When Should I Contact A Debt Collection Attorney?

Ensure that your business follows a regulated schedule with regards to dealing with customers and expecting payments for goods or services rendered, before contacting a debt collection attorney.

Before contacting a debt collection attorney and if you are running a small to medium-sized business, ensure you adhere to the following steps when it comes to collecting monies due.

The debtor should be made aware immediately of the time frame in which you expect payment.  Ensure that invoices clearly state  “payment upon receipt of invoice” or something to the same effect, and state clearly the expected period before remittal. Ensure the following is in place:

  • A billing schedule with which to issue bills.
  • Personal details of those within the business who are responsible for payments. Their information should be kept in a ledger, where you can log both their names and work-numbers.
  • Take proactive action if a debtor has not made the expected payment within the allocated time. Make a civil call to the debtor with a tone that permeates with a sense of good business relations and then tell them that they have not paid within the stipulated period. Thereafter ask them when you can expect payment.
  • With no payment forthcoming within the allocated number of days, call the debtor again. Suggest arranging a payment agreement if the debtor is having financial problems. Just remember to always approach your debtors in a civil manner and to keep records of all phone calls and email communication.

When you have had at least two failed attempts at receiving payment and within the time frame which you have explicitly detailed to the debtor, you may send out a notification that you will discontinue service.  A final settlement can now be negotiated with the debtor.

In the unfortunate event that this last attempt does not work, bearing in mind that you are in possession of records of all communication with the debtor, a debt collection attorney may be approached.

JA Attorneys are specialist debt collection lawyers in Johannesburg. Contact us today.