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Collection Letters - Miscellaneous

( Originally Published 1918 )



Reports on Deposited Drafts

In connection with collections, sundry letters which are not directly collection letters will be found necessary. For instance, a draft on an out-of-town debtor may have been deposited for collection. At times such drafts, as already explained, are very unreasonably delayed, and it becomes necessary to write the bank to find out the cause. The following letter is suitable for this purpose:

June 15, 1913.
HAMILTON NATIONAL BANK,
61 Wall Street,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

May 23d we deposited with you for collection our sight draft for $125 on John C. Harrison, 63 State Street, Chicago, Ill. Will you kindly advise us if this draft has been paid, and, if not, ascertain the cause of the delay?

Yours very truly,

..........................

Or, more briefly

Gentlemen:

Will you please advise us if our draft on John C. Harrison, 63 State Street, Chicago, Ill., for $125, dated May 23, 1913, has been paid?

Yours very truly,

..........................

It is but seldom that the bank fails to report a draft that has been paid. Hence, the presumption is, when a report is not made, that the draft has not been collected, or at any rate that the returns have not been received by the bank with which the draft was originally deposited. The letter might, therefore, take this ground at once and read as follows:

Gentlemen:

Will you kindly trace our draft for $125 on John C. Harrison, 63 State Street, Chicago, Ill., which was deposited with you for collection May 23, 1913? Yours very truly,

Letters to Collection Agencies

When an account is placed for collection with an attorney or a collection agency, it must be accompanied by an explanatory letter. This letter should give all the essential details of the account, and should also specify whether or not suit is to be brought in case collection cannot be made in any other way. The following are letters of this kind:

June 2, 1913.
MERCANTILE COLLECTION AGENCY,
251 Fifth Avenue,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

We are enclosing statement of account against Robert H. McClelland for $135.60, now nearly six months overdue. We have written Mr. McClelland repeatedly; but, beyond a few promises to pay, which were not carried out, he has given no attention to the matter. Our draft on him was returned unpaid.

Please see what you can do with the claim, but do not bring suit if it can be collected in any other way, and not until after we have given you specific instructions to this effect.

Yours very truly,

..........................

The statement sent with this letter gives the necessary details as to the goods purchased, and it is not usually necessary to bring these into the letter.

June 3, 1913.
MERCANTILE COLLECTION AGENCY,
251 Fifth Avenue,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

We enclose herewith statement for $75 due us from James L McFarland, of Philadelphia. We place this in your hands for collection, but do not wish you to bring suit. If you find that the account cannot be collected without suit, please advise us and let the matter drop.

Yours very truly,

June 5, 1913.
MERCANTILE COLLECTION AGENCY,
251 Fifth Avenue,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

We enclose herewith account for $132 due us from Henry Sampson, of 32 Broad Street, New York City. Collect this, if you can, without suit, but do not hesitate to bring suit if you find it necessary.

Your very truly,

..................................

June 6, 1913.
MERCANTILE COLLECTION AGENCY,
251 Fifth Avenue,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

Enclosed you will find invoice for bill of goods purchased by Herman J. Frenckel, of Chicago, January 15, 1913. These goods were sold on ninety days' time, and the account is not seriously overdue. At the same time, it should have been paid on its due date; and, as Mr. Frenckel has paid no attention to our letters in regard to the matter and has returned our draft unpaid, we do not care to let the matter run or to show Mr. Frenckel any further consideration. If, therefore, he will not pay on presentation, bring suit at once.

Yours very truly,

..........................

Letters to Collection Agencies

When a claim is placed in the hands of an attorney, the letter which accompanies it will not vary materially from those sent to a collection agency, though in the case of an attorney it may be well to state the source from which his name was secured; i. e., if it was found in a legal directory or lawyers' list, or if he was recommended by some responsible party, this fact might be mentioned as tending to secure better attention for the claim than would otherwise be the case.

MR. HENRY LANSTON,
316 Chestnut Street,
Philadelphia, Pa.

Dear Sir:

Please find enclosed statement of $725 due us from Samuel E. Frankelstein, 317 Market Street, your city. The account is at least ninety days overdue, and Mr. Frankelstein pays no attention to our letters.

Please use your best efforts to collect the account, but do not bring suit. We think Mr. Frankelstein is good for the amount, and presumably a strong presentation of the matter will be sufficient.

Yours very truly,

..........................

MR. HARRY FRASER,
315 Carondelet Street,
New Orleans, La.

Dear Sir:

Mr. William H. Johnson, of the Third National Bank of this city, has referred me to you as a responsible attorney in whose hands I can safely place any business I may have in New Orleans.

I am therefore enclosing herewith statement of account against Mr. Walter Gaspard, of 316 Canal Street, for the sum of $325. This account is ninety days overdue, and Mr. Gaspard pays no attention to letters or to drafts.

Will you kindly give the matter your best attention and secure the money if possible? If you find it necessary, the matter will have to be brought to suit, but I am somewhat reluctant to proceed to such extremes, as I have done business with Mr. Gaspard for a number of years, and do not wish to press him too severely if it can be avoided.

Please advise me before bringing suit, if you find suit is necessary.

Yours very truly,

MR. WILLARD JONES,
Fresno, Cal.
Dear Sir:

Please find enclosed statement of account against Harold J. Varado, of your city, for $90. You will find the details of the account on the statement. The matter has been dragging for nearly six months, and I will thank you to give it prompt attention.

If Mr. Varado will not pay without, I wish suit to be brought, but would ask you to advise me before this is done.

I find you listed in Martindale's Legal Directory as a reliable attorney making a specialty of collections, and this has led me to place the present matter in your hands.

Yours very truly,

.............................

MR. JAMES DILLER,
68 Main Street,
Dallas, Tex.

Dear Sir:

I enclose herewith details of a claim I hold against Joseph S. Francisco, of 741 Elm Street, Dallas, for $975.25. Full details of the claim are given in the enclosed statement Some items of the claim are disputed, and this has kept the whole matter dragging for several years. I do not wish to let it run longer, and will therefore ask you to take the matter up and adjust it if possible.

If Mr. Francisco will pay the undisputed part of the claim, I am quite willing to let the balance run until you and he can discuss the matter thoroughly and reach a fair settlement, but if he will not pay the unquestioned amount I think suit had better be brought withovt further delay; and this will, of course, be for the whole amount.

Your friend, Mr. Jamieson, of the Security Finance Company of this city, has given me your name, and has assured me that I can place the matter in your hands with implicit confidence that it will receive careful and conscientious attention.

Awaiting your report, I remain

Yours very truly,

Direct Remittances

When a claim is placed in the hands of an attorney or collection agency, it not infrequently happens that the debtor, apparently resenting the interposition of a third party, sends his remittance direct to the party he owes.

In such case the attorney or agency should be notified at once and is entitled to the agreed commission. The following letters can be used in such cases:

June 8, 1913.
MERCANTILE COLLECTION AGENCY,
251 Fifth Avenue,
New York City.

Gentlemen:

We are in receipt of a remittance of $75 from Mr. James L. McFarland, of Philadelphia, in full settlement of the account placed in your hands June 3d for collection. You are, of course, entitled to your 10 per cent. commission on this amount, and we are enclosing herewith our check for $7.50 in payment of same.

Thanking you for your successful efforts in the matter, we remain

Yours very truly,

..........................

MR. JOHN HAYDEN,
75 Maryland Avenue,
Washington, D. C.

Dear Sir:

Mr. Harvey L. Sprague, of your city, has just sent us $250 in payment of the claim put in your hands for collection. This should, of course, have come through you, but I do not suppose you will object to the direct remittance. In accordance with the agreement between us, I am enclosing herewith your fee of $25.

Trusting this will be satisfactory, I remain

Yours very truly,

..........................

WESTERN COLLECTION AGENCY,
783 State Street,
Chicago, Ill.

Gentlemen:

We are glad to state that a remittance of $84 has just reached us from Mr. John H. Klein, of your city, in settlement of the account placed in your hands some ten days since for collection. We are crediting you with $8.40-10 per cent of the amount collected—which we will either remit or dispose of otherwise, as you may direct.

Thanking you for your promptness in the matter, we remain

Yours very truly,

Keeping in Touch With Collections

Even though a claim is placed in the hands of attorneys or with a collection agency, it is still necessary to keep in touch with the matter and see that it is not al-lowed to lag. A good collection agency will report from time to time on claims put in its hands, whether these claims are collected or not. Attorneys, as a rule, do not do this, but hold the matter until something definite has been accomplished. If either agency or attorney is derelict as to reports, it will be necessary to write; and this should be done without too much delay. Particularly is this necessary when the claim is placed in an attorney's hands, for occasionally, if the attorney happens to be a friend of the delinquent debtor, he will purposely delay the matter as long as the creditor will let it rest, or, if the matter is a small one, may let it drag because there is but little profit in it for him. In either case a "prod-ding" letter will be beneficial. The forms which follow are of this nature:

Gentlemen:

Will you please report on our claim for $75 against George S. Collins, 89 Lake Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, which was placed in your hands for collection May 15, 1913?

Your prompt attention to this matter will be greatly appreciated. Yours very truly,

Gentlemen:

We have not yet heard from you in regard to our claim of $75 against George S. Collins. Will you kindly report at once its exact condition?

Yours very truly,

..........................

If the matter was placed in the hands of an attorney, the following letter might be found suitable:

Dear Sir:

May 15, 1913, an account against James H. McGill, of your city, for $125, was placed in your hands for collection. We have not yet received a report on this matter. Will you kindly inform us just what you have done and what are the prospects of payment?

Yours very truly,

..........................

If, as not infrequently happens, this produces no result, the next letter might be used as a follow-up :

Dear Sir:

We wrote you on June 15th in regard to our claim, of $125 against James H. McGill, of your city. This claim has been in your hands for over a month, but we have had no report of progress, and have heard nothing from you in any way save your first bare acknowledgment that the claim had reached you.

We are somewhat surprised at this prolonged silence on your part, and will ask you to inform us at once just what you have done and what are the prospects of a prompt collection.

Yours very truly,

..........................

Defective Remittances

It sometimes happens that when remittances are received in the form of checks or exchange, signatures or endorsements are omitted. Occasionally this is done with intent on the part of the remitter, as he calculates that the check will be returned to him for signature or endorsement, that he can hold it a day or two before re-turning it, and that he will thus gain the time consumed in transit and the time that the check is in his hands, the total in the case of far distant points sometimes aggregating between two and three weeks.

What the collection manager is to do in a case of this kind will depend largely on circumstances. The most obvious thing is to return the defective instrument to the debtor for signature. In such case a letter similar to the following will serve:

June 16, 1913.
MR. WILLIAM JACKSON,
813 Lake Avenue,
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir:

We are in receipt of your check for $235, sent us in settlement of your May account. The check reaches us, however, without a signature. We are therefore enclosing the check herewith and will ask you to sign it and send it back to us by return mail.

Yours very truly,

.............................

It is sometimes wiser not to return the check for signature. If it gets back into the sender's hands, it may be a long time before it comes back again, and in any case a delay is involved. As an alternative, the check may be deposited, with a guarantee from the depositor, or with a request to the bank to forward' same for signature and collection. It is then in order to write the party from whom the check was received, advising him of the conditions and what has been done. In due time the check will arrive and be presented to the drawer for signature, and it is but seldom that a concern or individual of any credit standing will refuse to sign. The following letter will serve on occasions of this kind:

June 16, 1913.
MR. WILLIAM JACKSON,
813 Lake Avenue,
Chicago, Ill.

Dear Sir:

We are in receipt of your check for $235, sent us in settlement of your May account. The check is, however, unsigned. This was, of course, an oversight on your part, and we are depositing the check for collection, with a guarantee on our part that you will sign it on presentation.

Thanking you for the remittance, and regretting the trouble we are forced to give you in the matter, we remain

Yours very truly,

..........................

The following quotation from D. W. Pomeroy, writing in the Bulletin of the National Association of Credit Men, will be found interesting in this connection:

"Occasionally defective remittances are received, and in some cases, evidently for the purpose of killing time, we get communications purporting to enclose checks, checks made out wrongly, checks not signed, checks or drafts to remitter's order not endorsed.

"In such as the first or the last cases I make a draft for the amount specified, pin the same to the letter, de-posit them in the regular account, and notify the debtor why draft is made.

"In the second case, I write on the back over our signature, Amount guaranteed,' mentioning the correct amount, attach letter, and deposit.

"In the third case, I write over our signature, Within amount guaranteed,' attach the letter thereto, and deposit.

"In the fourth case, I examine the letter carefully, and if it shows that the draft was sent to us for credit, I supply the endorsement by myself, as agent, and deposit same, retaining letter as my authority for so doing.

"I have had many defective remittances as above and with a single exception all have been paid; and never a single complaint from any source by reason thereof has come to me.

"Referring again to the fourth case, while I hesitate to advise the procedure named, lest I may be misunderstood, I want to say that I do not hesitate to avail myself of its advantages, having obtained advice of the best counsel that, under the conditions stated, authority is clearly given."

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