BlogContact Us Today!
How Can Your Business Collect A Debt From A Customer?
Tuesday, 16 April 2019 at 09:35
Wouldn't it be brilliant if all your customers paid your invoices on time? There'd be no need to chase bad debts or worry about your bank balance. However, this is unlikely to ever be the case!!
You can invoice customers for payment, and send them email reminders, but sometimes this just doesn't work with those customers who are adamant they are not paying.
How can you get the money your business is owed.
Choosing how and when to take action can be difficult and there are a few informal options you could use before starting legal action.
Most business debts won't require court action, but as a business owner, it's important to understand how to collect a debt legally.
To take a debt claim to court, you need evidence that the debt amount you wish to claim is due. In most cases, your invoice and a letter of claim will be enough.
Your evidence should include:
1.The total amount owed and your payment terms. 2. Proof that goods were delivered or services provided. 3.Any communication with the customer making them aware of the debt. 4. Formal advanced notification to the debtor informing that you intend to take legal action. This called a 'Letter Before Action or Letter of Claim'.
Without the above, your legal position may be considered poor whichever way you intend to go after the debt.
Your customer may dispute that the money is owed because they believe the goods the service was poor or the goods were faulty, you'll need to take steps to investigate and resolve the dispute before proceeding with legal action.
You really need to action Informal proceedings before legal ones, such as sending overdue statements and speaking directly to the customer before you begin seeking assistance with recovering the debt.
Once you decide you're definitely going to go ahead with legal action you have several options.
Submit a debt claim yourself
To make a court claim on your own you can use you could visit debt collection solicitor online such as www.thomashiggins.com.
We've used them for many years and have made a number of successful claims through them.
You need to be aware that these are court proceedings and so you should make yourself familiar with what happens should you win your claim and receive a judgment.
When you hire a debt collection agency they will start chasing the debt and in some scenarios begin the legal process to recover it through the courts. You should bear in mind that debt collection agencies don't have any special legal powers beyond what you can do yourself. Also, a debt collection agent will take a percentage of any debt that they recover
Instruct a solicitor to chase your debt
A Solicitor should advise you of the process and your prospects along with their fixed fee that they will charge. If their fees are more than the money you are seeking from your customer, then you'll be better going with another route.
In the majority of debt recovery claims, the initial solicitor's 'Letter Before Action' often does the trick and the customer will opt to pay their bill rather than face court proceedings from a law firm.
If court action is needed a solicitor can explain the risks and advise on items such as recovering court fees and any statutory late payment charge that can be made. For example, interest may be able to claimon top of the debt.
Finally, don't feel bad about 'hounding' a customer about paying their debt or even getting a solicitor involved. You did your job and it is not your fault they have failed to pay you on time.
You have been understanding to your customer whilst knowing your legal rights.