Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Get Paid With These 5 Collection Tips

No matter what industry you are in, a hinder in cash-flow can put any company in a bind, especially if you are already in a tight spot as it is. Receiving payments for services or materials provided is critical for the success of any business, but there is always the chance that one, or a few, clients are behind on payments or even refusing to pay altogether. 

Unlike the construction industry, many industries do not have tools such as mechanic liens to put pressure on the contractor or owner to remit payment for what is owed, therefore making it much more difficult to collect, and forcing you to explore other avenues to recover a debt.

When a customer or client is skipping out on their payment, a strategic and persistent approach may be required to collect, and sometimes legal action is necessary to ensure you collect what is owed to you. Before the problem occurs, the collection attorneys at The Cromeens Law Firm, PLLC, provide these insightful tips you can implement to ease the collection process.
  1. Prepare yourself ahead of time. Do you know what type of history and relationship your company has with the client? Is collection a reoccurring issue with them, if so, how have you handled it in the past? Knowing the type of relationship you have with the client helps you determine what steps will be most effective in collect on the debt owed.
  2. Be conscious of timing. Chances are that once you have submitted an invoice to be paid, you have also designated a deadline as to when you expect to receive payment. Set a schedule for reminder emails, including an “upcoming payment due” reminder at the half-way point, as well as, a “past due notice” the day after payment was missed. Additionally, keep records of what was sent and the dates as proof in case the matter requires legal action. Your attorneys will ask you to provide copies of these letters or emails should you require legal assistance in collecting.
  3. Consider rewarding early payments and loyal clients. Most business owners are always on the lookout for ways to cut costs. Offering a discount for early payments or rewarding long-time customers who always pay on time could be incentive enough to prompt payment.
  4. Make the payment process simple and convenient. Consider accepting credit cards as forms of payment in addition to cash and checks, and offer an online payment option so your clients have the convenience of making payments without even leaving their desk.
  5. Take action on late payments early on. The longer you wait on a past due invoice, the less likely you are to collect. Follow up with the client as soon as the invoice has reached its deadline. A gentle reminder call or email informing them a payment is now past due will often times be enough for them to take action. 
Once you have exhausted your options and it has become clear that the situation is out of your hands, enlisting the help of a professional collection attorney is your next step. In choosing an attorney, a strong willed and tenacious lawyer is what you need to get the job done. As debt collection attorneys, The Cromeens Law Firm can effectively protect the rights of creditors in all industries. We know what is at stake for you, and we implement an aggressive, firm approach with the party that is refusing to pay.

Our high-quality service is why many businesses seek out our support for collections and to represent them in court on future matters. If you have outstanding debts owed to you, give us a call today to keep your cash-flow on track and business moving forward.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

4 Common Pitfalls to Consider When Filing Your Flood Claims

The recent flooding in the Houston Metropolitan area resulting from nearly 15 inches of rain in a 10-hour period caused the city to come to a standstill. With the water beginning to recede, it also begins to uncover the damage to homes, buildings, highways and construction projects in the area. If you are one of the many Houstonians affected by the floods, you may be in the process of working with your insurance company to file a claim, but are having difficulties understanding the logistics of your plan. 

The Cromeens Law Firm, PLLC, Senior Counsel and insurance coverage expert Janet Giessel Townsley, J.D., provides these four pitfalls to be on the lookout for while navigating through the complications of filing a claim:

  • Limitations to your policy – Simply having your standard homeowners, renters or auto insurance does not guarantee that you are covered for flood damages. Even with flood insurance, your policy may only cover direct physical loss, and not replacement costs or other losses.
  • Flood loss deductibles – Do you know which deductibles and limits will apply in a flood occurrence? While your automobile deductible can be straightforward, flood insurance deductibles have options for your structure and a different option for your possessions. Have you chosen yours wisely? 
  • Requirement misunderstandings – Often times, a business owner renting a commercial space is under the impression they are covered through the policy of the property owner; even if you are renting a commercial space, flood insurance is still required under the name of your business. 
  • Failure to seek out professional assistance – It’s easy for business and home owners to get caught up in the technical insurance verbiage within their policy and not fully understand what they are reading, therefore, missing an opportunity to file a claim. Seeking out the assistance of a knowledgeable professional can help you understand your coverage and get the assistance you are entitled to.
With most insurance cases, the damage and liability is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and since insurance policies can be difficult to understand, you should contact an experienced insurance lawyer to help you better analyze your policy.

If you have suffered a loss of property as a result of the recent flooding, The Cromeens Law Firm can assist you in beginning the clean-up process. Whether it’s home or auto insurance, our insurance attorneys can help you claim the coverage you are entitled to.