Collection for the Non-Collection Attorney


Re-Broadcast on September 14, 2017

This presentation is intended to provide a broad overview for non-collection attorneys regarding enforcement of debts from initial analysis of collectability, initiating the lawsuit, obtaining the judgment, and post judgment enforcement mechanisms. In addition, the presentation will focus on avoiding FDCPA claims when enforcing a consumer debt, as well as what to do when threatened with a FDCPA lawsuit. Finally, the presentation will give you practical tips on skip tracing and locating your debtor.

Key topics to be discussed:

  • Is the debt collectible?
  • I am ready to file suit, now what?
  • Should I demand a jury trial?
  • Can I get a default judgment and what kind?
  • What are FDCPA claims and how to avoid them?
  • What post judgment enforcement mechanisms are available to collect on the judgment?
  • The debtor has filed bankruptcy, is it now over?

Date / Time: September 14, 2017

  • 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
  • 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
  • 12:00 am – 2:00 pm Mountain
  • 11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

  • Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
  • On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date.



MichaelRaichelsonMichael H. Raichelson grew up in the Los Angeles area and has been practicing law for over 20 years, focusing on all aspects of bankruptcy, collections, and business litigation. He is the owner of The Law Offices of Michael H. Raichelson, and he is also General Counsel to a large collection litigation firm. Mr. Raichelson is a past member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the California Bankruptcy Forum, the Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Forum and the San Fernando Valley Bar Association. Mr. Raichelson has been recognized as a California Super Lawyer for Southern California on multiple occasions. He has been involved in numerous business litigation and bankruptcy cases throughout Southern California, with clients located in Los Angeles, Kern, Santa Barbara, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties. Mr. Raichelson also has tried numerous jury and non-jury trials in state and federal courts, and he has represented clients in arbitration proceedings.

He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, with a B.A. degree in Economics and Political Science. Mr. Raichelson earned his J.D. degree, cum laude, from Pepperdine University School of Law. Since then, he has taught numerous paralegal and legal classes and lectured to elementary, junior high school, and high school students regarding their legal rights and responsibilities. As an attorney-coach for the Constitutional Rights Foundation, Mr. Raichelson educated high school students concerning trial skills, and he also has served on the Board of Governors for United Cerebral Palsy. He has substantial experience in complex litigation, representing clients throughout the United States in state and federal courts, including the federal multi-district court. Mr. Raichelson previously worked for firms specializing in real estate litigation, as well as for a full-service multi-state law firm. He has represented countless consumers in bankruptcy, and he also has represented real estate developers and brokers, mortgage and escrow companies, contractors, law firms, banks, insurers, and corporate directors and officers.

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Section I. Is the debt collectible?
a) The debtor’s demographics
b) Does the debtor have a history of lawsuits?
c) Does the debtor have any current or past tax liens?
d) What skip tracing tools are available to me to learn more about the debtor?
e) Does it make sense from a financial standpoint to go after this debtor?
        i. Filing fees
        ii. Service fee for personal or subservice (typically $65 to $90)
                • Costs associated with service by publication
                • Out of state
        iii. Skip Tracing
                • Employed v. Self-employed v. Unemployed
                • Bank accounts
                • Property
                        › Analyze equity
                        › Owner’s Title Report ($87.50)

Section II. I am ready to file suit, now what?
a) What causes of action should I include in my complaint? 
         i. Breach of Contract
        ii. Open Book Account
        iii. Account Stated
b) Can I recover interest on the debt and from when?
        i. Interest – Legal rate from date of charge-off if not identified in the contract
c) Can I recover attorney’s fees?
        i. Contractual
        ii. Statutory

Section III. Should I demand a jury trial?
a) Jury
b) Bench Trial

Section IV. Can I get a default judgment and what kind?
a) Default
b) Default Judgment
        i. Clerk Default vs. Court Default
                • Personal service vs. sub-service vs. service by publication
c) Does my State/County require a prove up hearing?

Section V. What are FDCPA claims and how to avoid them?

Section VI. What post judgment enforcement mechanisms are available to collect on the judgment?
a) Writ of Execution
b) Application for Earnings Withholding Order
c) Bank Levy
d) Abstract of Judgment
        i. Must be recorded in every county where the Debtor has property
                • Escrow Demand

Section VI. The debtor has filed bankruptcy, is it now over?
a) Does the automatic stay apply?
        i. Circumstances when the automatic stay does not apply
        ii. Relief from the automatic stay
b) Should I file a proof of claim?
c) What is the difference between dismissal of the bankruptcy without a discharge and entry of a discharge order?