Produce Supplier Collections

PDH uses its experience and knowledge of laws such as the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) to help clients who deal in fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables establish and enforce policies to minimize business disputes and otherwise ensure prompt payment on all sales.   

In its collections practice, PDH relies on its knowledge of PACA to see that those responsible for payment of client invoices are held to their obligations, with the goal being the full recovery of any balance due to the client.  The collection process does not begin after an invoice is past due, however, it begins before the invoice is ever sent, making sure that the proper PACA language is included on the invoice so that the “PACA Trust” is established with respect to the goods.  It also includes adding necessary language on the invoice to insure the recovery of attorney fees by the client is also possible if collection becomes necessary.  The collection process also includes installing policies and procedures to protect against the unintended waiver of the PACA Trust by a client who innocently attempts to recover a past due balance and mistakenly agrees to extend credit to a purchaser beyond the time period allowed by PACA.  A client who is prepared for the eventuality of an unpaid invoice stands a much better chance of recovery of their losses.

PDH’s experience with PACA collections further benefits its clients.  PDH has appeared in Federal District Court, Federal Bankruptcy Court, as well as in many State Court matters to recover unpaid invoices for clients.  PDH has been entrusted by large groups of PACA creditors and even a Bankruptcy Trustee to collect PACA trust funds.  PDH also has the experience needed to know when and how to take a case to its ultimate conclusion, having appeared in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on issues of first impression to clarify the PACA Trust.

PACA provides produce dealers with a number of unique tools for the collection of unpaid invoices, but it also requires that they comply with significant statutory obligations.  Being prepared for the eventuality of an unpaid invoice and choosing the right attorneys to help in such preparation, as well as any necessary litigation, may mean the difference between a full recovery and a significant loss.