All businesses have accounts receivable and occasional disputes. Don't wait to resolve unpaid bills. It is a statistical fact that the age of an account receivable determines the potential for collectability. The older an account, the more difficult it becomes to collect.
Contract should include Buyer liable for court costs and legal fees
In your sales agreements, you should charge interest, costs and attorneys fees in the event of failure to pay according to schedule. Require the person or company receiving goods on credit sign a purchase agreement. Otherwise, you cant recover attorneys fees or interests if the debtors fails to pay and tries to "stiff you". Unless the contract specifically states the buyer is liable for attorneys fees upon default, the judge cannot direct that the buyer pay your legal fees if there is a default.
Special Civil Part Court handles cases up to $10,000 In New Jersey, the court that hears disputes under $10,000 is called the Special Civil Part. The maximum amount which can be awarded has been raised from $5000 to $10,000. If you are owed even $15,000, you can file suit in Special Civil Part, but the maximum award you can receive is $10,000. In the Special Civil Part, the court costs of filing a complaint is under $50.00. Your attorney must prepare a complaint and a summons and deliver copies to the Special Civil Part Clerk. The complaint and summons is then mail by Certified and Registered Mail to the Defendant by the Court.
Don't let debt collectors violate Fair Debt Collection Act
The Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, 15 USCA Section 1692 was originally enacted in 1977 to provide remedies for unfair practices initiated by debt collectors in the collection of consumer- not commercial- debts. This applies to debt collectors trying to collect a debt for another company against a consumer. This law does not apply to a company trying to collect the debt itself. A formal verification notice must be mailed to the consumer debtor under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. The five items of information are
1) the amount of the debt
2) name of the creditor
3) a statement that unless the debtor disputes the validity of the debt within 30 days after the receipt of the notice, the lawyer will assume the debt is valid;
4) a statement that if the debtor notified the lawyer in writing within 30 days that the debt is disputed, the creditors will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment and mail it to the debtor;
5) a statement that the creditor will provide the debtor with the name and address of the original creditors, if different from the current creditor, if the debtor represents this in writing within 30 days;
The collection letter must contain the language "This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.
Where it is obvious the debtor has not intent on paying, the don't wait to file suit.