the income or assets applied to the judgment debt. At any point during this process, it is possible to negotiate a settlement or payment arrangement. Ultimately, the decision about whether to accept a settlement is one that has to be made by the client. However, we are willing and able to provide recommendations based on our experience with such matters.