What can be more frustrating than dealing with debtors who just refuse to pay? Well, let us begin by asking a few questions.
1 Does the company have the ability to pay? If it doesn’t…well you’re just wasting your time. Threaten to withhold shipments, proceeding with litigation, reporting them to the credit bureaus…will not result in recovery of your funds.
2 Let’s assume now that the company does have the ability to pay…now what?
It’s important for a client to decide what the true costs are to be spent in the collection effort. It makes no sense to spend $300 to collect a $500 claim. In addition, time is money…so how much time would you as a creditor wish to spend pulling together the necessary documentation necessary to recover your $200 dollars?
3 If you decide it is worthwhile to pursue taking into account the cost and time involved, are there any potential negative aspects to the pursuit? Will you potentially lose a valued client? Is there a potential counter claim that the debtor could file against you should you proceed with legal action?
4 Let’s now assume that you have decided it’s worthwhile pursuing and have placed calls and written letters to no avail. What techniques are available to finally get some of your hard earned dollars in the door?
There are several techniques one may use. Let us explore a few of them.
1 You can settle – this is many times the wisest approach. Something is better than nothing. In addition, there may be reasons a valued client isn’t paying… real or perceived. Or you may value your long term relationship with that client as important enough to take less during their “financial difficulties.”
2 You can always proceed in small claims court – as long as the amount falls within the jurisdictional limits and you have decided that you no longer wish to maintain any form of business relationship with your client. There are real risk involved also with this form of action…you can lose!
3 You can use a collection attorney – and in many cases, it is wise to do so. However, know that you will be paying up front court costs and suit fees along with usually higher percentages than using other alternatives. There is definitely the necessity for using creditor’s rights attorneys…after the proper review and investigation to deem it of potential value to you at the end of the day.
4 Mediation and arbitration – this is only a good choice when both parties desire to continuing doing business aside from this particularly disputed transaction. This unfortunately is not the case many times.
5 Write it off – Many times after doing the costs analysis, this makes the most logical business sense. Even is some limited instances, if there were real issues with the product or service, many times this act can save good will and help retain a valuable customer.
6 COLLECTION AGENCY – In the past, turning over a claim to a collection agency always resulted in the end of the business relationship with that client/customer. Also many agencies may charge flat intake fees, percentages on the amount collected, so on and so forth. On the other hand, you wouldn’t consider turning your claim over to an agency if the collection process was easy and cost effective to do so on your own.
This is where Collectivity can assist you. Visit us at www.collectivityllc.com to discover how we can help you recover your money while maintaining a positive business relationship for you with your customer.