We are bound by state and federal law in how we collect debts, depending on whether the account is an individual consumer or a commercial debtor. We are also bound by professional ethics.
We may have limited contact with the debtor and use this to confirm important information, such as location, employment and assets. We run credit reports to locate errant debtors and their assets.
The Process of Debt Collection in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, we file suit in several different courts, depending on the size of the debt, from small claims to district to superior courts. Once the debtor is served with the lawsuit, the clock begins to run in which the debtor has to dispute or defend the debt. We move our cases quickly to judgment, usually within no more than 60 days even for the largest debts over $10,000 in superior court.
We may obtain judgment by default because of no response or answer by the debtor, or by summary judgment, meaning the debtor has no defense to owing the debt. Once we obtain judgment, we order an execution, to lien real estate and personal property, attach bank accounts or garnish wags or to obtain a citation to bring the debtor before the judge to answer why the judgment has not been paid and to reveal financial records to obtain a court ordered payment plan.