A few months ago, I mentioned how I warn all first-time collections clients about the unexpected hassle of suing on their invoices. In addition to the legal expense, I’m referring to the hostile responses, the denials, and the potential court scrutiny of their services and billing practices.
For an example close to home, there’s a reason why lawyers wait a year to sue clients on unpaid invoices. (Hint: the statute of limitations for malpractice claims is one year long.) You see, in response to lawsuits for unpaid legal invoices, it’s common for the former client to allege malpractice and attack the quality of work.
I was reminded of this when I read this Tennessean article about lawsuits filed by Nashville private schools to collect on unpaid tuition. I was doubly reminded about the “hassle” part when I scanned the comments, with the schools’ dirty laundry getting aired for the world to see.
The school is perfectly within its rights to seek payment of past due amounts, but collections can bring out the worst in people, especially in this economy. Other than allowing no unpaid debt, there’s no avoiding these issues, so be sure to consider these issues when starting the collection process.
It isn’t always just writing letters and cashing checks.