Exchanges between buyers and sellers take place, every day. Today's corporate environment is very competitive, which makes managing buyer and seller relationships difficult. Both the buyer and the seller may benefit much from a better relationship. Mutual trust may result from a seller's performance and a buyer's understanding of one another. Having open lines of communication between the buyer and vendor from the beginning is essential for managing the relationship. The relationship between the buyer and seller is also built on trust, but what happens if that trust is violated? Even after doing business with someone for years, anyone can breach trust.
So, what to do if your client is not paying you? Written below is a guide on what you can do to get non-paying customers to give you what they owe.
Send a Final Demand for Payment
Sending the customer, a final demand for payment before initiating any formal legal action is a smart approach. A final demand that includes the threat of legal action is likely to persuade the client to pay the past-due invoice. If not, the last request for payment is significant proof in court that you made one last effort to resolve the matter before bringing a lawsuit against your customer. A formal letter that includes the following should be used as a final demand for payment.
- A notification that the client is behind on their invoice payment;
- The amount due for the invoice, plus any additional late fees that have accrued;
- Demand for the full amount due on the invoice to be paid by a specific date;
- A warning that you may take legal action if the invoice isn't paid by the deadline;
Assess How Much You’re Owed
After issuing a last demand for payment and still not receiving the money you are entitled to your invoice, it is time to decide whether it is worthwhile to sue your client for non-payment. Litigation can be expensive and time-consuming, and the expenses can be substantial. In order to decide whether the effort is worthwhile, you must make a business choice. Assess what you are owed first, including the total balance due on all of your invoices as well as any connected expenses for which you have not yet received reimbursement. Then, determine whether the business you intend to sue has the resources to reimburse you by evaluating its financial situation. Consider elements such as:
- What fixed assets do they have in terms of real estate and equipment;
- The amount of cash on hand;
- Corporate stocks and bonds;
- Any debts or other liabilities;
You might want to think about selling the debt to a collections agency rather than pursuing legal action if the customer is on the verge of declaring bankruptcy or doesn't appear to have enough money and assets to pay you back for what you're owed.
Get Legal Advice
Consult a lawyer for legal counsel if you're unsure whether it would be worthwhile to sue the client for non-payment or if you want information about your legal choices. Although a legal consultation may be pricey, it will likely benefit your case in the long run. A lawyer can provide you with advice on the strength of your legal case and assist you in determining if filing a lawsuit is worthwhile in your particular situation. They'll have useful knowledge of the legal principles that apply to your issue. Depending on the facts of your case, they can also advise you on which court to bring a lawsuit to.
Following are the legal actions that you may take;
Civil law remedies include;
- According to Order 37 of the Civil Procedure Code, the party who wishes to recover his money is granted this right. This ruling enables a creditor to bring a simple case. This choice is seen as a speedier trial after the summons and lawsuit filing. The defendant has just ten days to respond to the case. If the defendant is not present, the court will consider the plaintiff's accusations to be accurate. The defense can successfully counter the plaintiff's case by presenting evidence and withstanding cross-examination. The plaintiff will not receive anything if the court determines that the defendant did not accept the credit; but, if the plaintiff can demonstrate that the defendant did accept the credit and did not repay it, the plaintiff will receive the ordered damages.
- Situations in which checks, bills of exchange, and other forms of payment are not honored are governed under the Negotiable Instruments Act of 1881. The act contains numerous sections for a range of instruments. Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act addresses checks that are dishonored because there is not enough money in the account, among other reasons. If any customer fails to make a cheque payment on time, the seller may file a lawsuit under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The customer receives a legal notice regarding the returned cheque under 138, and the seller may sue him for non-payment of the money under 138 of the NI Act if he doesn't react within 30 days.
Criminal law Remedies include;
- Section 406 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with criminal trust breaches, is cited as the source. The seller has the right to file a lawsuit for breach of trust. The buyer has breached the seller's faith by refusing to pay for the products or services obtained, the seller must prove.
- Section 417 of the Indian Penal Code prohibits cheating. Cheating between two people or between a merchant and a consumer can take many different forms. Cheaters can be punished with a fine, a jail sentence of up to a year, or a combination of the two.
- Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code: The victim of fraud has a remedy in this section. This section addresses cheating in a manner similar to section 417. If the buyer defaults on a payment, this clause can enable the seller to file a lawsuit.
Initiating CIRP as an Operational Creditor
An operational creditor is any person or business lawfully owing an operational debt and anyone to whom it has been duly assigned or transferred, according to Section 5(20) of the Code. According to Section 5(21) of the Code, financial obligations related to the sale of goods or services are categorized as operational debt. Included are debts payable for the restoration of outstanding wages owed under any law, obligations owed to the Central or State Governments, other authorities, or employees for unpaid salary. Operational Creditors may start the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process against a Corporate Debtor if the latter refuses to pay debts. The entire process and prerequisites for submitting a case before NCLT under the Code for quick resolutions have been specified in detail in the sections and rules.