Creditors’ Rights 8: Customer Delinquency
A: If a customer hasn’t paid you, it is important to establish why, rather than immediately seeking to sue them. It could be that the invoice was misdirected, or that the right approvals weren’t obtained at the start, or that the invoice was sitting on someone’s desk. Many delinquencies are caused by “paperwork” issues rather than real disputes. A good first step is to call your contact (other accounts payable office) to try to clear up any problems the customer has with the transaction.
If the customer ignores your letters and phone calls, has not disputed your invoice, or has no justifiable reason for withholding payment, then you could go to a creditors’ rights law firm to pursue the debt on your behalf. That firm can help you resolve the account through various means including, if necessary, in court. If it doesn’t resolve quickly, take action, since studies show that the longer you wait to resolve a business billing dispute or past due invoice, the less chance you have to collect.