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The other day I was having a discussion with a gentleman working outside of the credit and collection industry and mentioned that I publish the ALQ Law List, a directory of attorneys nationwide and worldwide who specialize in creditor's rights and debt collection. The response was not as positive as I would have appreciated but like many of you who have also experienced this, I have become used to a reaction that is based upon some misconceptions and a lack of information of our industry.

I explained to this gentleman that the collection industry, especially in the US, has thousands of agencies and attorneys and that without them, the cash flow for hundreds of thousands of businesses would be greatly impacted. His eyes widened and with some astonishment he replied, "You know, I've never thought of debt collection in those terms".

It really is so true that without a strong and well developed collection industry, billions of dollars would go uncollected that would not only put hundreds of thousands of businesses into a cash flow bind, but have a negative affect on the economy as well.

We can always feel very proud of our industry knowing that we are the lubricant to keeping our economy running, and that the ALQ Law List is an integral resource that supports the process.

Thomas W. Hamilton

 Industry News

New CFPB rules start this year
The New York Times
The rules, issued by the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, were issued in early 2013 but begin next week.
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US business bankruptcies dropped 24 percent in 2013
Business bankruptcy filings in the United States. In recent years as the U.S. Federal Reserve has kept borrowing costs low.,the number of filings have fallen in every state but rose by 7 percent in Puerto Rico.
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Making expansion into Asia profitable a tricky business
The Legal Intelligencer
As many Am Law 200 firms look beyond mainland China to Asian markets less populated by U.S. law firms, Duane Morris is entering the country for the first time with its planned Shanghai location.
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Sale of bad debt by utility companies: Proceed with care
By Hannah F.G. Singerman, Esq.
Selling uncollectable or "bad" debt has become a new and interesting prospect for many utility companies. Sale of such debt can free-up workers, provide instant income for the company, and create more financial certainty. It could also, in theory, alleviate the need for controversial rules like Texas' "Switch-Hold Rule", because the utilities and the state would be unburdened by the collection costs. Further, it may simplify the work needed for utilities in tracking bad debt expenses in states which require such record keeping and analysis.
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7 tests to tell if you have just cause to fire
Corporate Counsel
You might think you have good reason to let someone go. But it really depends on who's being fired, especially if it's a unionized worker.
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What our clients have to say:
The American Lawyers Quarterly Law List has been of invaluable assistance in obtaining foreign counsel and contacts, enabling us to maintain our reputation as an internationally recognized full service debt collection firm. The ALQ has not failed to find competent counsel overseas through their extensive contacts. We appreciate the efforts that they have gone through to help us.

— Barry S. Gersten, President, Seair Consultants, Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

ALQ's service is top notch. As a relative newcomer to ALQ, I am consistently impressed with ALQ's ability to exceed my expectations. They understand how I want to develop my practice, and connect me with new business to meet my goals. The return on my investment in ALQ remains unmatched.

— Shawn Key, Attorney at Law, The Key Firm, PLLC, North Little Rock, Ark.

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