EXCLUSIVE: Going after deadbeat producers continues to be a major source of income for WGA West. In the last two years, the guild’s legal and claims department has collected more than $85 million in unpaid residuals and other compensation on behalf of film and TV writers, Deadline has learned. That’s nearly twice as much as they paid in membership dues during that same time span. It’s also considerably more than the $71 million in total assets the guild reported last year.

The pace of collections has increased dramatically in recent months. In the six months ending November 24, the guild’s legal department collected a whopping $42 million in unpaid monies that was owed to writers, according to a guild source. That’s up over 37% from the $30 million collected during the previous 12 months.

The guild’s legal department has hundreds of open cases against deadbeat producers going on at any given time, and goes after them through the aggressive use of dispute-resolution provisions contained in its contract. Last November, for instance, it was working on more than 500 open cases, about a third of which involved major studios, big-name indies and the major TV networks. A sampling:

Fox/Regency – 34
Viacom/Paramount – 26
Warner Bros./Turner – 23
Disney/Touchstone – 22
Sony/Columbia/Tristar – 18
NBC – 16
Universal – 15
Lionsgate – 14
HBO – 5
CBS – 5
MGM – 5
ABC – 4
New Line/Katja – 4
Showtime – 2