Collections | Stone, Higgs & Drexler Attorneys at Law

Collections

Fees

  • Under signed contract: generally one third
  • Non-contingent basis: $250.00 per hour
  • Attorney Demand Letter: $75 plus special postage handling
  • Replevin of personal property: $750

Forms

Resources

Our firm handles the collection of retail and commercial debt throughout the states of Tennessee and Mississippi on a contingency fee basis, plus suit fee and court costs.
  • Simply submit the Lawsuit Request form, and mail it along with the original Sworn Account and applicable fee and cost to have your lawsuit commenced.
  • Attorney demand letters are available for $75 plus special postage handling. Reduced rates are available based on the quantity of letters needed.
  • Tennessee allows for the recovery of reasonable attorney fees, generally limited to one-third, if provided in a contract signed by the defendant. Stone, Higgs & Drexler will remit net proceeds to you of all collections, on a monthly basis.
  • Alternatively, collections may also be handled on a non-contingent basis of $250.00 per hour, if agreed in advance.
  • Strict adherence is given to compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regarding the collection of retail accounts.
  • Stone, Higgs & Drexler has a website for you to review your accounts.

Initiation of Lawsuits

Lawsuit requests are usually processed within seven days of receipt of cost and fee on a first in, first out basis.

It is important that you verify the employment, so that your court costs can be kept to a minimum. Indicate on your request form when you last verified employment.

To expedite the legal processing of a lawsuit, please send us your check for the fee, court cost, and private process server to be combined into one check. Provide an original notarized Sworn Account. Court costs vary according to county, please contact Whitney or Felicia to get an exact amount. You may also contact them to ensure that suit papers have been received by our office or in the event you want to cancel a suit. We normally send out acknowledgment letters on Friday showing what accounts were entered into our system. Advance your file 40 days to determine the status of service of process. The suit papers die if not served within 60 days. The case will be set for court by the private process server for a date following the thirty (30) day FDCPA notice attached to the suit papers.

Sworn Statement of Accounts

Sworn accounts are needed for every lawsuit request. The Sworn Statement replaces your appearance at the first hearing date except in the case of rent, damages or deficiency balances. Should the defendant not appear, a default judgment will be granted. The Sworn Statement should be completed and signed in front of a Notary. The lawsuit should be for net balance, after giving credit for all unearned interest according the rule of 78ths and rebating insurance, etc. Please name all defendants if suing more than one person or company. The original, hard copy of the sworn account is needed for court.

Payment Arrangements

Although we seek payment in full, the suit would probably have not been necessary if the defendant had that ability. Thus, we attempt to obtain a payment arrangements. We will not accept lump sum settlements unless cleared by you in advance. We also attempt to have judgments paid off within two years or less with the first payment due no later than 15 days after judgment, depending on collectability.

Garnishments

Judgments in General Sessions Court are final in ten days, and judgments in Circuit Court are final in thirty (30) days. After the time periods for appeal expire, execution to satisfy the judgment may commence. Garnishments and writs are issued approximately 10-14 days after judgment when court costs have been received. When judgment is taken for money and possession, we must issue a Writ of Possession before we can garnish. In the event that you take possession of collateral by means of peaceful self-help, please advise us of the repossession and the net proceeds derived from the sale, so we may notate the same, give the defendant credit and notify the defendant as to the remaining judgment balance. The General Sessions Court holds garnishment money and direct payments by the defendants 21 days. By Tennessee Statute employers must advise their employees upon receipt of garnishment in writing of their right to file a Motion for Installment Payments or to Quash the Execution, a bank attachment. The judgment debtor may file one motion to establish payments and if not complied with, the Court, at its discretion, may deny a motion to reinstate by the debtor.

Answers to garnishments are required by the employer within ten (10) days of receipt of the garnishment. Because they have such a large volume of garnishments, many major companies, such as Federal Express, answer ALL garnishments with "will honor." Then, they get around to sending the real answer later with either money or the reason why no money is being sent. By the time the employer answers, the clerk's office receives and enters the answer, it may be 30-40 days before we are informed. If the answer is "no longer employed," "net earnings less than exemptions," or something other than money, our Collectors will do whatever is necessary.