Non Business Collections

Non business collections require deciding whether to pursue legal action. Once legal action is complete, the creditor has more choices, such as property liens and wage garnishment.


1. Deciding Whether to Pursue Non-Business Collections

Non business collections can be tricky business. While you may want to scream about how horrible the person who owes you money is, you need to take a less emotional approach to determining whether you should file a small claims case against the person. For starters, figure out how much the person owes you. In some cases, you may be able to file for court costs but not in others. Make a clear financial determination about whether the pursuit is a good use of your time, considering you will need to make the filing, prepare your case, and attend the hearing.

You also need to think through the likelihood that you will win. While you think you have a solid case, look at the physical evidence you have. Emails or text messages or records of phone calls all may suggest you are owed the money and could provide good leverage. If word of mouth is all you have, however, you may be in for problems convincing the judge of your case.

Most small claims courts require the plaintiff to collect the money won. The court is not involved in this process. Make sure you have a plan for how you will get the money if the judge decides for you and whether it is likely you will see the money.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

2. Documentation for Non-Business Collections

The proper documentation in a court case could mean the difference between a judge considering a he said-she said scenario and deciding for you. A business collection is easy to prove because you will have a receipt for products purchased or services rendered. For a non-business debt, though, proving it can be tougher and requires good record-keeping.

If you have anything in writing, then you should gather it to take to court with you. For non business collections, written proof may include an agreement you had signed and notarized. These cases are the best for you because it represents a legal document explaining the transaction. Should you not have this document available, include any emails you may have had about the debt.

Consider contacting your telephone company for records. Text messages may be kept for a period of time, and phone logs can be purchased. While these forms of documentation may not prove a non business debt is owed, they may be enough to back up your side of the story.

Write down anything you remember. If you know you made the deal on February 15 because that was Aunt Edna's birthday, include that date on a timeline you create. While the judge won't ask for your timeline, you can refer to it as needed to keep your story together.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

3. Small Claims Court for Non-Business Collections

Taking someone to court for a non business collection account works really well if you have the paperwork to prove your case and are willing to do the footwork. Small claims court is set up for people who are owed a small amount of money that would make hiring an attorney unnecessary.

The process is simple, but the person filing the claim has the responsibility for doing the work involved. First, if you are filing the claim for non business collections, such as a personal loan or a person-to-person purchase of a car or other item, then you will need to get the person's name and address as well as the amount you are owed. File this information with the local court, and they will set the court date and notify the other party. In most cases, it will be your responsibility to get the correct contact information. Without it, the case cannot proceed.

On the day of the trial, you will need to bring in any paperwork you have on the claim. Practice your version of events before you go and try to anticipate anything negative that may come up against you in the course of the hearing. Be succinct. Small claims judges hear dozens of cases daily, and brevity will help you in making your case clear.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

4. Hiring an Attorney for Non-Business Collections

Several factors play into whether you should hire an attorney for a non business collections issue. The first issue is the amount of money you are seeking. Few attorneys will take on cases with small fees attached because they will not be able to make anything from the case. Non business collections of several thousand dollars may be enough for them to pursue, however.

Another issue to consider is whether you have enough evidence to support your claims. While attorneys can present the facts in the best light for the clients, they cannot make up facts that are not there. Instead, an attorney will want a solid paper trail and a story that will hold up if you need to testify in court.

Think of the financial toll of the case if you lose. Your attorney will get paid regardless of outcome, and you need to be prepared to risk the amount of money owed to the attorney in case you do not win in court. Also, think of the emotional impact of a trial. Even if you do not think you are emotionally invested, you will become that way during a non business collection effort. The other person will attempt to make you look bad, and you need to be prepared to deal with that representation without getting angry.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

5. Getting a Collection Agency for Non-Business Collections

Collection agencies typically deal with business clients, but many of them will take on non business collections as well. Before you hire a collection agency to help with your bill, do thorough research on the organization. Check to see that they are licensed and bonded appropriately. Also ask for references. If they have handled other non business collections, those people are the ones who can give you the most accurate information.

Ask upfront about payment. Most collection agencies take a percentage, which may be up to 40 percent, of the money they collect. Because you are paying a hefty fee, you want to know you have no other way of collecting the debt. You also should make sure you will not be responsible for fees if they do not collect the debt.

Have the agency representative outline the process for you. Find out how long they will keep the claim and what methods they will use to get the money. Should they do anything illegal, such as not notify the debtor of the debt in writing, then the person may be able to get out of paying. You want to get an agency with a stellar reputation to avoid this problem with your case. Also, find out what happens if they never collect any money on the account for you.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

6. Placing Liens for Non-Business Collections

Getting a lien on someone's property for nonpayment of non business collections is a last resort method. Once a court issues a judgment against a debtor, the creditor is required to get payment. If she or he cannot secure payment, then an Abstract of Judgment may be obtained from the court. This document basically reports what the judge decided at the hearing.

The creditor can take the Abstract of Judgment to the appropriate person in the property office where the debtor owns property. Once the paperwork is filed, the creditor has placed a lien on the debtor's property. This lien requires the proceeds of any sale of the property to go first to the payment of the debt. In most places, this debt accrues interest.

The debtor can get rid of this lien in two ways. He can sell the property and let the lien come off the top of the sale. This method could take years or decades if the person is unlikely to sell. The person can also pay the debt and have it removed. This may happen if the debtor wants to take out a second mortgage or otherwise use the property. Most lenders will not allow a homeowner to leverage the equity in a house with a lien, which will force repayment of the debt.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

7. Reporting Non-Business Collections to a Credit Agency

There are three major credit bureaus in the United States and other smaller, less used ones. Putting information on someone's credit report is not likely to get your money back. It will allow you some recourse for an unpaid non business collection, however. Like other legal remedies, you will need a court order stating a judgment for you and the amount.

When you have a court order, contact the various credit agencies and ask for instructions on including the non business collection account on the debtor's credit. You will need this person's social security number and likely will need to provide the court documentation to the agency.

Once you have placed the item on the person's credit report, it will show as an unpaid collection. Two things may happen. The person may ignore it. The collection mark will hurt the person's credit score, but if she or he does not need credit or is not concerned about the score, then the ding to the score will not matter as much. The person may need to clear up the matter to get credit. In that case, the person may contact the agency for information about the debt. The agency would have your contact information on file and give that to the debtor. You may be able to clear the debt up.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

8. Getting Wage Garnishment for Non-Business Collections

Getting a wage garnishment against a debtor is not as difficult as it seems. The biggest hassle is the paperwork and possible court appearances you have to get everything in order. This process, like executions of sale and property liens, can only be done if you have been through court and received a judgment against the debtor. Once you have the judgment in place, you will need to find out the name and address of the employer. The court clerk will be able to provide a document called a Writ of Execution. This document basically confirms that you have a judgment for a debt and the amount of the debt.

Your next step to get this non business debt paid is to ask the court for an Order of Garnishment. In some places, this process is simple and quick; in others it may take a bit more time. This order allows you to serve the papers on the employer through an officer or a privately hired individual. The employer then becomes responsible for handling everything related to the garnishment of the wages. The process could take at least one pay cycle, but you should begin to receive payments fairly quickly. All you do is collect the money as it comes, and the judgment debtor has no role in this process.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020

9. Getting an Execution and Levy for Non-Business Collections

In very large cases, a court may be willing to permit a creditor to obtain an execution and levy against property the debtor owns. This process works in the basic sense like wage garnishment and property liens, but it is much more traumatic to the debtor. The creditor will obtain a Writ of Execution again and take this form to the appropriate authorities.

These authorities then will have the legal obligation to take the debtor's property away. This property may be liquid, such as money available in bank accounts, or it may be in hard assets, such as real estate. With liquid assets, the creditor will receive the balance or the amount she is owed. Hard assets may be sold, and the proceeds belong to the creditor.

An execution and levy is tough to get for non business collections and would involve the debtor owing a significant amount of money to the creditor. The debtor in these cases typically has some legal recourse. He or she can file an exemption claim stating why the property or money is needed, such as boat needed for a tour boat company, and the judge may reverse the decision if he or she believes the debtor would be hurt more than the creditor benefited from the confiscation and sale of the property in dispute.

For Collection Services Call 888-494-7020
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