Orlando business owners go into business to care for their families, make a profit, and to do something they love. They don’t go into business to lose money to customers who refuse to pay their invoices.
When you run a business that works with an invoice system, you risk getting a customer who utilizes your services but doesn’t pay the bill when it’s delivered to them. It’s a dangerous practice but happens to many business owners.
The good news is most business owners find their customers pay on time, but there’s always one or two that won’t respond to bills, calls, or any attempts on your behalf to collect the debts they owe. This is when it’s time to consider your next move. Is it time for your business to contact Orlando collection attorneys to see what the next step looks like?
When Bills are Unpaid
Before you panic and hire a debt collection attorney, it’s time to ask yourself how far behind a customer is paying their debt. You don’t want to hire Orlando collection attorneys to handle your case until you’ve done everything in your power to seek payment you never receive. Have you already mailed an invoice and it’s been a few weeks but no payment has been received? It happens more than you might imagine, and most of the time it’s a simple mistake or oversight.
Your customer might have forgotten the bill arrived when they shoved it into a file or a drawer. They might be traveling and didn’t receive the bill quite yet. They could be in the middle of a move and their mail forwarding service hasn’t yet kicked in. Perhaps they wrote a check and put the bill in the car to mail and it fell between the seats and they have no idea it wasn’t included in all the mail they sent weeks ago. Don’t panic if you don’t receive payment the first time you send a bill.
This is not the time to hire Orlando collection attorneys. You have to send a secondary bill. This one should note it’s the second bill, and it should contain the date of the first invoice mailed. If you don’t receive payment after that bill is mailed, it’s time to make a call to the customer to request they send you a check.
When Subsequent Bills are Unanswered
By now you’ve sent more than one invoice, and you’ve called. If your customer still hasn’t paid or responded to you, it could mean they’re not going to pay. It’s time to get serious and mail a letter detailing collection practices.
This letter should contain the invoice, a date you must receive payment by, and the promise you will hire an attorney to collect the debt if payment is not received by the listed date. In many cases, this is all it takes to receive payment. People don’t want legal action taken against them. It’s a scary thought an attorney might sue them, so they’ll write that check and get it to you right away.
When it’s Time to Hire an Attorney
If you still don’t receive payment, it’s time to hire a collection attorney to do the work for you. This doesn’t mean your case is going to court. In fact, it means you’re passing on the letter-writing duties to someone else. The attorney you hire is going to send the same invoice you already sent a few times to the customer. This letter will detail that the attorney has been hired to collect the money that’s owed to the business you own, and it will provide a timeline in which the customer must render payment. This is typically ten days, but you can ask them to amend that date if you’d like.
The customer has that amount of time to render payment before you seek further legal action. The attorney’s information is on the letter, and it’s an official one. If someone still hasn’t paid, this is likely going to do the trick. When the customer sees you have hired an attorney and they now owe you their portion of a bill they never paid in addition to collection fees and potential court costs if they continue to withhold payment, they will issue payment.
If they don’t, it’s time to ask yourself if you’d like to take the case to court or if you want to let it go. There are several factors to consider when making this decision, and your attorney will work with you to ensure you make the decision that’s right for you and your business.