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MDLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 6133
Experience:  Experience in business law, contract law and related matters.
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I am a counselor in private practice and have a client who

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I am a counselor in private practice and have a client who has not paid his bill of $540; it's 4 months overdue. I sent one "reminder" after 60 days. Do I need to hire an attorney & what would that cost?
Hello and thank you for using the Just Answer website. I look forward to being able to assist you. Are you asking how the collections process works? If not, what specific legal information are you seeking? Or, are you simply asking how much a collections costs?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes, how does the collections process work? Is this something for small claims court? And, what are the costs involved for collections or small claims? If the costs are too high, I guess I can simply write-off the loss on my income taxes...right?

Yes, you can choose to go through the collections process or you can hire a collection firm to try to recover. The problem is that it is a small amount of money and so you would probably end up spending more if you hired someone to try to recover it for you since you do not have an established account already with a firm/company. Therefore, your best bet would be to go through small claims to try to recover since that would be the least costly option. Since there are no lawyers required for small claims, you simply need to pay the court costs and the cost to serve the defendant. These amounts are minimimal and the court fees depend on where you live since each court has a different fee schedule. You can write off the amount but you can still try to collect. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I agree about trying the small claims court instead of collections. Where and how do I start that process?

In what county are you located?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I am in Jackson County, Illinois. What paperwork do I need to take to the Courthouse to file in small claims court? I have copies of the statements mailed. Do I need to send one more statement by certified mail to be sure the statements have been received?

Since it is small claims, they usually have a form for you to fill out. You can attach a copy of the statement that was mailed and the invoice of services rendered or you can just present it as evidence on your court date. Here is the Jackson County Court link:

And no you do not need to send one more statement but you can if you wish. If you send it certified, be sure to add the return receipt requested.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Your answers have been excellent. I rated accordingly and paid the fee.

Thank you so much! Please feel free to request MDLaw if you have any additional questions in the future. Have a great weekend!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you