Unfortunately, not everyone pays their bills on time. As a business owner, you survive because you provide products and services with the expectation of payment in return. When a customer or client fails to pay timely, let our attorneys help you collect on your past due accounts.
Demand letters are an important first step in collecting on past due accounts. Our attorneys can draft these letters for you so that they comply with debt collection law. Should the letter go unheeded, then further action can be taken, as is discussed below.
Sometimes a customer or client will pay with a cold check. Whether the check is returned because of insufficient funds or because the account is closed, it is considered a crime in Kentucky to pass a check knowing that the bank will not honor it. As such, you can often forward these to the County Attorney’s office for collection or prosecution. If you believe this may apply to you, contact our office, and we can help guide you.
The next step after a collections letter is to file a court action and seek judgment against the person, persons, or business entity that is in default. Sometimes this can be accomplished through a self-directed small claims court action. However, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney to help you file such an action or for those cases in which you do not qualify for small claims court.
This kind of court action proceeds with attempting to obtain judgment against the person, persons, or business entity. This judgment proves that they are indebted to you for the amount in the judgment, which can include attorney’s fees and costs in some cases. Further, once judgment has been entered you are often entitled, depending on what the judgment actually says, to interest at the legal rate of 12% per annum from the date of judgment until paid in full.
Collecting on the judgment can entail everything from wage garnishments, as discussed below, to filing liens against real property thus burdening the property and allowing you to collect payment should the property ever be sold.
Our attorneys can talk to you about the likely outcomes of such a court action, as well as the risks and benefits.
Once judgment has been obtained against a person, it is possible to garnish their wages should they be employed. There are rules, however, as to how much garnishment can be collected from a person per pay period. In some cases when the person makes too little money, there may not be any garnishment collected.
If you are a contractor or other supplier of construction materials, it is possible to file a lien against the real property of the person for whom you are working or otherwise providing materials for. There are some very specific notice requirements and time frames that may need to be met in order to have a valid lien against the property.
Contact one of our attorneys today to discuss whether or not you may qualify to file a mechanic’s lien.