Today, April 9, 2013, The National List of Attorneys published the white paper on debt collection law in the U.S. Virgin Islands, written by Sarah R. Smith with the Law Offices of Karin A Bentz, PC, located in St. Thomas. The firm, founded in 1993, represents insurance companies, businesses, large corporations and individuals doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They are a general trial and appellate practice. About 20 percent of the practice is dedicated to debt collection. The firm has been a member of The National List of Attorneys for two years.

Sarah R. Smith is earned her BA degree from Colorado College, and her JD from the University of San Francisco School of Law. She has been practicing in the debt collection industry for two years. Debt collection work has taught Sarah, “Executing a judgment is often more difficult that obtaining one.” She enjoys “empowering clients to enjoy their due.”

Sarah tells us in the paper, “The Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands is a U.S. Protectorate, governed by the Organic Act of 1957. The USVI has a Federal District Court, as well as the Superior (formerly Territorial) and Supreme Court. Decisions by the 3-judge panel comprising the Virgin Islands Supreme Court are directly appealable to the United States Supreme Court. The local law is relatively young, and significantly informed by federal law, as well as the Restatements by the American Law Institute. There are few local statutes addressing the collection of debt. Collection of consumer debts is addressed by the Territory’s prohibition on unfair trade practices, including deceptive and unconscionable trade practices.”

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith

The paper is still a “must read,” if you are planning on doing business in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Karin A Bentz, PC, focuses in commercial litigation, insurance defense, employment and labor law, trademark infringement, corporate and real estate law, Social Security and Veterans’ disability matters, and environmental and personal injury law. The firm has been active in the debt collection industry for 20 years.

Sarah is a member of the American Bar Association, the Federal Bar Association, the Virgin Islands Bar Association and Phi Delta Phi. Outside of work, she enjoys composing, recording and performing music; Zumba fitness; and stand-up paddling.

The National List thanks Sarah for submitting this paper and for telling us something about herself and her firm. You can access the paper at

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