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Standard "chasing payment" letters?

Standard "chasing payment" letters?

I have been fortunate over the years but there are always one or two who take a while to pay me.

I'm not really a threatening kind of guy and would prefer to send a series of letters which progress to legal action rather than jumping in after 14 days with a solicitors letter!

I'd appreciate any templates that fellow users have been successful with or any other advice that you can throw at me.
Nicholas Robinson

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12th Jun 2006 16:08

Moneyclaim Fees
I haven't got the fees to hand at present, but I'm sure that you can see them on the Court Service web site. They are on a sliding scale, average for a few hundred quid (<£500 I think) is about £30 - £40 I think. You add this to the claim and the defendant has to pay it. As long as you are sure that they CAN pay, it's fairly safe.

If they dont pay within the time allowed, you immediately apply for judgement and then request a warrant of execution. NO, they don't get topped; the Bailiffs go round! The fee for this is, again, about the same and again is added to the debt. The bailiffs usually persuade the cash out of them because if they don't pay they take their computers away!

There are tricks, such as sending the claim to their registered office. This, in the rules, gives them less time to respond and, if the reg. office is elsewhere from their business, gives them less time to mess about.

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By Anonymous
09th Jun 2006 16:46

How much does it cost...
..Thanks Richard. How much does this cost?

I suppose my worry is that once action is taken there must be a good chance of the client walking away from your services.

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By Anonymous
09th Jun 2006 17:28

Firm but fair
Interesting comments from Richard. I had the very same conversation with a solicitor friend of mine yesterday, who basically echoed Richard's thoughts. I've been far too gentle with clients and it has done me no good. They need to be trained.
If you do a good job for a client who then takes several months to pay, do you really want them as a client?

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By Anonymous
09th Jun 2006 19:03

Dont act for non-payers
I so agree - if they dont pay they aint worth having.

I have a really strict credit procedure but just wont act for those that dont pay me. Thankfully very few.

I will say Moneyclaim on-line is super to use but if someone is determined not to pay even Moneyclaim is a waste of time and effort. Whats a CCJ to a scum bag who never pays!!

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09th Jun 2006 19:47

Choose the right approach
In order to seperate the "trusted adviser" from the "debt collector" either......
a) systemised letters on a rolling diary basis delegated to member of staff. (Spouses can have an edge here.)or...
b) telephone call on the day payment was due. Try a casual, but concerned, enquiry "Are you having cashflow problems? How can we help?"
Try a general "How's business?" or more focussed marketing call but tack on "Was there a problem about the last work we did for you?"
And if you are fed up with doing "nice" you can have a lot of fun doing "nasty with a smile" e.g. "He can't take your call today/this week/this month because he's chasing late payers" etc.
But whatever you try, Firmness works.

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10th Jun 2006 07:33

Nah...
Not everyone pays late because they're broke or they're taking advantage. Plenty (like me!) pay late cause they're too dang busy to get around to it. From now on you should get an upfront retainer, or put them on a monthly standing order. That will resolve the problem going forward without having to resort to sticks and brickbats.

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09th Jun 2006 16:16

'A series of letters' means 'Take your time, I won't be suing yo
Hi Nicholas

You will get no respect in business by being too nice! People who don't pay what they owe are using you as a bank and taking you for a mug.

Immediately the invoice is overdue, e.g. within the week, send a polite but firm letter, quoting the invoice number, date, and amount and with a copy attached, pointing out that it is overdue, trusting that this is due to an oversight, and inviting them to let you know if there is a problem with the invoice.

TWO WEEKS later, no more, send a 'Final Demand' quoting the date of the first letter and pointing out that as you have not been informed of any problem you must assume that all is in order. Put 'Failure to pay the amount due within 14 days of the date of this letter will result in legal action being taken against you without further recourse to yourselves'.

If at the end of the 14 days they STILL haven't paid, take them to the County Court. I use Moneyclaim On Line at the Court Service web site. It's quick, simple, cheap, and very effective. A summons on the mat usually concetrates the mind!

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13th Jun 2006 13:12

chasing payment
One of my clients, in order not to hack off his slow payers, tells them that he outsources bad debt (to me!)and that he'd rather not have them hounded (by me). If that doesn't work I send them a 7 days to pay letter - then I fill out a county court form with the details and send it to them.
If payment doesn't arrive I telephone them to inform them court action being processed and last chance at the OK Corale.
As some of us on here know - even getting the CCJ doesn't always work & it's a job for the bailiffs or similar.
I know that asking for money owed to you can be embarrassing - so if anyone wants to make use of me as the "baddie" email [email protected]

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13th Jun 2006 22:26

Illegal I'm afraid
Veronica

I, too, used to fill in a County Court form and fax it to debtors to make them realise that I could, and would, send it off. However I was advised by a Court clerk that this is illegal! It is deemed to be misrepresenting onesself as acting for the court.

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