Collection practice has undergone a major transition over the past fifteen years. Once the ignored bastard by the mainstream of the bar, collection practice has survived and matured into a serious endeavor for a growing body of lawyers. Several reasons underlie this change. First, as society has become more transient and business relationships increasingly impersonal, businessmen and professionals have had to intensify collection efforts to maintain profit levels. Since legislation and supplementary case decisions have made debtor-creditor law a complex field, lawyers are frequently called upon to do collection work because of their expertise in using sophisticated legal procedures. Second, whenever the economy experiences a downturn or significant slowdown, the number of delinquent payors multiplies. When this occurs, more businesses discover the need to bring mounting collection problems to their lawyers. Once the routine of turning delinquent accounts over to the lawyer is established, it is likely to be one of continuing momentum. Third, lawyers have found collection practice to be an area that can be highly profitable, often requiring little of their time when it is addressed with sound procedures by a properly- trained staff. By example, a paralegal or secretary can frequently administer the bulk of a collection practice by utilizing an organized form system. Finally, as more and more lawyers vie for available work, collection representation has found its way out of the bar's closet and into the spotlight of services offered by many firms, both large and small. Today, lawyers who just several years ago would have scoffed at doing collection work eagerly usher these clients into their offices to explain the services that they provide.
J. S. Proffitt III & Peter N. Swisher,
Enforcement of Judgments and Liens in Virginia, Federal Regulation of Family Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
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