tl;dr: Client from freelance work owes $10,000, refusing to pay or talk. I don’t particularly want to go through the time and hassle of a small claims suit (but will if needed) – does it make sense to first leverage a contingency-based debt collection agency?
Longer: From July through the middle of September of 2019 I performed freelance work for a client pursuant to a signed contract and did not get paid. In August and July I followed up multiple times about the overdue amount and received messages saying it’s coming. Come mid-Sept, the client kicked me out of the account and blocked my phone number.
Called from other numbers, left messages, emailed daily, texted, etc to learn what happened and to follow up on owed amounts. No response. Got a hold of his business partner who said “We’ll talk to your lawyer.” I sent a final demand email and a lawyer sent the same via letter.
It should be a pretty slam-dunk case in Cook County. I have the signed contract and records of our communication. However, I don’t particularly want to go through the time and hassle involved, for a number of reasons. Given that, would it make sense/be advantageous to leverage a debt collection company on a success-based fee and only suing the scumbags if the debt collection folks fail to get the money?