I've been an EA on and off for many years. I was asked to do something today that gave me pause, by a long-term client. (Part-time, typically less than 5hrs/wk.) I would like the opinion of other VAs on this particular request.
I had been chasing an external account that was long overdue (over a year) in paying my client's company, meaning I was asked to continue my client's efforts to "get the money." Well, it has been several months of reaching out to the company via phone, Skype, email, etc. to no avail. They always have a poor excuse, obviously evading paying my client.
I've shared all communication with my client along the way and she has commended me on my assertiveness. But today, she emailed this:
"Regarding COMPANY, maybe we can start using stronger language, like "getting a lawyer involved" etc, because this is getting really ridiculous now."
Is this an appropriate request? Wouldn't it make more sense to have an attorney apply legal pressure? The amount in question is not exorbitant but not small change either.
It sounds reasonable. The simple mention of legal action may cause them to pay (which is what your employer is hoping). In the event they don't respond then it can be followed up with an official notice from an attorney.
Using stronger language is easily accomplished.
In most word processors, you can use two keyboard shortcuts:
- Command/Control-A (select all)
- Command/Control-B (bold)
Here are some basic tips:
You can also search for B2B demand letters online to get other ideas. You may want to consider whether there are any rules in your jurisdiction that limit what you can say or do. (In the U.S. collection demands made to a consumer are restricted by various protections. B2B collections are more lenient.)
Although you can say that you are going to turn an account over to an attorney, etc. if that is accurate, for a third party debt collector to threaten legal action falsely is an FDCPA violation. I can't say based on what's here whether you would fall within that definition, but it's something you should investigate before upping your language, both to determine whether you're covered and to learn more about what type of language is and is not acceptable. Violations can cost you $1,000.
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