Investigations - Debt and Disputed Facts

Many problems with slow and non-paying customers can be avoided simply by being proactive, organised, and following common sense procedures when dealing with customers who wish to purchase on credit. A common strategy employed by businesses who wish to avoid paying what they owe, is to dispute facts which are relevant to or which form the basis of the debt claim.

Common Allegations by Non-Payers

Following are some common allegations which non-payers may serve in order to postpone payment or to attempt to avoid liability for the debt altogether.

  • The goods were never delivered
  • The goods were damaged
  • You breached our contract
  • I never agreed to the contract
  • You never finished the job
  • Your workers didn’t do a proper job
  • You stole materials from site
  • I paid you cash
  • Your accounting records are wrong..

These kinds of claims are often intended to serve one purpose only: to ‘muddy the waters’, and to move all or some of the debt into disputed territory. Suddenly the business is no longer arguing about when the customer will pay their debt, but rather whether they are even entitled to pursue the debtor for the debt. Business owners who find themselves in this position, should act quickly to resolve any disputed facts, and not delay in considering further recovery action for the amount owing. If you believe the debtor has a legitimate reason to dispute the debt, then common sense will suggest that a formal or informal dispute resolution process should be considered.

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Investigations - Debt and Disputed Facts

Many problems with slow and non-paying customers can be avoided simply by being proactive, organised, and following common sense procedures when dealing with customers who wish to purchase on credit. A common strategy employed by businesses who wish to avoid paying what they owe, is to dispute facts which are relevant to or which form the basis of the debt claim.

Common Allegations by Non-Payers

Following are some common allegations which non-payers may serve in order to postpone payment or to attempt to avoid liability for the debt altogether.

  • The goods were never delivered
  • The goods were damaged
  • You breached our contract
  • I never agreed to the contract
  • You never finished the job
  • Your workers didn’t do a proper job
  • You stole materials from site
  • I paid you cash
  • Your accounting records are wrong..

These kinds of claims are often intended to serve one purpose only: to ‘muddy the waters’, and to move all or some of the debt into disputed territory. Suddenly the business is no longer arguing about when the customer will pay their debt, but rather whether they are even entitled to pursue the debtor for the debt. Business owners who find themselves in this position, should act quickly to resolve any disputed facts, and not delay in considering further recovery action for the amount owing. If you believe the debtor has a legitimate reason to dispute the debt, then common sense will suggest that a formal or informal dispute resolution process should be considered.

Investigations - Debt and Disputed Facts

Many problems with slow and non-paying customers can be avoided simply by being proactive, organised, and following common sense procedures when dealing with customers who wish to purchase on credit. A common strategy employed by businesses who wish to avoid paying what they owe, is to dispute facts which are relevant to or which form the basis of the debt claim.

Common Allegations by Non-Payers

Following are some common allegations which non-payers may serve in order to postpone payment or to attempt to avoid liability for the debt altogether.

  • The goods were never delivered
  • The goods were damaged
  • You breached our contract
  • I never agreed to the contract
  • You never finished the job
  • Your workers didn’t do a proper job
  • You stole materials from site
  • I paid you cash
  • Your accounting records are wrong..

These kinds of claims are often intended to serve one purpose only: to ‘muddy the waters’, and to move all or some of the debt into disputed territory. Suddenly the business is no longer arguing about when the customer will pay their debt, but rather whether they are even entitled to pursue the debtor for the debt. Business owners who find themselves in this position, should act quickly to resolve any disputed facts, and not delay in considering further recovery action for the amount owing. If you believe the debtor has a legitimate reason to dispute the debt, then common sense will suggest that a formal or informal dispute resolution process should be considered.

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Get Evidence to Support your Debt Claim

Often, the creditor will already have evidence to support their debt claim, such as purchase orders received, delivery notes, invoices made out to the customer, and any relating written correspondence between them and the customer. However it’s not uncommon to find that grievances – whether actual or perceived – play a huge part in deciding whether or not a customer will accept liability for the full amount owing.

Bad payers tend to exploit trivialities, turning them into excuses not to pay. A tiny defect, delay or a slight miscommunication which inconvenienced the customer, may be used to justify withholding a substantial payment amount. In almost all cases, the most sensible thing to do is to resolve these issues immediately and professionally, even if that means crediting the customer for part of the amount owing, and settling for a lesser amount. Compensating a customer for an inconvenience doesn’t in itself amount to an admission that you have caused them to suffer any loss. Nevertheless, you should consider getting legal advice before entering into a negotiation which could affect your position as a creditor.

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Get Evidence to Support your Debt Claim

Often, the creditor will already have evidence to support their debt claim, such as purchase orders received, delivery notes, invoices made out to the customer, and any relating written correspondence between them and the customer. However it’s not uncommon to find that grievances – whether actual or perceived – play a huge part in deciding whether or not a customer will accept liability for the full amount owing.

Bad payers tend to exploit trivialities, turning them into excuses not to pay. A tiny defect, delay or a slight miscommunication which inconvenienced the customer, may be used to justify withholding a substantial payment amount. In almost all cases, the most sensible thing to do is to resolve these issues immediately and professionally, even if that means crediting the customer for part of the amount owing, and settling for a lesser amount. Compensating a customer for an inconvenience doesn’t in itself amount to an admission that you have caused them to suffer any loss. Nevertheless, you should consider getting legal advice before entering into a negotiation which could affect your position as a creditor.

Need More Than a Credit History Check?

A credit history check or credit rating check can be purchased online from a number of resellers, and may include lots of relevant information on the applicant business. Not least, reports containing the credit history of companies will usually include details of any payments defaults reported in recent years, and may also include information on any court actions the customer has been involved in. For an increased fee, some agencies will offer comprehensive credit reporting, where complex data analysis tools are used to predict the likelihood of a payment default, based on many separate factors. However these reports are only as useful as the information they contain, and there can be circumstances when this readily purchasable information is not enough to ascertain a potential customer’s creditworthiness. In such cases, further investigations may be warranted to gain a proper understanding of a businesses, its activities, its associates, and their assets. Contact us if you would like assistance, advice or information about the credit history of any company.

Need help recovering a commercial debt? Submit a debt claim today!

Need More Than a Credit History Check?

A credit history check or credit rating check can be purchased online from a number of resellers, and may include lots of relevant information on the applicant business. Not least, reports containing the credit history of companies will usually include details of any payments defaults reported in recent years, and may also include information on any court actions the customer has been involved in. For an increased fee, some agencies will offer comprehensive credit reporting, where complex data analysis tools are used to predict the likelihood of a payment default, based on many separate factors. However these reports are only as useful as the information they contain, and there can be circumstances when this readily purchasable information is not enough to ascertain a potential customer’s creditworthiness. In such cases, further investigations may be warranted to gain a proper understanding of a businesses, its activities, its associates, and their assets. Contact us if you would like assistance, advice or information about the credit history of any company.

Need help recovering a commercial debt? Submit a debt claim today!