Top 7 Pitfalls to Avoid with Overdue Receivables

pitfall road sign illustration designSavvy commercial creditors, small business owners, account managers and forwarders have learned to avoid these 7 pitfalls that make it more difficult to collect overdue receivables. Check this list to make sure you haven’t overlooked something that could help you get the money you are owed in a timely manner.

  1. Waiting too long to take additional action: If the principal has not responded to your letters and phone calls, and what they owe is more than 90 days past due, you run the risk of having them declare bankruptcy or going out of business. If you don’t get a collection expert involved before this happens, you could end up with nothing.
  2. Hesitating to involve an attorney: An attorney who contacts the principal is more likely to get attention than someone without legal clout. If another creditor uses an attorney and you don’t, they’ll get their payment first from whatever funds the principal has. Make sure that money goes towards paying you back.
  3. Hiring someone who doesn’t concentrate in collections: Not everyone is knowledgeable about how to legally apply the kind of pressure that will collect a debt. Not every attorney concentrates in commercial collections. Using an employee, agent or attorney who is not familiar with legal debt collection techniques can actually make your claim uncollectable.
  4. Paying too much for an attorney:  You may have to pay an attorney in another specialty an hourly rate, a retainer or fees other than court costs. However, you can find a collection attorney who operates on a pay-for-performance basis and only charges a percentage of recovered revenue, when the claim is liquidated.
  5. Vetting an attorney yourself: It can be risky looking for an attorney via a random Internet search. What they say about themselves or incentivized reviews about their collection track record or trustworthiness may not be reliable. A free alternative is to go to The National List of Attorneys’ website (NL) to find a pre-vetted attorney. NL uses proprietary data and algorithms to review attorney performance and only works with the top performers in the industry.
  6. Managing your own attorney/client relationship:  Some small-business owners and freelancers may be left in the lurch when attorneys decline to take one-off claims or those under a certain dollar amount. Some commercial creditors also face a steep learning curve regarding the litigation process and how to work with an attorney. This takes valuable time away from what they do best—run their business. Registering a claim via NL ensures claim placement, and allows you to take care of your clients while an NL account manager takes care of your old debt.
  7. Not Having Claim Protection: You may think that insuring claims is expensive. NL has so much confidence in our vetted attorneys that we insure claims placed through our network at no additional cost. A $2 million insurance policy protects each claim forwarded to NL attorneys from defalcation (misappropriation) of funds in the U.S. and Canada.

It can be easy to avoid these 7 pitfalls. Let NL match your claim with the collection attorney that most closely meets your needs. Go to, and then stay to look around at the other resources, products and services that are there at your fingertips. For more information, contact NL at 800.227.1675 or email

Categories: Attorney Fees, claims insurance, collect overdue receivables, Collection attorney fees, Commercial collections, Debt Collection, NL Insider, old debt, Overdue Receivables

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