Problematic clients can be a pain, but when they don’t pay your invoices things become serious and you need to sort them out. Here are the best ways to get the clients to pay you.
If they’ve been your client for a long time and have never really been problematic, I’m sure there’s a perfectly good reason why it hasn’t been paid. Might have a problem with the bank, someone is off ill, or they just forgot. Nobody is perfect and a short phone call to the person who deals with the invoices should fix the situation fine.
However, they may not answer your call and are actually trying to avoid paying. You should leave a message and call again at another time. When you finally get through to them, make sure you have all the correct documentation in front of you so they know exactly how much they owe and when they were meant to pay it. If you have a meeting booked in for a few days time, you could mention it in the meeting and bring the documentation with you, and you could leave them some copies as well.
Following Up On Overdue Invoices
You should follow up these calls with a written letter or email. This will show them that you are taking the matter seriously and its not something your firm takes lightly. You can also repeat the letter you previously sent to show how serious you are about the matter. If you wanted to take it one step further you could add a threat of legal action in your letter. However if you were to do this, and they didn’t pay you would have to follow through with legal action.
This can then be followed up with mediation. If you don’t know what mediation is, it’s the process of paying someone to act as a negotiator between your firm and your client. Courts generally recommend this as it tends to work and if it does get to the stage of a court hearing, mediation will put the courts’ final decision in your favor.
If the client has still refused to pay or chosen to ignore your previous steps, you said them another letter. This letter is a letter before action (LBA). To do this, you get in contact your solicitor and they create a letter warning your client your intentions of taking them to court. This will cost a lot of money for your client so they may decide to pay at this stage.
However, if they decide to not pay you at this stage, you could get a recovery agency like HJS Solutions who will take a percentage of the debt and ask for a fixed fee up front in exchange for getting the money you are owed. If this doesn’t work for you, it is time to take them to court. If they choose to ignore your summons, they will have 28 days before the court will decide on an outcome, without your client explaining the situation.
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