The Kaplan Group is a commercial collections agency, which means we only work on B2B debt collection. We collect from corporations, LLC’s, partnerships and proprietorships. We also collect against individuals who are personally liable for business debt, which can happen if they signed a personal guaranty, own a proprietorship, let the corporation status expire, or commit fraud. Our focus solely on commercial collections is one factor leading to our 85% success rate. (If you need to collect from a consumer, we do provide referrals here).
B2B Collection Claim Sizes
We handle claims of all sizes, from $1,000 to $1 million. The first claim needs to be at least $10,000 and the average size of claims must be at least $10,000 (we handle smaller claims as a courtesy for our regular clients). We have unrivaled expertise in large claims.
Dean Kaplan personally handles all large claims. He has 30 years of business and negotiation experience, closing over $500 million of transactions all over the world (traveled to 40 countries). He is recognized as an expert in the debt collection industry as a frequent presenter at credit management conferences and published author in industry periodicals.
Our Commercial Debt Collection Process
Our collection agency process is described in greater detail on the How We Work page and in our videos on debt collection process and large claims. We provide the following services as part of the debt collection process:
In House Law Firm
If our collection agency efforts have not achieved the desired results, accounts are then ‘placed’ with our in-house law firm. A complete debt collection effort is made under the name of the law firm which creates significant additional pressure on the debtor, and this unique feature of our agency has proven to be a valuable tool in our collection process. There is no increased cost for our clients for use of these services – the contingency rate is the same as if we collected under our agency name.
Our in house law firm also manages attorney forwarding and litigation matters.
This means developing an understanding of the debtor – the business itself, the ownership, and its employees. We seek to determine how large they are, how long they have been in business, and how the business is performing. We will also investigate the background of owners, managers and employees as appropriate. The debt collector uses this information to develop a strategy and in negotiations with the debtor.
Sometimes companies just seem to disappear. We do extensive research to either confirm they are no longer operating or to find them at a new location, operating under different names or with different contact information. We also track down owners, either because they have personal liability for the business debt or to confirm the business is closed. Our research techniques may include finding and contacting relatives, neighbors and landlords as well as simply finding working phone numbers and home addresses for the person of interest.
The majority of debt collection claims result from the debtor having financial problems. We seek to understand the owner’s personal financial situation as well as the company’s financial position to help us with developing a negotiating strategy and a successful result.
Unfortunately, in the vast majority of larger commercial collections the debtor does not have the financial ability to make full restitution in one payment. We will negotiate and enforce payment plans, which may have weekly, bi-weekly or monthly payments. These plans get documented and we strive to make them as automatic as possible so we are not having to chase the debtor for each payment. While we strongly prefer to get all of your money immediately, if we have to work over an extended period it is still superior to not getting paid and generally better than having to go to court. All payments plans are subject to client
On occasion, there are disputes where the other party has some damage claim against our client. The end result may be that our client agrees to accept less than the full balance owed as part of settling the dispute. In other situations, a debtor may be delinquent with a significant number of vendors and only have a limited amount of funds available to satisfy old debts. While a long-term payment plan may get a full recovery, there is risk that the debtor goes out of business before satisfying the obligation in full. In this situation, it may be preferable to negotiate a settlement agreement where the debtor gets a discount but pays the full discounted amount immediately. Clients must approve in writing any settlement agreement.
If we cannot resolve the matter on a voluntary basis, we have a nationwide network of debt collection attorneys who work on a contingency basis. We only recommend suit if we believe there is an extremely high likelihood of getting a substantial return on investment. All litigation must be improved in writing by clients. More information is available in our debt collection litigation video.
Winning the lawsuit is the first step to getting paid. Then the judgment has to be collected. If the debtor does not voluntarily agree to pay once we have a judgment¸ there are a number of court-ordered judgment collection processes we use to collect. The judgment collection video explains this in greater detail.
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