Own Up To Your Mistakes

Years ago, I had to hire an out of town collection law firm to collect a debt from a client. The client didn’t respond to my lawsuit and I was awarded a default judgment against them.

The problem with hiring this firm is that since it was an older debt, the law firm was charging me by the hour. There was an associate attorney at the firm who was very good at billing. He would bill 45 minutes, thinking about how to collect the judgment. He would spend hours drafting court filings that were based on sample forms. Without warning, a law firm partner took over the case.

When it came time to try to collect my judgment, I was able to get some banking information to try to attach against the client’s bank account. I also provided the email address of a bank representative.

Rather than contacting the person I knew, the partner of the firm decided to get the information bank himself. He sent in the garnishment forms without consulting me. Of course, the name of the bank was incorrect as well as the address on the court approved garnishment forms. The law firm partners billed more than $4,000 for the preparation of the garnishment forms.

When I protested this error and my unwillingness to pay for it, the law firm partner complained about how much work him and his paralegals did on the garnishment forms. Rather than just apologizing for the errors, he was indignant. I always joked that law firm partners are never wrong, but it’s only a joke. I was ticked off that the law firm partner couldn’t admit his error and apologize for not contacting the representative of the bank I found.

As a plan provider, you’re going to make mistakes. The better you are, the fewer mistakes you make.  However, when you make mistakes, admit it and apologize and move on. It’s plain and simple.

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