Accounts Receivable Litigation (or “Commercial Collections”) means lawsuits to recover business debt. This includes unpaid invoices for goods and services, as well as commercial loans.
The common thread in all collection matters is an alleged breach of contract. Because most collection issues aren’t industry-specific, a skilled collection lawyer can usually help you, whatever your product or service (a few industries, including employment agencies and construction, do have unique collection issues; in those instances, your lawyer should be familiar with them).
In New Jersey, the Statute of Limitations for most contracts is 6 years. This means you have 6 years from the breach of contract – when payment was due – in which to commence the lawsuit. For a sale of goods, however, the statute is usually 4 years.
The action commences when you file a Complaint. You then serve the Defendant, who has 35 days in New Jersey to file an Answer.
If the Defendant fails to respond, you can apply for a default judgment. If the Defendant answers, the parties usually demand information and records to prepare for trial (called “discovery”). Either way, you’ll need to provide your lawyer with the information and records to prove your case, such as invoices, contracts, and correspondence.
After obtaining a judgment, you then need assets to collect it.
An experienced collection lawyer should have a trained eye for collection issues, knowing what to look for, what questions to ask, and how to find assets when there’s a judgment to enforce.
I practice throughout New Jersey (all counties), and also accept cases in Southeastern Pennsylvania.