Unfortunately, you will come across unpaid invoices or other customer orders in the course of your work. These unpaid invoices or customer orders are one of the least desirable parts of your job, but you need to be prepared for them to minimize the damage.
Keeping an up-to-date accounts receivable tracking table is essential to avoid unpleasant surprises. Late invoicing can lead to cash flow problems. Customers who fail to pay on time may do so out of forgetfulness or because of cash flow problems. A polite reminder can be sent to customers by e-mail or post to avoid delays in settling accounts and reduce the time it takes for the customer to pay. To reduce the time it takes customers to pay, it’s important to avoid overdue accounts and make sure there’s enough cash in the bank. To do this, you need to be careful not to take too long to pay your bills.
Before sending a formal notice, a debt collector usually makes two attempts to collect the debt. The first attempt is to inform the debtor that the debt has not been paid, and the second is to warn him that legal action will be taken if the debt is not paid.
These cash flow needs must be anticipated, even if they take time. If possible, the relaunch should be organized and planned. Note that implementing this reflex early on in your administrative routine will save you time and energy. It’s also important to keep an up-to-date accounting and business management tool that tracks sales and customer payments, if possible. Here’s an example to send to your customers:
No matter how many reminders you send your customer, you can only send a formal notice after you’ve tried everything else. When reminders aren’t enough, you can send a formal letter to your consumer. A letter of formal notice has legal force and can indicate a default or delay in payment. It must be sent by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt or by electronic registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt. If reminders and formal notice do not work, you can consider one of the following collection procedures: the summons to pay procedure, the injunction to pay procedure, and the summary provision procedure.
Payment summons procedure
The judge summons the debtor to appear before him to obtain an order requiring the debtor to pay. A more cumbersome and costly procedure, the creditor summons the debtor to appear before the judge to obtain an injunction to pay for the debtor. In most cases, a lawyer is required. The judge can issue the creditor with a writ of execution.
Payment order procedure
An injunction to pay is a quick and inexpensive legal action (around 40 euros). You must send a formal notice to the clerk’s office of the court in the place where the debtor is located, copying it. If you complete and validate it, the court judge will then issue an injunction to pay, which must be handed over to a bailiff. If there is no resistance, you can obtain a writ of execution to seize the money.
Summary provision proceedings
When the creditor requests an advance during the summary proceedings, the judge decides whether or not to grant it.
Before seeking legal recourse, it is essential to seek conciliation with the customer. This approach will save you time and preserve your relationship with customers who may be going through a difficult period. However, if you have the impression that your customer is being deceitful, you should not hesitate to seek all possible methods to recover your debts as quickly as possible, and by legal means if necessary.
Daniel Blanchet écrit pour le magazine TIH-Business depuis 2018. Il est spécialisé dans la finance et l’immobilier. Daniel est également un traducteur professionnel, ayant traduit de nombreux livres sur des sujets variés.