3330 Oakwell Court, Suite 1208
San Antonio, TX 78218.
210.804.0011 – info@stokeslawoffice.com
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International Contracts and Collections
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International Sales Contracts and Collections

Due to the fact that our lawyers are licensed in 28 states and in addition before United States District Courts in 14 additional jurisdictions, including Washington DC and Puerto Rico, we are frequently asked by foreign companies that want to sell of goods and services to prepare international sales contracts for their sales to buyers located in the United States.  We assist these clients in preparation of contracts and purchase confirmations and other documents necessary for protection of these exporters for their sales of goods and services to US based purchasers.

One of the particular areas in which we assist our foreign clients is enabling them to collect their attorney’s fees as part of any collection action that they may need to file against a US based purchaser.  Many foreign sellers of goods and services mistakenly believe that when they seek to collect an unpaid invoice that they may automatically also recover their costs of collection from the delinquent buyer.  Unfortunately, in the vast majority of US jurisdictions, an unpaid seller of goods may not also recover costs of collection from a buyer which refused to pay for the goods shipped.  We have indentified the United States jurisdictions in which costs of collection may be automatically recovered and those jurisdictions in which a seller cannot automatically recover costs of collection and we provide legal advice to a foreign seller of goods and services as to how they may prepare their sales contracts and documents in order to increase the possibilities that they may recover their collections costs from US buyers which do not pay for goods and services shipped to them.

In addition, because we are licensed in multiple jurisdictions, we also provide collections services for our international clients in federal courts in these 42 jurisdictions See Where Our Lawyers Practice Law. We limit our collections practice for foreign sellers of goods and services to claims that may be filed before the United States District courts in these 42 jurisdictions.  Generally claims involving unpaid invoices exceeding $75,000 may be filed in United States District Courts and in certain cases, claims for less than $75,000 may be filed in United States District Courts if our foreign client is based in a country that has ratified the United Nations Convention for International Sales of Goods.  These countries include most of the European Union countries, except Portugal and the United Kingdom, most of Latin America except Brazil and Venezuela and a number of countries in Asia.

Representation of Credit Insurers

We also represent companies that insure collections of accounts receivable for foreign providers of goods and services.  We assist them in collecting unpaid invoices that are covered by these credit insurers.  We provide these services in federal courts in the 42 jurisdictions were one or more of our lawyers are licensed to practice law.

Our firm assists foreign businesses that ship goods to the United States with their sales contracts.  We can help them prepare contracts for the sale of their goods.  We strive to prepare contracts that protect our client, but that do not hinder the exporter’s business.

We Understand that the Main Purpose of a Contract is to List Transaction Terms and Mitigate Risk

A contract that is so long and overreaching that no buyer will sign it serves no one except the lawyer who wrote it.  When foreign clients ask us for help contracts with US-based buyers,

We identity the business risks our exporters must face when shipping to the US.   Common risks include timely receipt of a notice from buyers of a potential defect in the goods shipped, warranties that buyers require or want to disclaim, and shipping risk loss allocation.

We also help the client include provisions in their contracts that allow them to collect their attorney’s fees and interest in the event the buyer does not pay the invoice.  Many foreign sellers are surprised to find out that in most US states a seller cannot collect its attorney’s fees as part of a collection suit unless there is a provision in a contract that provides for payment of these fees in the event a collection suit is filed.  We also assist our clients in preparing invoices, order confirmations, credit applications, and if the client desires, forms for guarantors of the debt owed by US based buyers.

In the event they need do collect an open invoice, we can assist them to collect those invoices in one of the 42 jurisdictions where our lawyers are admitted to state or federal court.  If the seller is located in one of the countries that has ratified the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (“CISG”).  If the US based buyer is located in a jurisdiction that has not ratified the CISG, we can represent the client in United States District Court if the amount in controversy is more than $75,000.  If the amount in controversy is less, then we can assist the client in finding a lawyer in that state who can initiate the collection in the state courts of that state.