FAQs

How Do I Get Started?

The easiest way to get started is by using our online scheduler to schedule a one-half hour free consultation, either by telephone or in person. We will then respond and ask you to provide us certain information about the debt. We can determine at the end of the consultation whether it makes sense to work together.
If your matter is urgent and you can’t wait for one of the available appointments, please call us and we will try to accommodate your need for a sooner appointment.

Why Should I Hire Penners Bergen, ALC?

If you’re a lawyer who has won a judgment at trial or after law and motion practice, congratulations!    Turning over the collectability of that judgment to Penners Bergen, ALC will free up your time to focus on winning other cases.   Also, let’s face it, at the end of a trial, the losing defendant is not your biggest fan.   By turning over the judgment to us for collection, the losing defendant may become a little more rational and more willing to pay.

 

If you are a potential client with money owed to you, while Penners Bergen, ALC cannot offer a guarantee that we will collect on your debt, we can promise you that we will do everything within the law as soon as possible to make sure that you get paid.   This time next year, you can be in one of three situations.   You can still be worrying about the money owed to you.    You can be satisfied that you’ve gotten paid.   Or, you can tell yourself that you’ve done everything possible to get that debt collected.   What will it be?

What Kind of Services Does Penners Bergen, A Law Corporation Provide?

To put it simply, we believe that it’s time you got paid.

  • So, starting at the very beginning, through something that we call proactive accounts receivable management, for a reasonable monthly subscription cost, we can review our clients’ documents and billing procedures to optimize their chances of prompt and efficient collections and to minimize their accounts receivable.  Under this program, we are then available to consult with our clients, and, if necessary, to send collection letters for our clients.
  • If, after six months, our clients still have debtors who aren’t paying, we will take other steps.  While in some cases, a letter from a lawyer is enough to get a recalcitrant debtor to pay, we are prepared to sue on your debt and to get a prejudgment remedy, such as a writ of attachment.   A prejudgment writ of attachment is an order from the judge to the sheriff authorizing the sheriff to seize assets belonging to the defendant and hold them until a judgment is rendered.   Often, this is enough to get the case resolved and, therefore, it is a very effective way of collecting on the debt.   If not, we can bring the case to judgment and then collect on the judgment.
  • If we are contacted by a client or lawyer after a case is won but before judgment is entered, we can help protect the collectability of the judgment.   We can then take steps to collect on that judgment.
  • If we are contacted by a client or lawyer after judgment is entered, we can move quickly to collect on that judgment and get the client paid.
  • If you have a judgment from another state or from another country but your debtor is in California or has assets here, we can domesticate that and take steps to collect on that judgment.

In most cases, if we are willing to take your case, we offer clients the choice of paying on either a contingency fee basis or an hourly basis.  Again, your choice.

Do You Take All Cases?

No. Unfortunately, it’s not cost-effective for either us or our clients to take every case. In determining whether to take your case, we look at such factors as the type of debt, the amount of the debt, the identity of the debtor, the debtor’s assets (if any), the age of the debt, whether the company is still in business, whether attorneys’ fees are collectible and the likelihood of collectability. We normally do not handle debts of less than $30,000.

How Soon After I Get A Judgment In My Favor Should I Contact A Collections Lawyer?

Immediately!   In fact, sooner — before judgment is entered.    We can take steps to maximize the collectability of the judgment and to protect it.   This is particularly so if there is a claim for attorneys’ fees.   We have seen clients lose out on the possibility of recovering attorneys’ fees incurred to collect a judgment because an award of attorneys’ fees was not included in the judgment.   This could have been fixed either with post-judgment motions or by appeal.   Once again, speed matters here.  You have nothing to lose from consulting with a collections lawyer and a lot to gain.

Do You Collect On Judgments Won By Other Lawyers?

If you’re lucky enough to have had a great business lawyer obtain a judgment for you or your business by trial or by law and motion, you saw their unique talent and hard work in action.   The question then may be how to get the losing defendant to pay.   Because we focus our practice on collections, we can take over at that point to get you paid.

Do You Guarantee that You Will Collect My Debt?

No – and be careful if anyone tells you that they can.   What we can guarantee is that, if we take your case, we will do everything under the law to make sure you get paid.  At the end of the day, you’ll know you’ve given it the best shot.

Why Not Use A Collection Agency?

Actually, for some cases, such as for smaller debts, that may be the best route.  However, normally collection agencies can do everything up to but not including filing a lawsuit against the debtor. If speed is an issue (as it should be) that can waste valuable time.   A collections lawyer can do everything that a collection agency can do and more.

Why Hire A Collections Lawyer?

Businesses and professionals hire collections lawyers when they are owed money because collections lawyers are familiar with the laws that can help creditors collect their debts.    Many growing businesses also hire collections lawyers to make sure that their documents and practices optimize their chances of getting paid by their clients.   Finally, successful lawyers often refer their clients to a collections lawyer to focus on getting those hard-won judgments paid.