Photo by G. Loie Grossmann / Philly New Media
The Ten Commandments of Collections
1.   Know who the customer is.
Is the customer an individual?
Is the partnership a limited or a general
What is the debtors identifying number?
Social Security number?
Tax identification number?
What is his credit basis?
What credit cards does he have?
What bank does he use?
2.   Update your sales agreements.
Obligate the debtor to pay a late fee.
Obligate the debtor to pay interest from the date of breach, court costs
and attorneys fees.
3.   Always keep the first check and also at least one check per
year from each customer.
If your business is small or does not require you to maintain staff to
handle accounts, try to keep every check.
Use of this approach will enable easier access to liquid assets in the
event of litigation and garnishment
4.   Invoice promptly.
5.   Diary all accounts receivable.
6.   Send firm but fair collection letters.
Never threaten the debtor.
State your position accurately.
Provide thirty days for the debtor to respond and to contest allegations
the debtor contends are inaccurate.
7.   Retain counsel to institute suit where you conclude suit is
8.   Cooperate with counsel at the pre-litigation and litigation
This includes leaving all negotiation with him or her, and securing the
witnesses and documents he or she needs.
9.   Provide your attorney and the authorities with the information
each needs to go after the debtor.
10.   Promptly notify your counsel of all funds recovered.