Comparing Collection Attorneys And Collection Agencies
In addition to attorney Mark Sank, we have a staff of paralegals, legal secretaries and bookkeepers who have all been employed by Mark Sank & Associates, LLC for many years and have significant experience in the collection of debt. Staff members are all college-educated and have received education and training in both Connecticut and Federal laws pertaining to collections. They have particularly been taught to be understanding of the concerns of debtors, but also firm in the making of arrangements for payment plans.
Given the sensitive nature of the services some of our clients provide, we are very attuned to avoiding any adverse publicity that might inure to our clients in the collection of debt and make every attempt to placate the individual debtors while remaining resolute in our attempts to obtain payment for our clients. If you need the help of debt collection attorneys, contact our office to schedule a free consultation.
We have purchased and continue to upgrade an expensive system of collection software that allows us to keep accurate records of the accounts we service and provide up-to-date status reports to our clients either electronically or by hard copy. Many of our clients now refer their accounts to us electronically and, in turn, they are able to check on the status of their account by remote access to our system which, through the use of a password network, only allows them to view their accounts and not those of other clients.
Of course, some of our clients still forward their accounts to us manually and we then enter them into our system and can provide the same status information at their request. In addition, we maintain separate trustee accounts for each of our clients in a local bank and these accounts are reconciled monthly.
We have a very high percentage of positive collection results for our clients. We also have trained staff members using all legal methods available to perform skip tracing and asset location when same become necessary to locate delinquent debtors. The law firm of Mark Sank & Associates, LLC, as well as the individual attorneys and all staff members employed therein, have an established history of ethical and legal collection efforts.
Attorney Vs. Agencies
As attorneys, we answer to a higher ethical authority than mere employees of collection agencies. In addition, we are fully insured and bonded. Our attorneys are members of both the New York and Connecticut bars and Mark Sank is a Certified Public Accountant.
Essentially, the clients we serve have two options in the collection of their receivables. The accounts can be turned over to a collection agency or to an attorney. There are a few factors that should be considered in making that determination. Collection agencies can write letters and make telephone calls to the debtors. A collection law firm can do these things plus far more. We can also file suit, obtain a judgment and then obtain payment on that judgment by means of post-judgment procedures such as judgment liens on real estate as well as bank and wage executions.
In addition, there is generally a premium paid to collection agencies in terms of the fees that they charge. Their fees are generally higher than those charged by a law firm because, in the event, they are unsuccessful in collecting the outstanding balances, they must then turn the files over to an attorney for the suit which requires them to split the fee they originally agreed to or to increase their fee at the time it is turned over to a lawyer.
This results in a reluctance of collection agencies to refer matters out for suit with the agencies sometimes trying to work the accounts for months and years without obtaining payment rather then lose a portion of the fee. The individual collectors in the agencies are traditionally paid on a commission basis thus cutting into the amount of the fee ultimately paid to the agency but also resulting in the same disincentive on the collector’s part to “give up” on an account and turn it over to a law firm.
Finally, and of significant importance, is the quality of employees at a collection agency compared to those employed by Mark Sank & Associates, LLC. Many agency employees lack education beyond high school and are paid on a commission basis only. They tend not to stay with any particular agency for very long and have high “burnout” percentages. The employees at Mark Sank & Associates, LLC all have at least a two year college degree as a paralegal or have degrees from four year colleges and universities as well as current attendance at law school, master’s degrees and law degrees.
How We Can Help
Several of our employees have worked for the firm for over 10 years and none for less than three years. They are not dependent on commissions as their source of income but earn competitive salaries as well as enjoy other benefits.
The use of Mark Sank & Associates, LLC by a creditor to collect its receivables essentially eliminates the middle man. Our staff is fully capable of sending a series of letters to individuals or businesses who owe money to the creditor. We work with client representatives to create a collection procedure to meet their needs and obtain the collection results the creditor desires. This procedure includes a series of demand letters and phone calls (if desired) as well as debt negotiations. In addition, if the need for legal action becomes necessary we have an established system for filing of lawsuits and obtaining judgments in an expeditious manner.
This important difference is of significant value to our clients. Given the nature of our business and the fact that there is the name of a law firm on the letterhead of all correspondence sent to debtors, we are able to obtain better results sooner than a standard collection agency. Many people are accustomed to receiving dunning letters from collection agencies but when faced with the real possibility that a local law firm may commence a legal action against them they will contact us and make payment arrangements.