Tag Archive: collection

The Fair Debt Act and collection efforts for lawyers

Recently, a lawyer sent a collection letter to his client.  The letter allegedly included implied threats to sue.  The court said that, despite the lawyer’s right to sue, the manner in which the letter was written might have confused the debtor as to the statutory right to dispute the debt.  The court further stated that the FDCPA was not intended to protect lawyers, but rather to protect “regular people.”

The defendant-lawyer said that if he has the right to sue (which he does); how does his mentioning that fact violate the Act by saying so?  Reading the opinion does not give a clear answer to this question.

However, the moral of the saga, is that a lawyer’s writing must be very clear.  The underlying message of the case, it seems to me, supports my lifelong premise: do not threatenMean what you say and say what you mean.  In other words, if you are not sure whether you are going to sue, do not say so.  And when you say you will sue, mean it and follow through by filing an action.

This becomes particularly important in dealing with clients and former clients, and especially those that are governed by a federal act such as the FDCPA.

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LawBiz® Legal Pad: Collecting Your Fee Begins At the Intake

Ed discusses the factors that influence collection success.
Client selection: you have to get the right client.
You must understand the wants and the needs of the client.
You have to get confirmation of the arrangement between you and the client in writing.
And, check the client’s credit.

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Law Practice Management Institute

The Law Practice Management Institute raised a number of issues and produced great discussion among the attendees.  Some of the issues in the first day were:

  • Creating a marketing plan is important for success
  • Alternative fee structures and billing modalities opened possibilities not previously considered
  • Sending a satisfaction survey to clients helps maintain and build the relationship as well as provide a defense against malpractice and disciplinary complaints
  • Guaranteeing satisfaction with the service of the law firm will reduce the hesitancy of many clients to engage your firm
  • The statistics of why clients leave their present firm and why they refer their present firm to their friends and colleagues was an eye-opener.
  • Always put yourself in the shoes of the client and seek to understand, and avoid, what makes the client unsure and/or angry about your service.


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