Client Hasn’t Paid – What Are My Options?
Dear Clients ARM,
I have a client who hasn’t paid their invoice in four months. I’ve followed my state laws about late fees, but I really don’t know what my options are. I’ve tried calling several times to collect, but the client still hasn’t paid. What are my options?
Need My Money
Thanks for writing. You didn’t tell us which state you were in so we’re going to give you some general collections advice. Keep in mind that we are collections professionals, but we are not attorneys. We do not give legal advice. If you believe that you need legal advice, please contact a licensed collections attorney in your state.
As far as your options, you have three:
- You can continue to try to collect via phone. You could also choose to send a certified letter to the last known address. If they sign for the letter, you’ll receive proof from the postal service. This is important for the next option.
- You can consider filing a small claims lawsuit to get the money that you are owed. You don’t mention whether your past due client is a business or an individual. If it is a business, you may have to sue the entity or you may be able to include the person who opened the account if they gave you a personal guaranty. With individuals, you may have the option to garnish their paycheck if you win your case. While you don’t necessarily need a lawyer for small claims court, you may find that hiring one for court may be beneficial depending on the amount that is past due. Make sure that you bring copies of the signed contract, proof of the last time that the client paid, and evidence that you’ve tried to collect on it. Also, make sure that you file your small claims suit within the time period allowed in your state.
- Get a licensed professional collections expert on your side. Clients ARM provides both first and third party collections. We’re licensed in several states and have a collections recovery rate of more than 90%. To learn more about our collections service, contact us now.
Thanks for writing us, NMM. Let us know if you need our help.