What can be done when the problem of a lack of payment appears?
Rapid activity is half of success. Time plays a decisive role here – the faster we remind the client of the overdue payment, the greater the odds that this is repaid without the need to undertake specialist legal activities.
When a contracting party is behind with payments, the first step taken by the creditor should be an attempt at the amicable settlement of the dispute, allowing avoidance of the need to incur additional costs and undertake judicial activities.
In addition, protection should be sought against the possibility of claims being affected by the statue of limitations.
The first step. Prevention and monitoring of amounts due:
At many firms even short delays of several days in payment may cause serious payment gridlock. Telephone contact with the contracting party should take place before the payment deadline passes (2-3 days in advance). We offer the cheapest method of prevention, and an effective one – the ICG collection agency stamp. ICG clients receive a stamp for use free of charge over a 12-month period.
The second step. A call for payment:
Once the payment deadline indicated on the invoice has passed, the first reminder should be sent to the client. On the call should be the number and date of the invoice and the amount due. We also suggest designating a specific deadline by which the payment should be settled, e.g. seven days from the date on which the document is received, and the information that a lack of payment will result in appropriate consequences, e.g. referral of the case for debt recovery, the undertaking of judicial proceedings and additional costs being charged to the debtor – interest and the costs of judicial proceedings. The call for payment should be sent as a registered letter.
The third step. Out-of-court recovery:
In a situation in which the debtor does not respond to your reminders we suggest engaging a professional debt recovery firm as rapidly as possible.
Initial debt recovery proceedings are usually ‘soft’ amicable negotiations, which, while guaranteeing the retention of positive relations with the contracting party, contribute to the maintenance of financial flows at the creditor.
Remuneration for debt recovery conducted by ICG is commission paid in the event that enforcement of the debt is effective – payment of remuneration occurs therefore with a specific result achieved through the work of the debt recovery firm.
In selecting a debt recovery firm it is not always worthwhile being guided solely by commission rates – for it may transpire that an embarrassingly low commission results from a lack of clients and efficacy in activity.
The fourth step. Securing claims:
In the event that activities based on arbitration bring no result it is worth securing the amounts which you are due (e.g. by not allowing the statute of limitations to take effect) through the referral of a claim to the court or the conclusion of an agreement.
If you are not fluent in the binding legal procedures and formal requirements, we suggest shifting the burden linked with the preparation of claim and documentation and the supervision of the whole of the proceedings to a specialised debt recovery firm. Why not to a Law Office? First check the terms for settlement of costs associated with proceedings.
REMEMBER: Adjudged costs and interest together with the main amount due are subject to reimbursement by the debtor, in the event of effective enforcement.
In both Polish and foreign cases all formalities linked with the conduct of judicial or enforcement proceedings are carried out by ICG lawyers, with the client informed only on progress in the case.