The Law Offices of Robert J. Delaney- Collections


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If someone owes you money or goods or services and doesn’t pay or deliver them, you are in a collection situation.


If it’s an amount of $6,000 or less, I recommend you handle the collection by filing a claim in Small Claims Court in your county courthouse.  The rules of evidence are relaxed so that an individual can more easily represent yourself.


If the amount owed is more than $6,000, I recommend you seek our assistance.  We will be happy to discuss being paid a percentage of the amount recovered or a fee based upon the time spent.  Your choice.


In order to collect attorney fees from the other party, there must be a written agreement that in the event you are not paid, the non-paying party will pay your collection attorney fees.  Without this written clause, everybody pays their own attorney fees.


The first step is to get a judgment from a court, determining the amount the other person owes you.  Then you file a “Proceeding Supplemental,” which is an opportunity to examine the judgment debtor regarding his place of employment, income and assets.  If the judgment debtor is employed, you can garnish his/her wages and take 25% of each paycheck (minimum $137.50 cannot be touched) after taxes are deducted, until full judgment is paid plus court costs.


Only one garnishment at a time comes out of a judgment debtor’s paycheck.  First in time of judgment is first one to get paid.  Some folks have judgment creditors lined up for years, waiting their turn.


Bad Check Collection


Indiana has a criminal statute (check deception) that assists folks in collecting bad checks paid to them.  By law, before you take the bad check to the prosecutor’s office, you must notify the writer of the bad check by certified mail.  Wait 10 days as required.  Then if not paid, take these items to the prosecutor’s office:

1.      original bounced check

2.      red and white post office receipt (given at time of meeting)

3.      copy of your letter of notification

4.      green signed return receipt or undelivered letter


The prosecutor’s office will have you fill out a check case complaint, then send a 14-day notice letter to the bad check writer.  A good address or place of employment is essential to the success of this collection.


After 14 days expiration of notice and check is still unpaid, the prosecutor will file criminal charge of “check deception.”


A bad check charge is not extraditable.  This means Indiana can’t get a person living in another state to be arrested and delivered to Indiana for prosecution on a bad check charge.  Therefore, the prosecutor’s office will prosecute no one on an “out of state” bad check.

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