Getting paid for the work you’ve done can be challenging. Most of the time, having a polite and professional conversation with the customer can help clear up any misunderstanding.
However, if this doesn’t work, there are other measures you can take to recover money owed to you.
If you have a written contract, the first thing to do is to read it carefully to check the payment conditions and debt recovery options you have under the terms of your contract.
If you have an oral agreement or part oral/part written agreement, these are just as valid as a written contract if there is proof of what was agreed.
A missed payment could just be a general oversight. Get in touch with your customer to give them a reminder, discuss a payment date or negotiate a payment schedule. You can do this by phone, email, letter or in person.
If your customer still doesn’t responded to the reminders, you should send a letter of demand, or talk to your lawyer about drafting one up for you.
When Should I Send a Letter of Demand?
A letter of demand is an important step in the debt recovery process and usually sent after you have approached the debtor to repay the debt and they still are not paying.
A letter of demand should be the final letter you give to the person who owes you money before you take legal action.
Checklist for Sending a Letter of Demand
When sending a letter of demand, ensure that you do the following:
– try to elicit payment by calling and sending reminders before sending a letter of demand;
– if that fails, draft a letter clearly stating the debt due, including any interest owed (if applicable) and be sure to attach a copy of the overdue invoice;
– include payment details;
– clearly state in the letter that you intend to take legal action if they do not pay the debt;
– clearly state in the letter how the debtor can pay the debt;
– give a clear date in the letter by which you expect them to pay the debt; and
– attach all relevant supporting documents, including any relevant invoices.
If you have any questions about drafting a letter of demand to recover a debt, get in touch with Longford Legal’s debt recovery team on 03 8657 3700.