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darkscot Dec 18th, 2010 11:06 AM

Collecting on unpaid invoices
An unincorporated company (run by husband and wife team) owes me several thousand dollars from over a year ago. I've been patient and nice. The company was recently incorporated with a new partner. Does the debt still stand legally?

vancouverdave Dec 18th, 2010 11:39 AM

The incorporated company is a new entity. The debt still stands but with the husband and wife. Be sure to have a paper trail including regular statements showing outstanding amount owing or collection notices addressed to all parties including husband,wife, and company. If there is ever a lawsuit, you may as well list the incorporated company as well, as they will have the assets and might be prepared to to avoid the headache.

(I am not a lawyer)

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Izzy Dec 18th, 2010 12:15 PM

In my opinion, the time for being patient and nice is over. They've owed you the money for over a year now. They've had the benefit of your product or service and they need to pay you. Now. I would sent them a registered letter giving them a deadline of a couple of weeks to make the payment in full. I would tell them that if they didn't, you'd be forced to take further action to collect your debt. I would talk to a lawyer to see what legal options you have if they don't comply.

I can't stand people who take a product or service and then don't pay for it.

eMacMan Dec 18th, 2010 02:17 PM

One of the real pains of being self-employed. Obviously I would refuse to do or deliver any more work until payment is received.

One trick that worked well for me: I always charged a fair but perhaps slightly high price then offered a healthy discount (10%) if payment was received with in 15 days. Once the grace period was up no discount, no exceptions. Of course this needs to be done and explained at the time agreements are made not later.

When I made the change, one major company I dealt with went from being habitually 8 weeks in arrears to paying me on the spot. I still came out just slightly ahead as I had raised my hourly rate sufficiently to more than adequately cover the discount.

darkscot Dec 18th, 2010 04:40 PM

thanks for the advice and info everyone. I no longer am self-employed. This particular issue involves family which makes it all the worse.

kelman Dec 18th, 2010 05:00 PM

Family is family when money is out of the picture, money enters the picture and it becomes business.
We are self employed and we have on the bottom of our invoices that they are due upon receipt.
If the invoice goes unpaid for 30 days they get a phone call explaining that we would appreciate payment.
60 days and we let them know this is not fair nor acceptable, they have our product and we have already paid for it.
90 days we give them 24 hours or we take legal action. If it does require legal action they are told there may be a lien, lawyers fees and interest that we expect the customer to cover as well as the original debt.
If someone owes you beyond what is acceptable to you, don't sit back, be aggressive, it's your money not theirs.

eMacMan Dec 18th, 2010 05:37 PM


Originally Posted by darkscot (Post 1042471)
thanks for the advice and info everyone. I no longer am self-employed. This particular issue involves family which makes it all the worse.

Then it is indeed extremely awkward. Family always got a big discount and in return paid in cash on delivery.

At this point you have to decide:
A) write them off as deadbeats and do no further business with them until they are paid up or
B) pursue legal action and risk damaging relationships with other family members close to them.

rgray Dec 18th, 2010 05:54 PM

Several thousand for more than a year? Small claims court right now.

As for family "relationships", those who may choose to side with the deadbeats didn't have much of a relationship with you anyway. Family is not a legitimate excuse to take advantage, to not pay.

ChilBear Dec 18th, 2010 06:10 PM

+1 with rgray. I recently mentioned debt collection company to a single owner and they coughed up within 2 weeks after waiting for more than one year. My take is lose the family or lose the money. Both are tough options but as mentioned money is business. Have you discussed any payment over time as a solution?

FeXL Dec 18th, 2010 06:26 PM

Want I should call Guido?

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