Whenever you give your labor, you should not do it for free. Most of the time, a professional and polite conversation with the customer can help you clear any possibility of misunderstanding. But sometimes, getting the payment on time can be highly challenging. If a conversation cannot help, you have to follow the legal steps that we discuss here.
For the payment, you must have a written agreement. And, the first thing you should do is to read the agreement carefully. You should check all the important terms mentioned in the contract to see what is written as payment conditions and options for debt recovery.
But, what to do if the agreement is oral or partly oral or partly written? Then, you must have a valid proof of it to use this agreement as a written contract. For advice, you may think of seeking help from debt recovery lawyers. They can help you understand the contract terms.
Sometimes, the reason behind a missed payment may be a simple oversight. So, you should contact your customer via the phone, letter, or email. You can also meet him in person. Once you meet, you should remind them about sending the payment, negotiate the payment schedule and discuss the payment date. To draft the reminder, you may use various debt recovery templates available online.
If you do not get any answer from your customer in response to your reminder, you should now send them a demand letter. In the letter, you should mention how much you should get as payment, the purpose and the time of getting the payment. You should also mention that if the payment is not processed within the preferred time, you will consider taking legal action against the customer. The three words’ letter of demand’ written on the top of the page will be very effective as it will make your customer think that you are serious about the matter.
Before writing the letter, you should first know who the owner of the business is. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to address the letter. Importantly, you should have consumer law and legal obligations to contact other companies about debt recovery. These obligations can be found on the information page about debt collection on the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) website.
If you face problems writing the demand letter, you may ask any debt recovery lawyer in Perth.
If the methods mentioned above do not work well, you will need to get help resolving the issue. There are several options available to resolve any arising disputes. For more information, you can check the website of ASBFEO or the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman.
Another common form of resolving disputes is mediation. Any nationally authorized mediator can help you in dispute resolution. You can check on the website of the Mediator Standards Board to find such a professional. However, if you still cannot reach an agreement with your customer, you have to make an application through the fair trading agency affiliated with your state or territorial government. For that, you should check the fair trading laws. Australian Financial Complaints Authority or AFCA is another organization where you can check for financial dispute resolution of small businesses.
If all the methods like friendly reminders, negotiations, and sending demand letters fail, you can think of working with a debt collection service. And, if you choose to take this step, you should readily inform your customer about it. It may make them respond swiftly. There is a specific guideline for debt collection mentioned on the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website. Creditors and collectors can know the working mechanism of debt collection from this guideline.
And finally, if all the steps mentioned above fail, you will be left with only one option. And that is, taking legal action. Depending on the involved monetary amount, you can either choose to get legal advice or apply for a claim with a small claims tribunal.
For legal assistance, you can go to the official website of the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman. Legal assistance services are available in every Australian state and territory that can reference suitable property lawyers Perth or law firms. Some states also offer initial legal advice for free. On the website of ASBFEO, you can check where you can get legal assistance in each Australian state.
As legal procedures are time-consuming and involve complications, it is always recommended to contact the best property lawyer in your state.