Kennedy Construction is a family operated business, which has been successfully trading and expanding their operation for almost 45 years. They specialise in the construction and refurbishment of industrial and commercial business units.
The don’t want to pay challenge
The final stage payment due on the completion of a refurbishment project remained outstanding 4 months after the due date. The commercial unit in question had been purchased freehold by a printing company, who then contracted Kennedy Construction to carry out the refurbishment before they moved in. Despite the project being completed slightly under budget and two weeks ahead of schedule, the final payment of £18,200 was agreed, but not paid.
Collecting a debt in instalments
Our clients had become very frustrated by the debtor’s tactic of completely ignoring all correspondence and avoiding telephone contact. This is an all too common approach taken by debtors, and while it’s easy for them to ignore a creditor, it’s not so easy for them to ignore a debt recovery specialist and the prospect of legal action. We’re used to debtors responding quickly once we’ve explained to them the consequences of failing to pay their debt, so it was no surprise to receive a call from the managing director of the printing co the day after we issued an initial demand. She was happy to accept the debt and late payment charges while requesting an instalment plan to repay the debt over 3 months. The MD went on to explain that they had purchased new printing presses in readiness for their move to larger premises and that the new presses imported from China were all either faulty or unfit for purpose. The problems with the new presses had led to a large number of orders being unfulfilled which combined with the mortgage payments and increased overheads of the new premises resulted in cash flow problems.
After hearing about their customer’s problems and receiving reassurances that the business was now back on track, our client was happy to accept the offer of payment by instalments.
An avoidable situation
If the debtor had explained the reasons why they were unable to make payment, rather than simply ignore the creditor, an amicable payment agreement could have been reached without the need to instruct a third party. However, this rarely happens, whether through embarrassment or the vain hope that the problem will go away, debtors usually adopt a do nothing say nothing mentality. Once you instruct Advocate to recover a debt the barricades are removed, the debtor has no choice but to start talking and the result is usually a swift settlement.