legal links


During periods of economic slowdown, it is not uncommon for a business to experience a substantial increase in its accounts receivable.  Clients and customers suffering from cash shortfalls are unable or unwilling to make agreed-upon payments, or the payments are delayed.  As the accounts receivable become an increasingly significant portion of a business’s overall assets, managing those accounts becomes vitally important to the business’ overall financial health and continued viability. Under these circumstances, Martin & Seibert, L.C. can provide a service that increases cash flow while helping to manage a business’s expanding accounts receivable.

            Because debt collection attorneys specialize in collecting delinquent accounts receivable, they are able to more efficiently work those accounts than a typical in-house billing department, which can become overwhelmed in trying to manage and collect on the growing number of delinquent accounts during tough economic times.  Customer service to non-delinquent customers may suffer as a result of the increased burden caused by the necessity of managing the delinquent accounts. By referring delinquent accounts for collection, a business frees up its personnel to continue to provide quality customer service in its regular operations. Small businesses, where administrative personnel frequently wear more than one hat, particularly enjoy this benefit, as employees are able to spend more time working in their areas of expertise. Thus, hiring Martin & Seibert, L.C. to collect your delinquent debt provides a two-fold benefit: increasing cash flow through the collection of delinquent accounts while freeing up personnel to spend a larger proportion of their work hours on profitable activities.

            Referring out your debt collection is an attractive option in a slow economy because it generally does not involve any up front cost to the business. The majority of clients of Martin & Seibert, L.C. elect contingency agreements under which the law firm keeps a percentage of the monies collected. Under this type of agreement, the business is not required to outlay any cash up front, but is able to increase its cash flow when debts are collected, while more efficiently working its accounts receivable. In the event that the firm is unable to collect the debts owed, the business does not undergo any costs, though most firms that offer legal collection services will require that the client reimburse any court costs expended.

            The Attorneys and staff at Martin & Seibert, L.C. are familiar with the regulatory framework governing the collection of debts. Although the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) does not generally apply to businesses attempting to collect their own accounts receivable, many states have statutes which do apply, such as West Virginia’s Consumer Credit Protection Act, which can land a business in legal hot water if not followed closely.  As debt collection specialists, our attorneys, collectors and staff are familiar with the relevant federal and state requirements. By hiring Martin & Siebert, L.C. to work its accounts receivable inventory, the business is able to dramatically reduce, or eliminate, the potential for liability on the business’s part for inadvertently violating one or more of the statutes or regulations controlling the collection of debts.

            Perhaps the greatest benefit that referring out your debt collection offers to Martin & Seibert, L.C. is its effectiveness and efficiency.  Our attorneys and staff who are dedicated to this practice are often very effective convincing reluctant debtors of the advantages in paying off debts. One of the most vital elements in achieving that goal is tenacity. Our firm has the time, resources, and expertise to efficiently and effectively work with delinquent debtors to achieve the client business’s goal of increasing cash flow and managing accounts receivable. The tools available to our firm allow us to obtain results that exceed what is possible for an in-house billing department. Even in a slow economy, we can assist a business client to improve its overall financial health by converting mounting accounts receivable into cash while saving the business the man-hours involved in attempting to collect the delinquent accounts on its own.

            Of course, not every lawyer or firm who collects debt is the same, and there are some important considerations when choosing where to send your accounts.   You will want to know what kind of resources the firm has available to it, if the firm has worked with businesses like yours in the past and the level of success it has had in collecting the type of accounts receivable you have. Also, you will want to inquire as to exactly what kind of services are offered. While some debt collectors limit their operations to letter-writing or occasional phone calls, Martin & Seibert, L.C. is able to obtain civil judgments and offer post-judgment collection services. You should be able to tailor the collection efforts to your individual business needs and goals.

            Martin & Seibert, L.C. can help you weather the storm of a slowing economy. By converting delinquent accounts receivable into cash and freeing up employees to concentrate on the business’s principal purpose, outsourcing your collections can generate increased cash flow for the business while reducing the man hours the business is required to spend on its accounts receivable inventory.

            By combining the best traits of a collection agency and a law firm, the Martin & Seibert, L.C. Collections Practice is able to provide superior service to our clients in their pursuit of money owed. Simply put, that is our formula for success.

Our services include:

            • multiple telephone and letter contacts
            • skip-tracing and asset searches using the latest technology
            • direct attorney review and supervision
            • filing and prosecuting civil actions
            • obtaining judgment and recording judgment liens
            • judgment executions

            Our goal is to efficiently recover the highest percentage of our client's assets as possible. We aggressively pursue all money owed, to include, where available, pre- and post-judgment interest, court costs and attorney fees. We conduct continuous staff training and ensure compliance with all state and federal laws and regulations.

            A full-time information technologies team provides the most effective systems available for servicing our client accounts, thus increasing recoveries and decreasing time between transmission and placement. This includes web-based account maintenance, which is an option that is open to our clients.

            Martin & Seibert, L.C. was rated by Collections & Credit Risk magazine as the number seven (7) law firm in its compilation of top law firms in the nation for 2007.  In addition, the firm has been recognized as the only law firm in the State of West Virginia to be tagged as a “Go To” law firm by ALM’s In-House Law Department at the Leading Financial Services Companies published by Corporate Counsel and again in 2008 and 2009 on behalf of the Fortune 500 Corporations.  We have also had five of our attorneys identified as “Super Lawyers” by Law & Politics Super Lawyers publication.  Our firm has also been featured in U.S. News and World Report.


For further information on the firm's collection/subrogation abilities and how they can be integrated into your business, please contact Managing Shareholder Walter M. Jones, III at 304.262.3210, or at [email protected].

Christopher R. Moore

Laurel K. Lackey

Pre-legal and Attorney Collections
Collections FAQ
Copyright 2010 Martin & Seibert, L.C.