I see three different scenarios that, in my opinion, require the assistance of a lawyer, whether it be our firm or another lawyer.
First, the debtor is a good customer who has run into some short-term cash flow problems. Perhaps the debtor has called you and wanted to work out a payment plan. You want to get your money and maintain the business relationship. We can plan a strategy that preserves your rights and gives the debtor some breathing room.
Second, you’ve attempted to collect the outstanding balance on your own by calling the customer’s accounts payable department. You’ve been told that the debtor will try to pay the balance over the next several months or simply does not have the money. In this case, we need to swing into action quickly. I had one matter like this in which a six figure debt was owed. The debtor’s accounts payable manager said “we do not have the money to pay your client.” Three weeks later, we had a check in full for the debt, plus interest and attorney’s fees.
Third, you’ve filed the lien yourself, and now have reached a roadblock. Again, we need to swing into action quickly here. Chances are, we’ll need to amend the lien before the time for filing expires, and get the oil and gas purchasers in our corner.
Remember, the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Well Lien is a superior debt-collection tool so long as it is filed in time, with the right information, and all the interested parties are aware of the lien.