What do you do if a client does not pay?

On Behalf of | Sep 2, 2022 | Business & Commercial Law

For many an independent contractor, collecting payments from clients is one of the worst parts of the job. Unfortunately, most contractors also have at least one story in which they came across a client who refused to pay even after receiving their end of the contract.

Fortunately, there are options for recourse in this situation that make it possible to get the desired result.

Send persistent reminders

Chron talks about the difficulties of a client not paying. When seeking recourse, the first thing to keep in mind is to remain persistent.

Many contractors will send updates about past due balances. If the agreement allowed for late fees, consider assessing the potential of adding that to the equation.

It is also important to take the client’s relationship into consideration. For example, if an old client who always paid on time before suddenly struggles to make their payment, it is likely because something is going on in their life. In this case, showing more lenience is often prudent.

With new clients, it is best to proceed with caution and try to gain payment without chasing them away or burning bridges entirely. This is why persistence is important, first.

Send a letter of intent

However, there are some instances where all the reminders in the world will not work. In this case, proceed to a letter of intent. This allows a contractor to highlight what they plan on doing in the future, such as hiring an attorney or reporting the client to a credit agency.

Seek litigation

Finally, it is possible to take the case to court. However, as this burns business ties and takes a lot of time and money, it is often used as a last resort by many.