Many independent contractors in the current workforce struggle with collecting payments from clients. In fact, an unfortunately large amount – perhaps including yourself – run up against customers who will not pay you after you have held up your end of the contract.
Fortunately, you do have options for potential recourse even in such a difficult situation. What works for you may depend on your specific situation, but you can try out different approaches to see what gets you your desired result.
Chron discusses the disappointment, frustration and even anger associated with a client not paying you as they should. In order to seek recourse, you can start with one of several options.
First, you can exercise persistence. Send updates often about any past-due balances. If your agreement allows for it, consider assessing late fees and make a mention of it. Keep your current client in mind, too. For example, if it is an old client who normally pays on time, you may want to show more lenience as it is likely an unusual circumstance that has caused them to face a delay. If it is a new client, you want to maintain caution without chasing them off.
Letters of intent
If that does not work, you can draft a letter of intent. In it, you can highlight your future plans, which may include things like reporting to a credit or collections agency. If you intend to hire an attorney, you can mention it here, too.
Official legal solutions
When all else fails, you can take the claim to court. You can either go to small claims court or civil court depending on what the client owes. You can also opt for mediation or another form of alternative dispute resolution if you wish to preserve your relationship with this client.