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Last Resorts for Debt Collections

Bag of money
You have a number of options for collecting overdue bills from customers
Photo © gracey

Agencies, Liens, Courts, and Write-Offs.

When a slow payer evolves into a no-payer on a past due pest control invoice, and all your letters and phone calls prove fruitless (or worse, the phone is disconnected), it's time to get tough. After all, it's your money! But you must also accept the fact that you will likely be losing this customer permanently.

Bad Debt Write-Off

Of course, you may decide the the money that you are owed simply isn't worth the additional effort to collect it. In this case, just write off the money as a bad debt. But you will probably want to take some action to make sure you never do business or extend credit to that customer again.

Debt Collection Options

In most cases, you will decide that further effort to collect the money is worth it--sometimes just on principle. Your options include using a collection agency to obtain a portion of what you are owed, obtaining a mechanic's lien against your customer's real estate, going to small claims court, or hiring a lawyer to pursue other legal remedies.

Which you choose will depend on the laws in your state, and the amount of time and money you are willing to invest and risk in an effort to get some or all of the money you are owed.

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