We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What does a Debt Collection Lawyer do?

By Ken Black
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At SmartCapitalMind, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A debt collection lawyer is an individual licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction who primarily focuses on helping others collect debts. This type of attorney must abide by all the laws and regulations that apply to any other debt collector. The advantage of using a debt collection lawyer is that if a lawsuit becomes necessary, the lawyer is already familiar with the case and has a working relationship with the client.

Often, the first step to collecting a debt involves a collection agency or the company's internal collections department. If these individuals are unsuccessful at collecting the debt, the account may be passed to a debt collection lawyer. The lawyer may work for the original lender, or may work for a company that bought the bad debt from the original lender. In either case, the debt collection lawyer must first establish that a debt is owed to the client and that the person named on the loan is the responsible party.

Once the debt collection lawyer makes the determination of the responsible party, which is often fairly simple, the next step is often to contact that individual. This may take place via personal letter, e-mail, or even a phone conversation. The lawyer will introduce himself or herself, explain what the situation is and how it may be resolved. The goal at that point is to enter into private negotiations to settle the debt.

If the responsible party does not respond to attempts at communication or is unwilling to settle, the next step is to file a lawsuit, typically in a small claims court. At this point, the debt collection lawyer files a petition seeking damages, and may also ask the court to make the person owing the debt pay court and attorney fees. The lawyer may still provide the opportunity for a settlement.

Once the petition has been filed, the next step is to hold a pretrial conference. In this case, a judge usually attempts to work with both sides to come to a mutually-agreeable settlement. This may include showing the parties what the dispute is, explaining the law, and outlining how the case may be handled. Typically, the facts are not in dispute on a debt collection case.

If the facts are in dispute, or the parties are unable to come to an agreement, the case will be litigated much like any other case. The debt collection attorney will present evidence, call any appropriate witnesses, and lay out the case. The defendant will then get the opportunity to cross examine witnesses and present rebuttal evidence. A judge will then make the final decision on payment of the debt.

SmartCapitalMind is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon320821 — On Feb 19, 2013

I was just talking to a collection attorney in California the other day about the same thing. Sounds like you really know your stuff! Thanks for sharing, you're absolutely right.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

SmartCapitalMind, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.