Trying to collect on overdue accounts is one of the least pleasant aspects of running a business. In a perfect world, all clients would pay what they owe when it’s owed. Unfortunately, that’s not always how things go.
No one likes resorting to legal action if it can be avoided. If you’re struggling to collect on delinquent business accounts, there are some steps you can take to try to secure payment before having to opt for harsher collection measures. If it seems that you’re out of options, you should speak to an experienced debt collection attorney.
While collecting on delinquent accounts may seem like an uphill battle, there are certain things you can do to try to ensure that you receive payment quickly.
- Be Prompt in Asking for Payment – Chances are, you’re diligent about sending out invoices or bills when they’re due. The same diligence should be applied to monitoring delinquent accounts. If you wait a long time to follow up on overdue accounts, you’re only compounding your problem. There are any number of reasons a payment may be late, including that the customer simply forget. A prompt reminder is simple to send, and may be all it takes to get the account paid.
- Be Persistent – If your first reminder doesn’t result in payment, remind them again. If you don’t make it clear that you’re serious about getting paid, your clients will continue to blow you off. A client’s inability to pay does not impact their legal obligation to do so. Consistent reminders that an account is delinquent may move you to the top of the payment list.
- Be Clear About What Is Owed – Bills or invoices need to be very specific about exactly what amount is owed and exactly when payment is due. There shouldn’t be any gray area as to when payment is expected. The same goes for any late charges. If a penalty will be assessed on overdue accounts, the exact amounts need to be clearly stated so there is no confusion about what a customer’s obligations are.
- Make Payment Easy – If you want to see prompt payment from your customers, you need to make it easy for them to pay. The easier it is for someone to do something, the more likely they are to do it. In today’s digital age, this means offering your clients an electronic payment option. If you insist on waiting for a company to write you a check, that could significantly slow down the collection process. Offering multiple payment options, including credit cards and other online payment methods, increases your likelihood of receiving payment within a reasonable amount of time.
- Be Polite and Avoid Threats – Overdue accounts can understandably cause frustration and even anger. However, sending threats or quickly taking other negative action may just make your customers less inclined to respond, delaying payment even more. Moreover, you’d ideally like to retain your clients. Being rude and issuing threats is a sure-fire way to make customers not want to do business with you in the future.
Ideally, with the right approach, you will be able to collect on your business accounts without pursuing extreme collection measures. If reasonableness fails, however, you should consult an experienced debt collection attorney to determine your options.
How an Experienced Debt Collection Attorney Can Help
At the Martin Law Firm, P.C., we understand that collecting on business accounts in a timely manner is crucial to the success of your company. If you’re struggling to collect on delinquent accounts, we’re here to help.Our attorneys are experienced in assisting clients with a wide range of debt collection matters. Sometimes, seeking legal help is the only way that creditors are able to collect what they’re owed. If your business is struggling to collect on delinquent business accounts, contact us today to discuss debt collection strategies and options.