A Reliable Solution for Debt Collection in Mexico.
At HMH Legal, we help you collect your outstanding debt in Mexico quickly, without incurring court and legal fees.
20+ years of experience, collection by real lawyers
No Win, No Fee
Mexico debt collection
S.M.A.R.T. collection process
plan, for debt collection
Does debt collection in Mexico seem like a waste of time?
At HMH Legal, we know you want to confidently collect your commercial debt in Mexico, but at the end of the day, it feels like debtors can simply walk away without paying, while you are powerless to stop them from outside of Mexico.
- Mexico’s debt collection environment is hard, due to its unique culture.
- The Mexican legal system is complex, slow, and sometimes ineffective.
- Lawyers outside of Mexico don’t truly understand the system or the culture.
- In the end, it feels like a debtor can simply walk away without paying.
You have an outstanding debt to collect in Mexico, you shouldn’t feel powerless. We can help collect your debt amicably.
We know how important successful
debt collection is for your business.
"I selected HMH Legal over other firms because I had prior knowledge of them through industry conferences in the USA over the years, and I felt comfortable reaching out to them. What surprised me the most was how quickly they got a response from the debtor. I was really surprised because our debtor (former client) was blowing me off, refusing to respond to any of our emails or phone calls."
“HMH Legal always made us feel confident that we would get our money back, despite the inefficiencies and complexities of Mexican courts, in addition to an elusive debtor with his team of lawyers trying desperately to avoid paying their debt. HMH Legal delivered at the end, with a full recovery exceeding $800,000 USD.”
Why HMH Legal for your debt collection in Mexico?
Our amicable approach to debt collection is far faster and more efficient than more aggressive methods and preserves business relationships for the future.
When amicable collections are no longer an option, we are ready to escalate your claim in court by our experienced litigation lawyers.
We know Mexican culture and we approach your debtor in a respectful but strong and effective manner. Our local lawyers will immediately visit your debtor to begin discussions.
Debt Collection Lawyers
20+ years' experience on commercial debt collection with focus on cross-border or international claims.
Contingency Fee Model
Collect unpaid money successfully with no hidden costs or undue risk. You don't pay any fees if we don't collect.
Focus on Creditors
We focus exclusively on protecting creditors, by securing credit transactions and collecting their debt.
No Collection — No Fee
HMH Legal’s “SMART”
Debt Collection Process
Submit claim for collection with forwarding letter
Mitigate risk by review of documents, legal remedies available, limitation period, etc.
Assess claim and investigate debtor to determine reservation point from BATNA, and plan of action
Reach out to debtor through amicable and prompt collection efforts
Target claims that merit legal action and advice clients accordingly
Debt Collection in Mexico
First, you must keep in mind that collecting a commercial claim is totally different than collecting large volumes of consumer claims, which merits totally different treatment. A commercial claim arises out of business-to-business (B2B) transactions. Creditors will usually have one or a few outstanding claims in the thousands of dollars against other companies, as opposed to having a multitude of small amount claims against individuals (consumers), which usually happens in consumer collection. Thus, the treatment of a commercial claim is much more complex and the approach by the collection firm is key for success. If you are partnering a collecting firm to handle your commercial claim in Mexico, you should make sure that the following qualities are met by the firm:
- Law Firm. Your claim should not be handled by unqualified individuals or firms who do not understand the legal environment in Mexico, including creditor liabilities out of debt collection efforts. Lawyers will usually provide the necessary leverage in tough negotiations, during debt collection.
- Debt Collection Lawyers. Your lawyer should be familiar and comfortable with debt collection. Debt collection requires the art and skills of persuasion, negotiation, and even sales, and your lawyer should command these traits and be willing to talk to the debtor on your behalf. You do not want a corporate lawyer hiding behind a desk. You want someone who will handle your collection claim enthusiastically and knock on your debtors’ doors right away.
- Litigation. Preferably, you should retain a law firm with a success in a litigation practice. A litigation lawyer will be able to realistically assess your collection claim for litigation and advise you properly about the strengths and weaknesses of your case, all important in determining your “reservation point” based on your BATNA (“Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement”) for negotiation during collection efforts. A litigation firm will also be ready to escalate your claim through the courts immediately, should those actions be required.
- No Win, No Fee. Your collection firm should offer to work on contingency fees (no win, no fee), which requires them to share the risk and cost of pursuing your collection claims. You need a true partner and not a lofty law firm that will charge you by the hour with the potential of spending thousands of dollars with no recovery in sight.
- Physical presence. Your collection firm must have a physical presence in Mexico and, specifically, in the place of the debtor. They should be able to immediately move fast, visit the debtor and knock on their door. This is key for confirming your debtor’s actual presence as well as his legal and financial situation, and to signal to the debtor that legal action is imminent. A collection firm making phone calls from far away will simply not convey a real threat to a debtor in Mexico, and their potential (favorable) reaction will be null.
- Ethical Conduct. Your collection firm must be mindful of the ethical and legal regulations on debt collection and provide services under a strict compliance policy and guidelines. This will include all legal regulations, including general liability principles of lenders and creditors for wrongful conduct.
Amicable debt collection (collection out-of-court) is offered based on a pure or total contingency fee, which is known as a “NO WIN, NO FEE” fee arrangement. That means that if we don’t collect money from your debtor, we will not charge you anything. Our contingency fee varies depending on the age and dollar amount of the outstanding claim that is placed for collection.
Here’s how it works: When a client SUBMITS a claim for collection, our lawyers immediately review their claim to MITIGATE risk, and ASSESS the situation of the debtor, to identify strengths and weaknesses and know what leverage we have in the negotiation. Then our lawyers REACH out to debtors and knock on their doors for amicable but strong collection efforts. During collection, we TARGET claims that merit legal action and advice clients accordingly. This “SMART” collection process allows us to bring results to our clients consistently.
It is simple. If you need help with debt collection you can simply submit your claim through our online form. For all other matters (or to discuss debt collection as well) you can speak with one of our lawyers about your case, through a free consultation. After our consultation, we will provide a quote, along with services or placement letter to move forward.
When you hire HMH legal you will feel confident about collecting your debt in Mexico and, doing business overall. This is because you will get a reliable team of lawyers that will pursue collection of your outstanding debt quickly, on-site, immediately knocking on your debtor’s door, and ready to escalate through the courts, if needed.
First, we all probably understand the value of money over time. $10,000 US Dollars in your hands today is not the same as $10,000 US Dollars in five years. Thus, you lose money simply by waiting to get it in your pocket or getting it later rather than sooner.
Second, collecting your money is harder as the debt ages. A survey conducted by the Commercial Law League of America (CLLA) some years ago showed that, after only three months, the probability is that you will only collect abound $0.71 of each delinquent dollar. After six months, only about $0.55 of each dollar will be collected. And after one year, you will have to settle for about $0.22 of every delinquent dollar.
Third, as an outstanding debt ages, it gets harder to collect in court. Other creditors might move in ahead of your claim, especially if the debtor decides to file for bankruptcy or insolvency proceedings. Or the debtor may simply turn to fraudulent schemes to protect its assets, by transferring title to family members or controlled corporations, or simply putting liens or charges by a friendly third party. A recurrent fraudulent scheme is to simply transfer all assets and the business itself to a newly formed and controlled corporation, which will make it very hard to pursue in court.
There are many factors that determine the likelihood or probability of collecting a debt, but the reality is that the longer you take in pursuing the collection of your debt claim, the harder it is to collect it.
Yes. Effective September 2nd, 2015, a federal law was passed (Decree A/002/2015 by the Federal Consumer Protection Office (“PROFECO”) pertaining regulations for debt collection firms) to regulate debt collection practices by commercial entities (creditors) as well as debt collection firms. These regulations impose certain obligations, restrictions and sanctions upon creditors and their debt collections firms regarding debt collection practices with debtors in Mexico.
- Creditors. Obligations, restrictions, and sanctions are imposed not only to debt collection agencies or firms, but also to creditors themselves. Therefore, liability can be imposed to creditors directly for wrongful or illegal collection efforts undertaken by their appointed firms to act on their behalf to collect a debt.
- Commercial debt. These regulations apply not only to consumer debt, but to commercial debt as well, that is, outstanding debt out of business-to-business (B2B) transactions. While these regulations are intended to protect consumers and, thus, it is questionable whether wholesale transactions are within its scope, the regulations are silent to this respect, and it cannot be clearly defined such scope. Thus, consideration should always be taken on the obligations and restrictions imposed to creditors and, consequently, a close inspection on the practices by their firms or lawyers in Mexico should be kept.
- Foreign firms. The scope and intention of the regulation is the protection of consumers in Mexico. Thus, any collection effort in Mexico can and will subject foreign entities and individuals to the sanctions provided under the regulations, even if firms retained to undertake these efforts are independent and located in Mexico. We have yet to confirm a case where sanctions were imposed to a foreign firm, but we believe the Federal Consumer Protection Office (“PROFECO”) does have authority to start proceedings for wrongful debt collection practices against foreign commercial entities (creditors) and impose sanctions thereof.
Several States, as well as the Federal Government, have passed legislation that criminalizes “illegal” debt collection practices, with sanctions that range from one to six years in prison. The way these crimes are regulated in each jurisdiction differs substantially but, in general, their intention is to prevent debt collection practices or efforts through illegal means, including acts of intimidation, harassment, or violence, or through the use of false documentation, such as seals or court documents (which used to be a recurrent illegal practice by some collection firms).
Other crimes that are closely related to illegal collection practices and that constitute crimes in themselves include threats (“amenazas”), defamation (“difamación”), slander (“calumnia”), and extortion (“extorsión”), all regulated under State and Federal law and usually punishable with prison.
Creditors are also subject to liability imposed by their actions under the laws of their own place or jurisdiction. Debt collection agencies, firms, or lawyers handling a debt collection claim on their behalf should understand to a great extent the legal consequences or repercussions abroad, to the creditor, for their actions or efforts in Mexico to collect a debt on behalf of their client. An easy example of this is the action of tortious interference, prevalent in many common law jurisdictions, including the USA. Wrongful acts or practices of collection that intentionally interfere with the business or contractual relationship of a debtor (with any third party), causing economic harm, will make a foreign creditor liable for damages for such illegal acts by their agents. There are other areas of creditor liability that agents in Mexico should be aware of and understand while representing foreign creditors with debt collection efforts in Mexico, especially on matters related to commercial claims, where creditor liability is greater. A fundamental knowledge of international law is critical if firms in Mexico are to represent foreign clients reliably.
- Limitation period. Creditors (or lawyers and firms acting on their behalf) should always first check the limitation period applicable to the transaction to make sure that the claim is not about to expire, and that the creditor has enough time to negotiate with the debtor. However, if the claim is about to expire, the creditor should avoid wasting time and take immediate and appropriate actions to stop the limitation period, such as a formal demand or starting legal action.
- Support claim. Creditors should document the debt properly to justify a legal claim against the debtor (including any guarantors), which will help fully comply with debt collection regulations in Mexico and assess and determine how weak or strong such claim is in consideration of legal action.
- Reservation point. Creditors should NEVER go into a negotiation without knowing how much litigation will cost him, how long it will take, what are his chances of winning, and what are his chances of collecting from the debtor through legal means (seizure, attachment, garnishment, liens, etc.). He should also know the exact same information but on the side of the debtor, that is, how much litigation will cost the debtor, how hard it will be on him and his business, what does he stand to lose (with penalties, late interest, damages, court costs, etc.), what are his incentives to settle, etc. Based on all this information (which must be confirmed with an experienced litigation lawyer in Mexico), the creditor will be able to calculate his “reservation point”, that is, the lowest offer that the creditor can accept from a debtor, before choosing his “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” (“BATNA”), which will be litigation.
- Investigate debtor. Knowing the current legal and financial situation of the debtor before engaging with him is crucial to avoid costly mistakes. You will never negotiate the same with a debtor that is in the brink of bankruptcy, than with a debtor that has all the money in the world. Likewise, a company that has a multitude of lawsuits represents higher risk, than a company that is not involved in any litigation. Economic factors in the country are also important. A downturn in the debtor’s industry can confirm his current struggles and excuses as legitimate, rather than his unwillingness to pay. Lockdown and restrictions from the government (such as those from Covid-19) can also give you the full story. All these things can and should be investigated and confirmed before engaging the debtor, to know how much deference or leniency you will give him during a negotiation.
- Legal document. In anticipation of a negotiation meeting with the debtor, the creditor must be ready with a strong legal agreement and guarantee that will finalize and close any settlement reached with the debtor, especially if there are some concessions made by the creditor. It is highly recommended that these documents are drafted by legal counsel in Mexico, especially if the debtor and his assets are located in Mexico and the chances that the agreement will be enforced in Mexico are high. Creditors want to make sure that a strong legal agreement, guarantee or security device (such as a promissory note or “pagaré”) is put in place to make sure the debtor has an incentive to perform on his part of the deal.
- Persuade, sell, negotiate. The last part is probably the most critical and should be based on sound strategy by an experienced individual in handling negotiations. An experience professional will know when to sell, when to negotiate and, most of all, how to persuade through available methods and tactics. A clear understanding of cultural differences, emotions involved (egos), tactical empathy, psychological reactance, and presenting the ideal character (ethos), are all key in being successful in the negotiation and persuading your debtor to pay.