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How to Successfully Communicate with Your Debtors

You may be a responsible business owner, paying your debts and all invoices on time and every time. Unfortunately, not all businesses are as responsible or are in the favourable position of being able to repay their debts according to schedule.

Those who are late or who cannot repay a debt typically cannot do so because of one of three reasons:

  • They want to pay but are suffering from financial problems, resulting in a delay of payment
  • They are purposely delaying the payment or are juggling payments in order to slowly pay off debts
  • They do not want to pay you back and will avoid you at all costs

Most owing individuals are suffering from either one or both of the first two repayment reasons on the list. With these individuals, there is hope. Payment may be slow coming, but it will come – eventually. For those who are purposely avoiding repayment, however, you may need to take action and hire a commercial debt recovery attorney.

Before you call up an attorney – or the business which owes you money – it is important to understand which forms of communication are the most effective and which are legal. To ensure that you take the right steps, we have provided a list of communication tips below:

Debtors

Stay on the Account – But Don’t Harass Them

There is a fine line which strikes a balance between staying on top of an account which is outstanding and flat out harassing another business. Your goal as a business is to let your debtors know that they are on your radar and you are following their payments closely.

  • Leave no more than one message, email, or text message per day requesting payment
  • Never threaten the debtor
  • Never speak poorly of or slander the debtor

Keep all communications with and regarding the debtor professional and clean.

Be Open Minded

Many of the vendors, manufacturers and customers who you are dealing with right now are struggling financially which is why they are unable to pay you on time. Ask your debtor what amount they can realistically pay within “x” amount of time, and set up a payment plan. If you are able to come to agreement or a plan, get it in writing and have everyone involved sign the new repayment schedule. Give the person a call the day before the next upcoming payment to make sure that they will continue to respect your repayment agreement.

Avoid Getting Personal

Dealing with debtors, particularly those who show no interest in paying, can be incredibly aggravating. As difficult as it may be to stay calm this is important when it comes to receiving prompt repayment. Keep the calls short and to the point. Do not “get personal” with the debtor and begin making claims against their character or point out any shortcomings they may have in managing their life or finances. Continue to push the sense of urgency in getting paid, but do not become accusatory or cruel.

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