If you’re an attorney, then you understand that lawyers have a hard and unorthodox job. The profession requires countless hours working on a case, that doesn’t exactly fit into the regular format of a nine to five job. Nevertheless, you expect to be paid for their services, just like any other working person. Unfortunately, there are times when the client won’t able to pay their bills. This article will discuss ways to protect yourself before you suffer from unpaid legal fees; as well as give you several unique ways to help collect money owed.
Getting Prepared Before Legal Fees Are Owed
You will put yourself in a better situation to handle the collection process, if you already have a system in place to help you keep up with your time spent and preparation work done for the client. You may wonder, “How can investing in legal billing software help me?” Or you may say, “I don’t need to spend money on a system to only put in time and produce an invoice.” Look at few reasons why law firm billing software can help you.
- Time and Billing Management – Law firm billing software can integrate client meetings, court dates, and other events. In addition, it can also link documents, emails, messages, and notes to client records for organization
- Beneficial Features – Billing management is only a part of what legal billing software can help with. It can also serve as knowledge management by giving users
access to online legal library, client management features, and legal form automation.
- Special Collection Reports – As an attorney, you can find fully financial integrated system that comes with expense tracking, budgeting, and delinquent accounts alerts. Not only is this good for legal fees, it also monitors the overall cash flow of your firm.
Law firm billing software can help you keep up with all financial records and services rendered as well aid you in your day to day functions. All things considered, it will prevent you from spending time go over books; while also pointing out which legal fees are due and for how much. Simply, find one that best fits the needs of you and your firm.
Taking Effective Action to Collect Legal Fees
Now that you know the proper software, to help calculate fees and monitor delinquency, you can focus on obtaining what is owed to you. When it comes to collecting legal fees from clients, there are a million and one ways to do so. Consequently, not every way will yield the best results. It is highly important to make sure that sure that the methods you are using are effective; as your only main goal is to get your money. Here are three tips in progressive order to help you collect legal fees.
Here is a fact: the more you harass a client and come across as insensitive; the more likely they are to avoid you. Sometimes it takes a little human concern to collect the legal fees owed to you. First, try understanding your client’s situation by talking to them to see why they can’t pay. Situations such as: medical emergencies, lay-off, and other life events can have an effect on a person’s financial status. After determining your client’s circumstance, agree on a payment plan that best suits the both of you. Or one that the customer can afford to pay weekly or monthly. Remember, even getting back your money in small increments is better than not receiving money at all.
Write a Demand Letter
The next step in the collection process is a little more drastic. When you can’t reach the client or they aren’t willing to pay you, a demand letter would be the next best option. While a demand letter isn’t required by law, it is the best way to make sure that your debt is paid. As it provides proof of list of services rendered, the itemized currency, and the total amount of fees. Ultimately, demand letters are an overall effective attempt to collect legal fees.
File a Lawsuit
After trying to understand your client and writing a demand letter, the final effective step would be filing a lawsuit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look good for an attorney to sue someone. So, you can even try working with a third-party accounting law collection agency before filing a lawsuit. Nevertheless, seeking legal action has
significance to make the client pay what they owe to you.
Collecting debt owe to you, can be a frustration task. However, if all these steps are taken you are sure to have success.