Calling an Orlando business debt collection attorney might be the first thing you want to do when a customer is late on making a payment, but it shouldn’t be the first course of action.
Sure, commercial debt attorneys get your money for you a lot faster than you can get it for yourself, and sometimes you want to take out the middleman and aim for the goal.
The goal is to get paid.
When someone is late on a payment to your business, the last thing you want to do is take the time to track them down and seek payment on your own. It’s understandable. You didn’t begin your own business to track down late payments and continuously make copies of invoices to send to customers. It’s not the best use of your valuable time.
You did a job for your customer, and they should pay. When they don’t, it’s more than a little frustrating. It’s aggravating, and it makes you mad. You did a good job, why don’t they respect you enough to send a check for payment or offer an explanation for the delay?
You can’t run a business if your customers stop paying you. It makes sense to get right down to business when this happens. Business doesn’t mean contacting an attorney right away, however.
Contacting an attorney when your customer is a day late making a payment to you is very aggressive. It sends the wrong message. It’s easy to assume the message this sends states you are a serious business owner who doesn’t tolerate nonpayment. Unfortunately, this is not the message it sends. What you’re saying when you hire an attorney this early is you are aggressive, overly concerned, and you are not all that nice. You don’t believe in second chances or allowing your customers to offer an explanation.
Imagine contacting an attorney when you notice someone is a week late on a bill they owe you. The attorney sends that person a letter and demands payment before they seek legal action, and it turns out that person didn’t make their payment because their parents are ill and they’ve been out of town for the past few weeks spending what little time they have left with their parents. They never received your bill because they’ve been out of reach temporarily, and the invoice is still sitting at the post office with their other held mail.
Now you look terrible, and the customer is more likely to cease doing business with you. You didn’t provide them a second chance or even one chance to explain themselves and make it right. By immediately assuming they were ignoring the bill and ripping you off, you lost a valued customer and some of the respect your other customers had for you.
Before You Call
Before you call any Orlando business debt collection attorney, you should work to get your payments from customers. When a payment is late, your job is to send a second invoice. On this invoice, make sure it’s stated this is the second invoice and place a new due date on the bill. Many business owners might place a late fee on this bill, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Learn more here about an insider collection strategy on how to use your accrued finance charges to create needed leverage and negotiation points: https://stevensricci.com/service-charges/
If your customer fails to pay the second invoice on time, it’s time to send the final invoice. Make sure the bill clearly states this is the final invoice, and that you will refer this account to a debt collection attorney if payment is not made by the final due date. Most of the time this is all it takes to receive payment from a customer. They want to avoid legal action, so they’ll pay their bill.
When to Call
Once the deadline for that final invoice passes and no payment is received; now you call a debt collection attorney. They’ll send a letter of their own stating it’s time for them to pay their past due bill. They’ll provide the customer approximately ten days. They can either respond to the bill with a dispute during this time to halt the legal process, or they can call the attorney to discuss making their payment in full or making payment arrangements. If they fail to do this, a lawsuit is filed. You can tack on the fees and court costs you incur during this time-frame to the bill the customer already owes you so you aren’t out-of-pocket any expenses for this inconvenience.
Not all customers who are late paying a bill are late because they aren’t going to pay. Sometimes things happen and bills are lost or simply forgotten. Things come up and people deserve a second chance. It’s after the third chance you call for assistance in collecting debts. This is the best way to preserve your reputation and manage your time most efficiently.