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We are a printing company and did some printing for a

We are a printing...

We are a printing company and did some printing for a customer. The customer now owes us over $49,000 and refuses to pay. They had some invoices that were past due, but in the past month they tripled up on their printing and then told us that they don't have the money right now. We are a small company and this is going to hurt the company. Not all of the invoices are late yet. Do we have to wait until the invoices are delinquent to hire an attorney? Do we need to hire an attorney in California where the company is based or can we get an attorney here in Indiana? What are the correct proceedings to follow in a case like this?

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

I can't think of anything. We would like to know how these things work. Do we just pay if the attorney collects? Can we make them pay for the attorney? Can we charge interest?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Our company is based in Franklin, IN. The company that we did the jobs for is in San Jose, CA.

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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,245
Experience: Attorney with over 25 years experience
Verified

Hello. Let me see if I can assist. Were the invoices payable upon presentment? In other words, was payment due at the time the customer picked up the print job? If so, they are currently payable and due. I recommend a written demand letter to the customer (with copies of all invoices) demanding payment in 5 days or you will be forced to file suit to recover damages, interest, attorney's fees and costs.

If you file suit, you will need to hire an attorney to sue the customer in California for a claim of "account stated." Do your invoices provide for the collection of interest and attorney's fees? The invoices have to state that to be able to recover interest and attorney's fees.

Many attorneys will handle such a case on a contingency basis. You will share the recovery of the past due debt with the attorney (20%).

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, they are on 30 days net. Eight of their invoices are past due. Four are due on the 14th, Two due on 16th, and Seventeen due on 29th. My boss has been emailing and calling them about the past due invoices. The woman that he talked to called the owner and talked to him because she feels so bad. The owner said that he didn't have the money now and it would be paid later. My boss asked them about putting it on a credit card and he said no, he didn't want to do that. As I said before we aren't a big company.As far as having the interest and attorney fees on the invoice, we don't have that written on those. Do we need to add that? We pay our bills and trust our customers to do the same. It seems that we have gotten ourselves into a pickle this time.

I​ recommend written demand on the invoices that are past due and reminding them as to payment due on the ones that will be past due. Your company will need to threaten litigation to force payment.

You will not be able to collect interest on past due balances or attorney's fees if they are not on your invoices or on the job request signed by the customer. These provisions should definitely be added!

Lori
Lori, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1,245
Experience: Attorney with over 25 years experience
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