Indiana Creditors’ Rights and Commercial Collections Attorneys

Our Creditors’ Rights and Collections Practice is devoted to protecting creditors in every aspect of commercial transactions, ranging from pre-default strategy and document preparation to post-default collections and execution.

Indianapolis Collections and Creditors Rights Attorneys

We have the experience necessary to negotiate, litigate, and resolve claims involving sales of goods, services rendered, leases and other contracts, replevins, foreclosure of security interests, receiverships, bankruptcies, out-of-court workouts, forbearance agreements, promissory notes and any other legal issues facing creditors.

We have helped thousands of creditor clients protect and enforce their legal rights, from small companies seeking to collect a debt to large financing companies with accounts nationwide.  With an extensive and refined creditors’ rights and collection process, we have developed sophisticated practices that allow us to be highly efficient no matter the size of the claim.   

Pre-Judgment 

We help creditors protect their rights to pre-judgment relief designed to prevent improper sales and other dispositions of debtor assets, as well as ensuring that proper measures are taken so that the value of the assets do not diminish. 

Obtaining Judgments

When debtors default on their obligations, we represent clients seeking to effectively and efficiently obtain judgments.  We are adept at opposing efforts that may be taken by debtors to delay legal proceedings and the entry of the judgment our creditor clients are entitled to.

Asset Identification & Foreclosure 

In order to foreclose on assets after judgment has been entered, the assets must first be identified and located.  In some cases, debtors will have readily-identifiable assets, such as bank accounts, which can be attached or made subject to garnishment.  In these cases, we move swiftly to attach or garnish the assets.

In other cases, debtors may attempt to conceal assets, such as moving vehicles to a relative’s house, or taking other deceptive action.  We are experienced in locating these assets and in determining bank accounts that may not have been identified during the litigation.

Debtors may also attempt to shield their assets by moving their assets outside of Indiana or relocating to another state.  We are experienced and adept at locating debtors, identifying assets that are potentially subject to attachment, domesticating Indiana judgments in other states, and foreclosing upon assets. We have processes in place (including working with firms in states outside of Indiana) which allows us to effectively locate debtors and their assets even if outside of Indiana.  

Flexible Fees and Risk-Sharing

We believe it is in the best interests of our clients to be flexible with potential fee arrangements where appropriate, including risk sharing in collection matters.  We are willing to work with clients to develop flexible fee arrangements depending on the nature of the matter to help minimize risk and potential legal expense to clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I recover interest on the debt?

In Indiana, you can recover pre-judgment interest at the rate specified in a written contract (subject to certain limitations for consumer transactions and loansharking). This may include an interest rate set forth on invoices provided to the debtor, provided the debtor has not objected to the term. In the event there is not an interest rate set forth in any writing between the parties, you may be able to recover interest at the rate of 8% per annum, provided the amount of the debt is liquidated and reasonably ascertainable.

Do I need a written contract to recover a debt?

In most cases, a written contract will not be required. If your transaction is one for the sale of goods and you do not have a written contract, the requirement of a writing (the “statute of frauds”) may be satisfied by invoices, purchase orders, partial payments, and any other indicia of an agreement. Essential terms not provided for in the writings can be supplied by the Uniform Commercial Code.

What can I expect once a lawsuit is filed?

Once a lawsuit is filed, service must be obtained on the debtor by sheriff or certified mail. The service returns are filed with or returned to the court. If proper service is not obtained, alias summonses are issued. Depending on the type of service obtained, debtor has either 20 or 23 days to appear and answer the complaint. Generally, a 30-day extension of time is granted if requested. Thereafter, a motion for summary judgment may be filed requesting that the court enter judgment without the necessity of trial when there are no factual disputes and judgment can be entered as a matter of law. This motion requires that any response be filed 30 days after service and the court may schedule a hearing on the motion. If summary judgment is unsuccessful, a trial date will be set by the court. The process can take anywhere from six months to several years, depending on the complexity of the case and the court’s calendar.

What is a guaranty and why do I need one?

A guaranty is an agreement to be responsible for the debt of another. A guaranty can be from a person or another entity. It can be unconditional, limited, or contingent. In Indiana, guarantees must be in writing to be enforceable, and guarantors are favored in the law. This means that any ambiguity will be resolved in favor of the guarantor. Obtaining a guaranty increases the likelihood of collecting the claim by increasing the number of entities or individuals liable for the debt.

What is a restrictive endorsement on a check?

A restrictive endorsement is any indication that a check for less than the full amount owed is being presented to settle the debt. Restrictive endorsements can be written on the face or reverse side of a check, or on a letter accompanying or preceding presentment of the check. If cashed, the check may constitute an “accord and satisfaction,” resulting in the creditor forfeiting the balance of the claim. In some cases, a restrictively-endorsed check can be returned within 90 days to avoid settling the debt. Cashing a check “with reservation of rights” is ineffective in Indiana.

Why is a credit application important?

A credit application provides invaluable information when a debt is placed for collection, such as the name of the debtor, tax identification or social security numbers, banking information, etc. It also establishes the terms governing your relationship with the debtor, such as the interest rate being charged; jurisdiction and venue provisions; waiver of jury trial; and recovery of collection costs and attorneys’ fees.