It’s a fact of business life that where goods and services are supplied, disputes will arise, and payment will be delayed. It could be something as simple as goods being delivered damaged by a third party and you may not even be aware that your customer has an issue and is withholding payment.
Resolving a dispute will sometimes be necessary to successfully recover a commercial debt. If a debtor raises a dispute they may have genuine grounds for complaint or they may be deliberately delaying payment or trying to avoid payment. It’s important that you quickly identify and deal with both genuine and spurious disputes.
Advocate’s dispute resolution service is integral to the debt recovery process we perform. Our team is disciplined and experienced in dispute resolution and will mediate on your behalf to satisfactory resolve a genuine dispute in your best interests. If a dispute is genuine and it is not dealt with it will no doubt be used as a defence should the debt recovery process progress to legal proceedings.
It is important when instructing us that you include full details on any dispute raised by the debtor, and any steps taken by you in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
How we deal with spurious disputes
If once we commence action to recover payment of a debt the debtor raises a dispute, we will forward full details on the alleged dispute without acknowledging with the debtor that a genuine dispute exists, and will then request your instructions on if there is any merit in the dispute and how you wish us to proceed. We will also respond to the debtor by demanding documentary evidence that a genuine dispute exists and that they have supplied you with full details of the dispute prior to Advocate’s debt recovery instruction.
Experience tells us that if the debtor did not raise a dispute prior to us commencing action, that the dispute is most probably spurious and designed to further delay or ultimately evade payment. The debtor will at all times until they provide sufficient details and evidence to substantiate a genuine dispute exists, be informed that we will be continuing in our action and that failure to settle the unpaid invoices would result in the issue of legal proceedings against them.
Disputing invoices or the works carried or the quality of the goods supplied is a tactic often employed by a debtor that is either unwilling or unable to pay invoices issued to them for the goods or services they have received. However, they often do not realise that if legal proceedings are issued against them to recover payment and unless they have evidence of raising a dispute either at the time the goods or services were delivered, when the invoices became due for payment or when you chased for payment, it is unlikely that defending the proceedings would be
Ultimately raising a spurious dispute to avoid payment will result in the debtor being forced to pay not only the original debt, but also considerable additional costs.