Debbie Urch, Owner of Nailsea based debt recovery specialists Kings Ransom kicks off her regular column with some tips to help minimise the stress of debt recovery.
The bad payer
You’ve worked round the clock to complete work for a customer. The finished product is on time and to your usual high standard so you send the final invoice to your customer and wait for them to pay what is owed. You wait a few days and you don’t receive a call. That’s fine you think to yourself, maybe they’ve been a little busy and they’ll get around to paying the invoice as soon as they get a spare moment. A week goes by and you still hear nothing, then another week, before you find yourself being passed from pillar to post and then finally hit a wall of silence. You realise that you’re not going to get paid.
If you are involved in business this is a situation you may have encountered. And if it isn’t, it may be one you experience in the future. I hope it isn’t because being owed money is stressful and a drain on your time and resources.
Here are two tips to consider regarding debt recovery.
Do you have the correct invoice details?
Do you have the correct invoice details? This means do you have the correct legal entity. For example, let’s say you are owed such and such amount by Fred Bloggs who sells kitchens. Is he actually called Fred or is his given name Frederick? Is he a limited company, a partnership or a sole trader?
I always call myself Debbie but my given name is Deborah May. If you issue a summons (claim form) to me in the name of Debbie I could reject it as there is no one in my business legally called Debbie.
There is a recourse though – you can apply to the Court and a pay a fee to get the name amended to the correct one. But it is always less costly and less time consuming to get it right in the first place.
When does an outstanding invoice become a debt?
The answer is often dictated by your terms and conditions, or the specific nature of the outstanding invoice. If you have chased it through your credit control system and have been lenient, kind, understanding and patient, and your patience has run its course – then it is time for debt recovery. If on the other hand you have not chased the debt through your credit control system, it is not actually a debt as there may be a specific reason for non-payment; which you may not be aware of because the correct procedure has not been put in place.
How would Kings Ransom recover you debt?
If you asked us to recover your debt we would take every measure to keep the debt out of Court – with this being the last recourse.
We will write to your debtor and advise that we are not responsible for the debt and that all future contact must be with us. Hopefully our letters will generate payment in full, or at the very least an instalment plan which we will monitor very closely to ensure that all promised payments are received in a timely manner.
If you have any questions regarding debt recovery please don’t hesitate to contact us on: email@example.com or telephone 01275 857399. Alternatively you can visit: http://www.kingsransom.biz/index.htm