After many attempts to resolve matters in a friendly manner, you may reach the end of the line in trying to get a customer to pay what they owe you. You tried demands for payment, tried calling, maybe even using a debt collector. Should you sue? Is suing late customers worth it?
Going to court definitely an option. Before you do, consider the following:
- Do you have proper documentation? If you provided a service or goods without a contract, made concessions without documentation, never properly demanded payment and cannot prove your claims, you’re in trouble. Watch this video. Realize you should have done things differently to begin with. You probably do not have a case.
- Did you exhaust all other options? Some people juggle many bills or are just too irresponsible to pay. One thing in common all people who share this behavior have is the tendency to only handle urgent matters. Have you made a credible threat? Sometimes, a mere demand letter from your lawyer, rather than you, explaining the situation before going to court, is going to get you paid.
- Which court will you go to? Are you within the boundaries of a small claims court, or should you aim for a Civil Trial? Do you have a lawyer, and are you up for the process if you need to get legal representation? What happens if your customer counter sues?
If you have good answers to the questions above, suing your (now ex-)customer is a viable option. Sometimes, it is the only option left. Before you do, make sure that you are prepared, and know what to expect.