Business owners in North Carolina may encounter a situation in which customers refuse to pay for goods purchased or services rendered. While it may be necessary to go to court to resolve the matter, this isn't always true. The first step in the process should be to send a debt collection letter. This letter should state how much is owed, when payment was due and what could happen if payment isn't received in a timely manner.
Usually, a business will send a follow-up letter prior to taking any further action on the matter. It is important to keep in mind that a debtor does have rights that business owners and other creditors need to respect. In the event that a business chooses to hire an attorney, that person should understand the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and stay in compliance at all times.
An attorney may be able to create a debt collection letter that is ultimately sent to a client or customer. If necessary, a legal representative may visit with a client or assist with filing a mechanic's lien if it's relevant for a given situation. Furthermore, legal assistance may be helpful if a company chooses to pursue formal legal action as opposed to sending an account to collections. If the business wins a judgment, legal counsel may help the company collect the money.
While companies are generally entitled to money earned through the sale of goods and services, debtors have rights as well. Violating debt collection laws may result in a company paying a financial penalty. It may also make it harder to collect an outstanding balance without straining relationships with an existing customer. If informal communication doesn't work, a company may turn to an attorney or other professional for help with collection activities.