In this day and age, businesses and customers are more likely to fail to pay you for money owed.
Clients need to have internal policies to monitor their accounts receivables regularly. When accounts are late, special letters need to go out after 45 days. More pressing letters need to go out at 60 days and 90 days.
You need to have trigger points to call an attorney and start a collection lawsuit. Do not sit on old accounts. As a general rule, the older the case, the harder to collect.
The First Rule is to be careful to whom you provide services. If you don't think they'll pay you, then you better re-consider whether to provide services or you better collect monies up front.
If you are a contractor working on real property, remember as a General Rule you have the power to place liens against the property, but only if you file the claim within 120 days of the last day you performed services on the property. PRACTICE POINT: Make notes on the first date you perform work on the property and the last date. This lien protection includes electricians, plumbers, HVAC repairmen, carpenters, fence contractors, etc. A lawsuit needs to be filed within 180 days of the last day service was rendered in order to perfect the lien. However, many times the filing or threat of filing a lien against property will get you paid.
Also, be careful signing lien waivers before you've been paid. Get assurance in writing from a closing attorney that you will be paid from the client's loan proceeds before signing a lien waiver.
There are many ways to protect your accounts, before you start providing labor. This will be discussed in future blogs.
Call Sanders Law Firm (336) 724-4707 if you want to set up an appointment to discuss how to insure better protection of your billing and collection process. Our attorneys will handle your collection case in NC, including Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem.