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Collection Agency

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Rickey J, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. Rickey J

    Rickey J Member

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    I have a company who keeps giving me the run around on payment for an order. The invoice is 90 days past due for the amount of $524.00. My question is with that amount would it be worth sending to collections and if so does anyone have a company they can refer me to?
     
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  2. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    no. small claims.
     
  3. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    My experience with collection agencies is that they are a complete waste of time. We have send 3 debts to a few of the "you don't pay unless we win" type places, never saw a penny, I'm not even sure they did anything to be honest. they get 20% if they are successful, which when you think about it, isn't enough for them to give a c#&p about.

    If you really want to persue, I would write up a letter of demand, outlining what they owe you, how long it's overdue and whatever proof you have that they ordered the product from you (PO's, emails etc.) and what you will do if they do not bring their account into good standing in 10 days.

    For even more impact, get your lawyer to write it on his letterhead.

    Have you tried contacting him? he may be having a hard time financially and is too proud to admit it, maybe you can offer an installment plan, it may not give you the sense of retaliation you are looking for, but you may end up getting paid.
     
  4. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

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    I use my attorney for all my collections, yes he takes a 3rd but I alway's get my money that's due to me. I guess it helps to that he's a jewish attorney.

    Collection agencys are worthless
     
  5. showcase 66

    showcase 66 Very Active Member

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    Lawyer up. May only get a 60% of it but it is more effective than collections. That or take it to small claims.

    Watch This!
    http://vimeo.com/22053820
     
  6. ova

    ova Member

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    Print out the bill and go make a visit to them. It's harder to tell someone "no" in person. Don't leave until you get your money.




    Dave
     
  7. printpros

    printpros New Member

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    A local sign company her has gone to a non paying business and taken down their sign for non payment and then charged them to put it back up cash up front. So depending on what you did for them is this an option for you?
     
  8. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    ruh roh.... que "sign repo" conversation.
     
  9. qmr55

    qmr55 Very Active Member

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    again lol
     
  10. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Alexander Miller and Associates out of Texas collected $6500 for us from a DTG Printer manufacturer who decided they didn't want to pay their bills. Cost us 20% and it was settled in 2 weeks, got 100% of what we went after with no reduced settlement or anything.

    The key to collection agencies is find one that is attorney based and has an escalation plan / time table. AMA will automatically take your claim to court if the debtor is non compliant or non responsive.

    As for if $500 is worth a collection agency? If its a matter of principle and setting an example then yes, if its a matter of finances then no... you'll waste more time then its worth.
     
  11. Blaney

    Blaney Member

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    Repossessing a sign is a bad idea. Check your local laws before you remove a sign from a customer.

    I added a paragraph to my contract that states if a bill is not paid and collection activity is needed, customer is responsible for attorney fees and court cost.

    I worked a deal with an attonery friend of mine. If I have trouble getting paid, the attorney sends the customer a certified demand letter. There is something about getting a letter from an attorney that makes the customer want to pay. The letter has the amount they owe me plus an additional $50 for the attorney. 95% of the time, I get my money within 10 days of them getting the letter.
     
  12. ProWraps

    ProWraps Very Active Member

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    the attorney letter only works on people that are dumb enough to think that having it sent from an attorney means something more than you sending it yourself. it doesnt. and any savy business person will know this.

    not trying to be negative nancy, but its true.

    power is with the courts. if you feel you want to do what it takes to get the $500, small claims is your only option. and even at that, you will get a $500 judgement with zero money after that point. 99% chance the guy wont even show up to the court date.

    keep in mind, even though it sucks, the full amount can be written off as bad business debt.
     
  13. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    Also the Fees assessed by a collection agency, attorney, and court fees can be written off as bad debt / fees associated with debts on your taxes also.
     
  14. John L

    John L Very Active Member

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    I hate PA for many reasons but PA is a great state in this regard. Once you have that judgement in hand. You can appoint their local police to visit the address of the defendant. They will make a list of asset items to be auctioned off to pay the judgement debt.

    Yes their fees and stuff will eat up $500 pretty quick.

    I've never had one go to auction but have had three where the cash was handed to the sheriffs office at time of inventory.

    Your state may have something like this too.
     
  15. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    REPO! cheap and easy guaranteed results. And after the repo you dont even have to call and inform you took signs down they will call you!

    Small claims, waste of time and energy. attorney for this amount? waste of money.

    It's $524 not $5000
     
  16. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    Not always the results that you want though. I recall the last time this discussion was on here there were more then a couple that mentioned negative experiences with the law when they, or someone they knew, tried to repo the sign for failure of payment.

    Also, I know some of you have "colorful" contract language about emergency repairs. I know here in TN (and in Alabama), if you are going to have repo in your contract, it has to be explicitly stated as such. If it isn't, that repo is illegal.
     
  17. FireSprint

    FireSprint Very Active Member

    This might be considered harassment. Be careful.

    We try to stay calm, pleasant and persistent. There are more aggressive actions that you can take but be careful not to chase good money after bad. I believe strongly in the 'energy' of a business. If you spend too much time on collections, your good business might take a dive.

    Leave a message once a week. Send an email once a week. Send an invoice once a week. It won't take much time, and after a while, you'll probably get your money if an attorney or collection agency would have.

    Leave the door open for future business. Being business owners ourselves, we know how difficult it is to get to a point where "I have a guy for that!"
    One of the most compelling reasons to pay a bill is to do business with that company again. I have several GREAT customers that let their payments laps at one time or another, but after a while, they realized we were pretty good to work with and they squared up.
     
  18. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    montgomery, alabama
     
  19. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

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    I don't disagree with you there. However, someone doing something illegally to collect said money is just as bad.


    More then likely it's due to people not knowing what recourse they have. I see that all the time.
     
  20. Gino

    Gino Major Contributor

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    Repossessing a sign is probably truly the best and most effective way to get someone's attention. In fact... lotsa people.

    As far as I know, once you or your sub has installed a sign or whatever on a customer's wall, building or whatever.... it is now their sign.... paid for or not. Just because a sign is on the building, does not give you the right to legally take it down. You are a sign shop with terms and just because you can't collect your money or run your business properly get receive money legally, does not give you the right to now become jury, judge and repo guy all in one and start removing other people's property.

    With this kind of thinking, you could start taking automobiles, houses and other unpaid items, if you think you are that much above the law.... why stop with signs ??

    If this customer decided to get the police involved while you're there taking it down, you could be arrested for countless violations... first one being stealing and the next trespassing.
     

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