Commercial Debt Collection

New York Attorneys Dedicated to Protecting the Rights of Creditors

Unpaid debts can take a financial toll on your business. Unfortunately, chasing debtors can have an uncertain outcome. Many of them fail to pay because they have too many creditors or have mismanaged their finances, sometimes leading them to the brink of bankruptcy. If you need to pursue a debtor of a medium-sized or large company in New York, the commercial debt collection lawyers at the New York firm of Klapper & Fass can make your chances of recovery much higher. We can get involved early in these matters to reduce any additional exposure or risk. If efforts to resolve the claim through sensitive negotiation fail, we can use aggressive litigation tactics to pursue and enforce a judgment.

Pursue Outstanding Debts from Delinquent Companies

If you are trying to collect a commercial debt, you may encounter a customer or borrower who is in financial trouble. Your ability to assert your rights successfully can make the difference between full payment and getting nothing. Some ways to do so include real property or mechanic’s lien foreclosure, receiverships, replevin actions, and foreclosure of security interests in personal property under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

Commercial debts may be secured or unsecured. Secured debts are easier to collect if there is enough collateral to cover the full amount. Article 9 of the UCC covers secured transactions, which are those in which a security interest "attaches" to personal property. This happens only if value is given for a security interest, a debtor has rights in the personal property or collateral, and the debtor has authenticated a security agreement. Personal property or collateral under Article 9 includes "general tangibles" in addition to goodwill and intellectual property. This section of the UCC provides a scheme that regulates and prioritizes security interests in personal property with the goal of safeguarding a secured party against other purchasers and creditors of a debtor.

As a secured party, you can protect yourself under Article 9 by "perfecting" the security interest in the property. Perfection puts subsequent purchasers and creditors on constructive notice that you have a prior interest in a debtor's property, and it makes their interests subordinate to yours. If your security interest is not perfected, your interest is subordinate to the rights of anyone who purchases collateral without knowing of your security interest. Generally, when there is more than one security interest in a piece of property, the creditor that perfects first has priority.

In many cases, you can perfect your security interest by filing a financing statement with the Secretary of State. This document includes the precise legal name of the debtor, the name of a secured party, and an indication of the collateral.

If you're a secured creditor, you may be able to file a replevin action to take possession of the collateral securing the debt instrument. This type of claim establishes who has the greater right to immediate control of any collateral that can be seized. The goal is to obtain possession of the property.

If the debtor files for bankruptcy, we can help you identify any dubious actions that it may have taken. In some cases, debtors try to hide their assets after or just before filing for bankruptcy in order to avoid paying creditors. Any transfer of property made for this purpose is a fraudulent conveyance, and you may be able to get it set aside so that you can recover the monies you are owed.

Retain an Experienced Commercial Debt Collection Lawyer in New York

From our New York offices, the business attorneys at Klapper & Fass represent a wide range of Fortune 500 insurance companies, equipment lenders and finance companies as well as large and medium-sized entities in the textile, construction, transportation, credit, and other industries. Many of our cases are those of first impression. This means that they involve novel issues of law that are not already settled. Our research and legal writing skills are a key reason we have a high rate of success in collecting monies that are due to our clients. We serve businesses in the Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island as well as the surrounding counties of Rockland, Nassau, Westchester, and Suffolk. We also represent creditors in New Jersey, Connecticut, and other states throughout the nation who need to collect commercial debt claims in New York. We accept referrals from commercial debt collection agencies. Contact us at 914.287.6466 or via our online form.