Sending a lawyer’s letter can be a difficult decision to make for the following reasons:
1. what cost are you going to incur?
2. do you think it will affect the relationship with the client?
The answer, in our view:
- we’ve created a cost effective method for step #1- the letter of demand;
- a legal letter will definitely affect the relationship, but you have to balance this with the fact that the reason you are sending it is because this customer has accepted your work but not paid you. As Donald Trump would say ‘that’s not very nice!’
You must also take into consideration, that if you don’t step up the heat- you may never get paid.
There could also be time-constraints (such as prescription– where the debt actually falls away if no steps have been taken to collect in a certain time. This differs in each jurisdiction, most places provide for a court summons to be issued or an admission by the debtor to interrupt prescription. Be very careful here and become familiar with the laws which apply!).