What can you do yourself?
If the an invoice you sent is past due date, there are a couple of steps you can take yourself first, before you need to consult a debt collection attorney. The first steps are quite simple.
Send your debtor a written payment reminder and keep a copy of this letter as well as, if you have, proof that you really sent this letter. You need to include the following information in this payment reminder:
- information about the claim, including the totoal amount of the claim, the invoice number of the claim and the reason for sending the claim;
- the request to pay the invoice within a reasonable period of time (e.g. within seven days).
If your debtor still does not pay the invoice within a reasonable period of time, we advise you to contact your debtor by telephone to see whether a payment scheme is an option and to make sure that the debtor received the invoice and payment reminder.
If you and the debtor agreed upon a payment scheme, we advice you to confirm this in writing to prevent discussions in the future.
Step 4: What can we do for you?
After you, or one of our attorneys on your behalf, have sent your debtor a payment reminder and/or contacted your debtor but without any succes, our attorneys will draft a cease and desist letter on your behalf.
The cease and desist letter is in most cases the begin of the debt collection procedure. The cease and desist letter states information about the claim and that you are entitled to legal and contractaul interest as well as extrajudicial collection costs. The cease and desist letter is also referred to as the 14-days letter, because it grants an another period of 14 days to pay the invoice. The letter also announces that if payment is not made within these 14 days, your attorney will resort to legal action on your behalf.
In some cases, sending a cease and desist letter is enough to convince the debtor to finally pay the invoice, but unfortunately not in all cases. Fortunately, you are not standing empty-handed.
If sending a cease and desist letter does not have the desired effect, there are still multiple options left.
One of the options is to start a proceedig before the court by suing the debtor. The court will look over the case and take a decision. Another option is to institute summary proceedings, but one of the conditions for success is that there needs to be a good reason why you need to collect the claim on short notice.
In addition to initiating legal proceedings, our attorneys will also discuss the means of pressure that could be helpful, including issuing a Preservation Order or file for bankruptcy.