Part 3: What Happens During the First Few Days After Debt Placement?

Time is money. Strike while the iron is hot. The early bird gets the worm. He who hesitates is lost.

There’s a pattern. The better creditors’ rights lawyers understand the pattern. Within the first day or two, there should be an analysis done of the claim and the proper strategy to use. A claim with lien or reclamation rights should be acted on immediately. These rights can disappear if not exercised by a specific deadline. All claims require a certain amount of identification, background and asset investigation. The amount of information that is available to the lawyer from the client and the agency will, in part, determine how quickly the lawyer can act.

The lawyer should let the agency know of his receipt of the claim in the first day or two and should let the agency know when they can expect the first substantive report. Telling the agency a specific date or number of days (and keeping to that!) saves everyone the time and money spent in asking for reports. If the lawyer says the agency will have a report in 30 days, the lawyer should report in 25 days. Actually, most agencies will add a few days to the dating just to avoid having to handle the file twice.

In the first few days, the lawyer should do the background investigation, check other experience with this debtor, and, unless there are exigent circumstances requiring immediate action, contact the debtor either by phone or mail to make a demand. During this time, the lawyer also reviews all of the information provided by the client and the agency. At this point, more is better. Most creditors’ rights lawyers would like to see a package with all contracts, correspondence, notes and invoices right at the start. That makes them more knowledgeable when they talk to the debtor and more likely to be able to meet objections and claims.