If you run a business, you understand the importance of receiving prompt payment for goods and services. After all, you have expenses you need to pay for, such as inventory and payroll.
A debtor’s refusal to pay puts you in a difficult position, and you may not be sure how to get your money. Several laws are in place to protect debtors from harassment by debt collectors. However, there are also protections for creditors.
Throughout the debt collection process, you must maintain documentation. It will be helpful if you need to go to court.
Contact the debtor
The first step is to contact the debtor. Often, an invoice will slip through the cracks. If a politely worded letter doesn’t resolve the issue, you may need to follow up with a formal demand letter.
If the debtor doesn’t pay after a couple of attempts on your part, you can sue them. If the judge agrees with your assessment of the situation, they may put a judgment on the debtor. After receiving the decision, you must have it certified and recorded.
After a judgment has been received and recorded, you have more options for receiving payment of the debt, such as wage garnishment or property seizure, which the sheriff’s department handles. They are allowed to seize movable personal property, land and buildings. They can’t take the debtor’s home or land they are leasing. Also exempt from seizure are cars and personal property less than $1,000.
Florida does have a five-year statute of limitations for collecting debt. Therefore, if someone owes you money, it’s imperative you start the process as soon as possible.