Welcome to Blair, Smith and Associates

Blair, Smith and Associates uses a unique approach in that we are a cross between a traditional law office and a collection agency.

Blair, Smith and Associates

the premier commercial collection agency

serving the wholesale industly.

About Us:

Our clients enjoy the benefits that go with either of these collection alternatives, without experiencing the negative aspects associated with each approach. Explore our website and learn why our clients are raving about us. We get our clients consistently higher net returns and provide a level of consistency and integrity that is rare in the collection field. Read what our clients are saying about us and learn why we have one of the highest client retention rates in the world.

You can contact us by telephone or by email through this website, and we will be happy to discuss your specific collection concerns.

Our Approach:

In order to appreciate the benefits of using Blair, Smith and Associates for your commercial collection needs, we will address the concerns of the client with respect to using an attorney, a traditional collection agency, or Blair, Smith and Associates to help you see that our unique approach provides the best of both worlds.

Attorneys -

Attorneys usually charge by the hour (usually $250-$450 per), which means that you can get thousands of dollars into a case without ever seeing a result. If this happens, you have lost your original debt AND the money you paid the attorney. Some attorneys take cases on contingency. The usual contingency fee for attorneys is 33% to 40%, plus costs. Figure on a total of about 50% if the case goes to trial. There is no cost advantage to using an attorney. However, there are other advantages, which includes speed and recovery rates. Attorneys will usually file the case in court right away, and will use the legal system to maximize the amount of the eventual judgement. You must have a court judgement to engage in enforcement by seizing assets of the debtor. It is a fact that most debtors will be willing to pay more to get rid of a court action than merely to extinguish a debt. Accordingly, litigation settlements are always higher than non-litigated settlements. Using an attorney, if the collection is successful, will result in a better return, usually sooner, but usually at a higher cost than using a collection agency. If the collection is unsuccessful, using an attorney can be a financial nightmare, since you are now out both the amount of the debt and the fees you paid to the attorney.

Other Collection Agencies -

Collection agencies generally take little or no money up front, and work the case on a contingency, usually 25% to 50%. While this provides a tremendous cost advantage over hiring an attorney, there are numerous minefields. Traditional collection agencies do not like to litigate. Therefore, they are willing to accept a paltry sum in settlement of the debt in order to avoid litigation. Most debtors know this, and that is why the national average, according to the industry trade journal, for return by collection agencies is about 17%. That's 17 cents on each of YOUR dollars. before their contingency fees. After low return, the second drawback with collection agencies is timing. They will usually work a case for several months before offering the client a litigation option (at a substantial extra fee), during which time the debtor often transfers or liquidates his assets before any legal action can be taken to secure them. When the litigation is finally started it is often too late to recover and the client has the same nightmare as using an attorney for an unsuccessful collection because they have paid the collection agencies attorney fees. Using a traditional collection service, if the collection is successful, results in a lower return, but with hardly any out-of-pocket expense. If the collection is unsuccessful, you are still worse off than before in that you have tied up the collection for several months while allowing assets to disappear. You have an unpaid debt which may now be less collectable.

Blair, Smith and Associates -

Blair, Smith and Associates combines the best aspects of using a collection service and an attorney. Collection cases are taken by Blair, Smith and Associates on a contingency fee basis. The case is filed in the appropriate court by an attorney, usually within ten days of the assignment to Blair, Smith and Associates. Therefore, you have all of the benefits of having an attorney on your case, but without the financial ruin if the collection is ultimately unsuccessful. Blair, Smith and Associates actually pays the attorneys fees as they come due, and recovers these attorneys fees from their contingency fees only if the collection is successful. If the collection is unsuccessful, Blair, Smith and Associates is out the attorneys fees, not our clients. Our clients pay a nominal amount to cover the court costs and litigation expenses. The attorneys fees are paid entirely by Blair, Smith and Associates. No attorneys fees are ever assessed against our clients' portion of the collection. In some cases, the attorneys fees are paid in full or in part by the debtor, after the court adds the fees to the judgment amounl but these fees are reimbursable only after we have collected 100 cents on the dollar of the debt! So the bottom line is this, if we collect less than the full amount of your debt, we eat the attorneys fees. If we collect the attorneys fees on top of the full amount of the debt, those fees are reimbursable to Blair, Smith and Associates. With this system, we cannot sell out our clients for 17 cents on the dollar, because we are going to be out the attorneys fees unless we collect more than the full amount of the original debt. There are some qualifications. Since we are paying the attorneys fees, each case must meet certain criteria. Further, Blair, Smith and Associates will always provide a copy of the payment instrument tendered to us by the debtor so that you can see that the collection is being reported and paid to our clients accurately. Using Blair, Smith and Associates, if the collection is successful, results in a higher return, with the speed of an attorney, at a lower overall cost to our dients. This provides a bigger net return than using an attorney or a traditional collection agency. In the rare instances that one of our collections is unsuccessful, you have limited your financial exposure to far less than what it would be had you paid the attorneys fees yourself. Try us out and see for yourself why we often get referrals from attorneys and why our clients are so happy with our success rate. We'll provide superior results with lower fees.

If you check the websites of other commercial collection services, the presentations are consistenfly vague about how they are going to get their results. We think our clients deserve to know up-front exactly what we are going to do, and how we are going to keep the return high and the costs low. Untike other commercial collection websites we believe the skeptics deserve to know who some of our satisfied clients are specifically, and not some alleged quote from "Ed J., the owner," before they can us. With their permission, we have listed real people at real businesses.

We believe that, since the majority of commercial debts are most effectively collected through litigation, our approach is the best one for the majority of business-to-business creditors. We will get as good a result as if you hired your own attorney but the risk of the attorneys fees will be ours, not yours. Call us today for a free consultation on your delinquent accounts.


Since no two collections are exactly the same, our contingency fees and costs vary slightly depending upon certain facts present in each case. Our standard contingency fees are 25% for debts less than one year old, and 30% for debts more than one year old, including attorneys fees. We are not aware of any other collection seivice which fully assumes the risk of the attorneys fees for their clients. The court and litigation costs will vary slightly depending on the amount of the debt and the location of the court where the lawsuit will be filed. We will be happy to provide you with a determination of this amount when you call to discuss the qualifications of your specific cases.

Unlike most collection seivices, we will provide you with cost information without requiring that you disclose the identity of the debtor. Simply contact us by telephone or email. You should be wary of any service that requires identification of the debtor before you have received a full disclosure of all fees and have made the decision to assign the debt for collection. Many of the cases that do not meet our freshness requirement (see Qualifications) are ones where an agency obtained the name of the debtor during the initial interview with the potential assignor and proceeded to try to collect the debt before the assignor made the decision to assign the debt to them. This spoils the element of surprise we use in our immediate litigation approach to quickly identify and target assets before the debtor can dispose of them, and therefore lowers the expectation of successful recovery.

Case Qualifications

Since Blair, Smith and Associates makes a substantial investment of their own money by paying the attorneys fees in each of the cases we accept, there necessarily must be some qualifications.

Geographic Limitations -

Since the attorneys we have contracted to represent us are licensed in California, the case must be able to be brought to court in California. This means that our client OR the debtor, must be located in California. We can accept a case from a California client who has sold to a debtor in another state, and we can likewise accept a case from a Client anywhere in the world who is owed money by a California debtor. We have clients in most U.S. States, plus China, Fiji, Mexico, and other worldwide locations.

Debt-Size Limitations -

Because the size of the debt must warrant our investment in the attorneys fees to take the case directly into court, we have a minimum debt amount of $10,000 in the four-county area comprising Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. Outside these counties, but within the State of California, the minimum debt amount is $15,000.

Document Requirements -

Because we are filing the case relatively quickly in court and investing our money in attorneys fees for your case, we must have all relevant documentation at the time the case is assigned for collection. Any delay in providing full original documentation of the debt will likewise delay the filing date. Any delay in providing full original documentation of the debt will likewise delay the filing date.

Commercial Requirement -

The only debts we accept are wholesale debts between two businesses. We do not take retail debts, consumer debts, or medical debts. The debts we accept may be based on open book acccunts, bad checks, goods sold or services provided, or promissory notes between businesses.

Pre-Litigation Requirement -

We do not accept cases that have already been litigated to judgment. In many cases, even attorneys fail to investigate thoroughly before filing a case and inadvertently limit their options for recovery by overlooking potentially responsible parties. Any case presented to us must be one that has not been litigated already.

Freshness Requirement -

We do not accept cases that have already been worked unsuccessfully by other collection agencies, not because the case was not originally collectable, but because the time that elapsed while the other agency worked the case may have allowed the debtors to secretly transfer assets that could have been seized to satisfy the debt.

Statute of Limitations Requirement -

We do not accept any debt that is more than four years old unless there is documentation of payments made on the account within the past four years.

What Our Clients are Saying

Unlike our competitors ...

who offer so-called testimonials from phantom clients such as '"Joe B., owner', we provide verifiable quotes from some of our many satisfied clients. These are real people at well-established businesses who are sophisticated when it comes to their collection options. Please be respectful if you choose to contact them about us.

Maui Fresh Produce:

We have tried just about everyone, including attorneys, and Blair, Smith, and Associates is the only collection service that consistently gets a good result for us. -Francisco Clouthier, Pres. Maui Fresh Produce, Los Angeles I San Rafael Produce, Nogales

Santa Maura Garlic & Spice:

Through the years, we have found that we can count on Blair, Smith and Associates to collect even the most difficult debts. Their aggressive use of the court system, combined with judicious research and enforcement procedures through the Sheriff gives us a high rate of return on our delinquent receivables. -John Rusconi, Pres. Santa Maura Garlic & Spice Company

Select Fresh Produce:

Since switching to Blair, Smith and Associates, we have seen our outstanding receivables drop dramatically. Their success rate in going after the full amount of each debt has resulted in a much higher net return on our deliquent accounts. They really look after our interests. -Javier Rubio, Controller, Select Fresh Produce.

Frequently asked questions

When is the best time to assign a debt for collection?

A good rule of thumb is when the debt is at twice the payment terms. In other words, if your payment terms were 30 days, send it to collection when it remains unpaid at 60 days. The exception would be if you have heard that the debtor is about to close or sell the business. Then you must move quickly to preserve your legal rights. Time is your enemy when you are owed money. It is unlikely that the debtor has picked only you for non-payment. He probably is behind with others as well. In many cases, the creditors who ultimately get paid are the ones who act first to enforce their payment. This is where litigation becomes important in establishing priority over other creditors who may be vying for the same limited payment resources. Most collection agencies work the case for several months before even considering litigation, which you, the creditor, will then pay for. Blair, Smith and Associates files the case in court right away, just as if you had hired an attorney yourself, only Blair, Smith and Associates pays the attorneys fees, not you.

What kind of documentation do I need to get started?

Since we only deal in commercial debts, whatever documents you use in the normal course of buying and selling, or providing services, will usually be good enough. These are typically the original purchase invoices, purchase orders, bills of lading, faxes and other correspondence relating to the transactions between the buyer and seller. tf the debt includes dishonored checks, we will need the original dishonored check that has been returned by the bank. If the case involves a promissory note or some prior accord and satisfaction agreement, we will need the original of that document as well. The court often requires review of these original documents before entering judgment against the debtors. You should make copies of any original documents you send us, so that you can refer to them if we have to discuss their contents with you on the telephone. Original documents should only be sent to us by some method that provides for delivery verification. When you call us about your first case, we will discuss what relevant documents you may or may not have.

How will I know what is happening on my case?

You are always welcome to call us, and we will fax or email updates periodically. If you have multiple cases with us, we will usually give you a synopsis of all of your open cases each time we talk with you. Although most collection agencies only contact you when they have results to share, Blair, Smith and Associates considers you our partner in the collection and will often consult with you about the debtors or developments in the case.

Contact us now!

Phone: (909) 396-8881

Fax: (909) 396-0734