The creditor, a Hertfordshire based self-employed recruiter was approached by a director of a Watford based recruitment agency. They had previously worked together at the start of their careers for a national recruitment company and they had always had a good working relationship. The director explained that business was good that they were looking to expand and that there was a position available. After 20 years of working for several recruitment agencies and now enjoying the self-employed part-time role they had established for themselves a year earlier, the offer was politely declined.
Discussions continued and an agreement was reached where the creditor would offer services to the recruitment agency on a self-employed part-time basis. They would source candidates and carry out due diligence, and the agency would then place the candidates with their clients. The agreement was that both the creditor and the recruitment agency would receive 50% of any placement fees generated by the agreement.
When an agreement goes wrong
Within a month 3 candidates had been successfully recruited and placed with the agency’s clients. The total fees generated were £19,500.00. Over the month the creditor issued three invoices totalling £9,750.00. Shortly after issuing the third invoice, the first invoice exceeded the 14-day payment terms agreed. As soon as the creditor chased for payment it became clear that the agreement would not last and that the agency was not happy to pay the creditor 50% of the fees. They came up with excuse after excuse and eventually blocked all contact with the creditor.
We received the completed instruction form and copy invoices from our client by email at 15.15, shortly after the cut off time of 15.00 for our same day debt collection service. A 7-day Notice of Court Proceedings was issued the following morning to two postal addresses and four email addresses. The debtor failed to respond to the initial Notice. A 7-day Final Demand Notice was issued advising on the serious consequences of Court action and a Count Court Judgment being registered against the debtor company.
The debtor did not receive the invoice excuse
The debtor contacted us the following day. They claimed they had not received our client’s invoices or any correspondence chasing for payment. Further, they were happy to pay the invoices; however, they would not pay the debt recovery costs because they had not received the invoices, so they could not be overdue for payment. This was an obvious ploy to evade payment of our charges, and it would not succeed.
Our client kindly supplied us with proof of postage for the invoices, which they resent when the original copies were returned along with delivery and read receipts for several emails requesting payment with copy invoices attached. The debtor did not respond when presented with this additional information, and they simply paid the full amount owed the same day, inclusive of the debt recovery costs.
Copy emails, delivery and read receipts can be invaluable when confronted with a debtor that claims they did not receive the invoice, which is one of the most common excuses we encounter.