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.
General Manager - Longford Legal
I spent my teens in Boronia after my family migrated in 1995.
After traveling to a few corners of the globe and working up and down the east coast of Australia, I settled back down in Boronia to build a family owned Legal Practice with my brother and his wife.
I am proud to say that since starting the firm we have achieved the milestones and goals that we set for ourselves, but what I am most proud of is that we did it without compromising our values and our original vision of giving our clients more, and breaking away from dogmatic practices. We have constantly question the status quo, because we don't think that a Legal practice should rigidly adhere to tradition, it must evolve and reflect the clients it wants to support.
I hold Integrity, Accountability, and Authenticity in high regard and those values influence the way we handle every matter at Longford Legal and The Family Lawyer where we constantly push ourselves to add value for our clients.