Freebies are seldom as valuable as this one -- a down-and-dirty brochure titled Twenty-seven of the Most Dangerous Traps for Creditors and Collectors, by Alan D. Reffkin, a lawyer specializing in collection law. It's likely that many CEOs are in the dark about how many legal pitfalls their companies must avoid.

Here's a good example: if your business accepts postdated checks, it risks getting sued by the payers if it fails to notify them in writing, within a highly regulated time period, of its intent to deposit their checks. And don't even think about adopting an alias when pursuing credit deadbeats, warns Reffkin: it's downright illegal in some states. Even the most innocuous of actions can prove risky. If, for example, your company relies on an in-house lawyer to pursue creditors, it can wind up in hot water if the lawyer's stationery does not indicate he or she is a company staffer.

* * *