Poll: Have you ever used the services of a debt collection agency?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 06:10
SITE STAFF
Jul 13, 2015

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you ever used the services of a debt collection agency?".

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 14:10
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No! Jul 13, 2015

I have never used a debt collection agency but some years ago I asked my lawyer to take legal action against 2 clients who owed me money.

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Billh
Local time: 14:10
Spanish to English
+ ...
no but jolly nearly Jul 13, 2015

sent in el hombre del frac or the heavy legal mob to collect 12000 euros from a LARGE SPANISH BANK (albeit it newly formed from debt restructuring) which took 18 months to pay

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Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:10
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Like Bill Jul 13, 2015

I once had to call in some heavy artillery to collect $9,000 owed to me by a well-known organization.

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Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 15:10
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
No Jul 13, 2015

Mentioning that I might go to the small claims court was enough.

I understand that I was lucky - the client had enough money to pay me that day. He was charming, showed the then IoL logo on his website (fraudulently, as it turned out), and helped extremely professionally with terminology...

But he seemed unable to keep his business afloat, and I heard later that he simply could not pay others, so some lost a lot of money.
Sad - he sounded like a really good client and promised very reasonable rates


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Alexandra Speirs  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:10
Italian to English
+ ...
no success Jul 13, 2015

I got a lawyer to write to 3 clients who owed in total about 4000 euros, not a single one of them paid.
The one who owed me most (2500) had conveniently gone bankrupt.
I gave up chasing the others.


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Alberto Montpellier  Identity Verified
Cuba
Member (2014)
English to Spanish
+ ...

MODERATOR
NAH! Jul 13, 2015

It hasn't come to that, but sometimes I'd like having a butt-kicking gang to claim money from lazy clients was legal

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Łukasz Gos-Furmankiewicz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 15:10
English to Polish
+ ...
Get a happy lawyer client and borrow some stationery ;) Jul 13, 2015

Just kidding, but only up to a point. While you can't just get blank signed A4 sheets from a lawyer, on occasional favour in the form of signing a default notice drafted by a secretary and printed on the firm's finest look-at-us paper shouldn't be a problem.

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Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 22:10
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
No Jul 13, 2015

Hire a good lawyer, hit 'em hard and get the unpleasant out of the way and behind you as quickly as possible....

...and then move on to better pastures!


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Vera Schoen  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 15:10
Member (2008)
German to Swedish
+ ...
Yes and no Jul 13, 2015

I did contact a debt collector once (after two months of nagging and still no payment), and that same day the agency decided to pay their outstanding debt. Just a coincidence, the debt collector hadn’t actually started working on my case.

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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:10
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
The courts have done the job so far Jul 13, 2015

If you sue someone in the small claims court then the client both pays in full and covers your legal costs, which are not massive anyway. That has to be better than paying a percentage of the debt to a recovery company. But the SCC isn't always on offer, so I mght use them in the future. Even a small percentage is better than giving the client the idea that they can get away with non-payment.

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Mario Freitas  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 10:10
Member (2014)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
No, but I might one day Jul 13, 2015

I filed a complaint against an agency once, and I won it. But I had to give 20% of the award to the lawyer.

I had other issues with agencies/clients that I was able to resolve on my own. And, of course, two or three SOBs who never paid me, in amounts that were not worth an action in justice or ina collection agency.

But I have nothing against it. If I ever need it, it will probably be cheaper to me than paying a lawyer.

I may have issues though with the clients abroad, which are many. What kind of assistance could I use for a bad payer in another country? I really don't know.


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xxxbrg
Netherlands
Yes Jul 13, 2015

My own reminders didn't work. Small claims court and debt collection agency didn't obtain any results.
Finally, the debt collection agency started a liquidation procedure (on the basis: a client who cannot pay its debts is in fact bankrupt).
At the last minute, the agency paid the full amount of the translation.
It was a huuuuuge amount.
But still without debt collection costs.
The agency closed one year later, and then changed its name, but seems still to be in business.

A particular problem was that, in the US, a claim has to be submitted in the State where the problem started. Here: theft of services.


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