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Can I use a lawyer to collect a personal debt that is owed to me?

Vancouver, WA |

Person owes me $1200. Been 2 years now. Promise after promise of payment, however no dime has been paid to date. How can I resolve this best?

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Yes, you can use a lawyer. Just google debt collectors in your local area. Expect to pay 30% of whatever is collected to the lawyer.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advise" but analysis, and different lawyers may analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here. Please visit my web site: www.avanesianlaw.com for more information about my services.


  2. I practice in this area of the law, and in your county. For a relatively small value debt such as this, it is difficult to get legal assistance for free. Consider pursuing this claim in small claims court. This way you can represent yourself and avoid the expense of an attorney.

    If, after obtaining a small claims judgment, the debtor still will not pay you, then you can consider seeking an attorney's help in collecting. If you know where the debtor works and/or banks, that is the easiest way to force payment of a debt that has been reduced to a judgment.

    If you feel overwhelmed, or simply want detailed counsel, then consider investing in a one hour consultation with a local collection attorney. We can assist you in assessing the viability of your claim, the probability of getting paid, and advise on how to proceed.

    Best of luck,
    Tim