We know that cash flow is a big problem for small businesses. Sometimes, late payment can be for a genuine reason but don’t fall foul of the following delaying tactics:
1)The sob story
We’ve all been given a sob story at one time or another but rarely do businesses come to a grinding halt because of some unfortunate event. Don’t be taken in by sob stories or get involved in personal issues. Sure you may want to empathise but remain firm, give a deadline and take action if payment is not made.
2)Dispute over terms
It’s surprising how many businesses do not have any terms and conditions in place. If this applies to you then sadly you may already be on the back foot when chasing debts. Disputes can give a debtor reasons to delay payment for months (if not years) so make sure you protect your position against not only non-payment but also a potential claim against you. Getting terms and conditions in place is not costly and tailored terms can stop a bogus dispute in its tracks.
3)Nothing in black and white
Protect your position by confirming all discussions or anything that is agreed in writing. Confirm exactly the details of the conversation that you have just had and details of what they agreed they would do. If a deadline was given make sure this is repeated.
Often a debtor will make offer after offer but never make a payment and then raise a dispute as soon as proceedings are issued. If you record everything then they will have very little room to wriggle and you’ll be in a much better position to present your evidence to support your claim, rather than relying on your word against theirs.
Set realistic and clear deadlines for payment – and stick to them! If your payment terms are 14 days don’t leave it 30 days to send a chaser. If you set a deadline and you ignore it, you can bet your debtor will too. Also, don’t make threats that you are not prepared to follow through. It is better not to threaten anything than make a threat and do nothing at all.
5)Don’t hang about
If you decide that the debtor has had long enough, or you have reached the end of your chasing processes, take action! Often long delays occur because there is no process in place to refer a debt once the credit control processes have been exhausted. Referring a debt to a third party to chase can simply be an extension of your own in-house procedures and acting quickly will tell your debtor that you are serious about recovering the money they owe. A debtor will often have other creditors chasing them and you need to get to the top of the pile. Persistent chasing can result in payment simply because the debtor wants to get rid of you!
If you think you could benefit from some advice either on your in-house processes or taking action to recover money you are owed, then let the debt recovery team at Verisona Law help you on your way.
A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, Jackie’s legal career has always relied on calmly supporting clients through processes which are unfamiliar and potentially stressful.
For over 30 years, she worked in Debt Recovery, winning awards for her handling of complex litigation and extensive experience in advising on commercial and consumer matters from pre-legal action and the issuing of proceedings, through to enforcement of Judgments, bankruptcy and winding up petitions.
In 2017, due to the increasing demand of Verisona Law’s conveyancing services, Jackie was invited to move departments within the firm and join its Residential Property Team.
‘We are dealing with increasingly involved property matters and needed someone who had a proven track record successfully helping clients through legal processes,’ explains Danielle Allday, Head of Residential Property. ‘I was delighted when Jackie agreed give us the benefit of her expertise.’
‘I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to diversify my legal skills and get to work with and for a wide range of new people,’ says Jackie. ‘Whether it be matters of property, financial affairs or both, the most important thing is to provide clients with clarification, guidance and, where needed, reassurance.’
- 1991 Debt Recovery Manager at Blake Lapthorn
- 2003 Awarded Credit Today Litigation Specialist of the Year
- 2011 Joined Verisona Law as Debt Recover Manager
- 2017 Joined the Conveyancing Team at Verisona Law
- Purchase and Sale of Residential Property, both Freehold and Leasehold.
- Lease Extensions
- New Builds
- Shared Ownership
- Key Workers
- Help to buy schemes
- Acting for management companies
- Right to manage
- Transfer of Equity
- Deeds of Variation or Rectification
- Equity Release Schemes
- Commercial and consumer claims from the issue of proceedings to Judgment
- Enforcement of Judgments by Writ of Fi Fa, Orders to attend Court for questioning, Attachment of Earnings, Third Party Debt Orders, Charging Orders and Orders for sale
- Bankruptcy and winding up proceedings
- Debt purchase
- A quick guide to charging late payment interest
- Could a debtor’s home be sold to pay you back?
- Recovering a debt: what are the options?
- Using County Court Judgments to get a debt paid
- You have a Judgment in your favour. What next?
- New rules on the horizon for personal debt recovery
- How to enforce payment of a successful tribunal claim
- Bankruptcy and Debt Relief Order Thresholds Increased
- Invoice overdue?
- Can a debtor go to prison for not paying a debt?
- Dust off those old Court Judgments and recover your debts
- What will it cost you to recover a debt through the Courts?
- Who’s going to pay your bills?
- Will chasing a payment lose you the customer?
- Seizing goods as payment for a debt: The key points
- A brief guide to Alternative Dispute Resolution
- 5 reasons you are not getting paid
- Dig out those old Judgments!
- Retention of Title Clauses