Why Terms of Trade are paramount
A roofing contractor carried out work for a developer in Wellington who failed to pay invoices totalling around $14,500.00, despite numerous attempts by the roofing contractor to obtain payment.
CollectIT was asked to collect the debt. The roofing contractor had a signed agreement with the developer which included terms of trade, this meant that interest and collection costs could be added to the debt. Eight days after CollectIT became involved, payment of $13,000 was received from the developer.
The developer refused to pay the balance, raising issues with three of the invoices and refusing to pay the interest and collection costs.
As our client, the roofing contractor, was legally entitled to charge interest and collection costs and the issues in regards to the remaining invoices had been sorted, CollectIT arranged for the developer to be served a statutory demand for the outstanding amount.
Once the statutory demand was served the debtor realised that their company could be put into liquidation and so paid all outstanding monies.
Result: All costs were paid. CollectIT’s client was ecstatic to get their money and it cost them nothing. They have continued to recommend CollectIT to their network of business acquaintances.
18 months after this successful collection, the developer was made bankrupt owing $5.6million to a finance company. If our client had not pursued this overdue money using CollectIT, there is a high chance they would have got nothing.
Off to Disputes Tribunal you go....
CollectITs’ client had provided milking cups to a farmer in Taranaki at a cost of approximately $4,000. Months later and still no payment had been received so the creditor sought help.
When CollectIT became involved the farmer said he would return some goods in lieu of payment - goods which had been given to him free of charge! We didn't think that was quite the done thing and certainly wasn't going to resolve this issue.
The debtor disputed the work so CollectIT prepared a claim to be lodged in the Disputes Tribunal.
Result: The disputes tribunal referee found in CollectITs’ clients favour and the farmer then paid on the court order which was a great result as it didn't need to be enforced. This meant saving CollectIT's client more time and money.
Some debts do get paid quickly ...
CollectITs client in Waikato whose line of work was effluent pumping, had not been paid by their farming client, despite numerous follow ups.
The invoice worth almost $4,000 related to work carried out more than one year prior and the farmer had been happy with the service provided.
CollectIT sent their first letter demanding payment be made within seven days.
Result: Seven days later the debtor paid the invoice amount plus collection costs that our client was entitled to charge.
Bullying doesn’t work ...
CollectITs expertise in the construction industry was requested by a leaky homes specialist in Auckland to chase an outstanding amount of $8,000. The debtor, who had had work carried out on his property, decided his best defence, was to attack.
The debtor threatened to take CollectIT to the Commerce Commission, tried to hide behind a family trust, and sent numerous emails and phone calls to the creditor and CollectIT threatening legal action - all in the time frame of three weeks!
Needless to say his bullying tactics did not work.
Result: CollectITs’ client was paid the money owing to him in three weeks as the debtor did not want to end up in court!
Sometimes you need to go the whole way!
A Cambridge builder built a beautiful new home for his client. When he sent in his final invoice for $6,387.02, there was no payment forthcoming. The builder had undertaken a labour only contract and so was unable to withhold the Code of Compliance pending final payment as the client was organising this herself.
CollectIT became involved and as per the Builder’s contract, interest and collection costs were added to the original debt.
The debtor promised she would pay once the Code of Compliance was received from council in four weeks time.
Four weeks later the debtor would not return phone calls or emails. When eventually contact was made, the debtor was apologetic and promised the money. However her promises were broken.
As time went on, it was increasingly evident that this debtor had no intention of paying. As a result CollectIT filed documents in the District Court and obtained a court order against the debtor for the amount of $9,700.84.
This order was completely ignored, so the builder instructed CollectIT to proceed with enforcement. The appropriate enforcement action in this case was to prepare a distress warrant which resulted in a bailiff being instructed to seize her car from a Paeroa address.
Result: The debtor paid the bailiff in full prior to the car being seized. CollectIT’s client was paid, and was very happy with the result. Successful debt collection for a Cambridge building company.
Without CollectIT’s thorough process, this debtor was never going to pay! The fact that she did nothing until her car was about to be seized showed her complete disregard for the hard work and effort the builder had put into her new home.
The builders costs to complete the full process was approximately $900 which he was hesitant to keep continuing with during the process, feeling he was adding more costs to the unpaid amount. The end result meant that not only did he get his initial invoice paid, plus interest, plus costs – well worth getting CollectIT involved.
Sometimes an outside negotiator who knows what they’re doing makes the difference ...
CollectIT was engaged by a large accounting firm after the firm had spent two years chasing money owed by one of their clients.
CollectIT carried out a lot of negotiation with the debtor and came up with a satisfactory solution.
Result: The debtor began repaying their outstanding debt at the amount of $2,000 per month with a couple of larger payments thrown in occasionally. There was constant follow up over the period of a year to ensure the payments were made and in the end the total amount owing of $44,000 was completely paid within 1 year. Successful debt collection for this large accounting firm.
So many outstanding accounts you don't know where to start?
CollectIT's client (an Accountant) had a pile of files that he had not been paid for and was procrastinating about whether to pursue them or not. He decided he had nothing to lose by sending them in to CollectIT and so forwarded 11 files.
Result: Within the first 3 days one file was paid. By the end of the first week another file had been paid. After CollectIT had been working the files for only 6 weeks, 6 out of the 11 files had been paid and closed. This amounted to $10,500 for the Hamilton Accountant - definitely worth his while getting CollectIT involved! And because the accountant had terms of trade with each of his clients, using CollectIT's services has cost him nothing.
Of the remaining 5 files, 3 went through court. Judgment was obtained in our clients favour and these debts have been settled in full or the debtor is repaying as per the court order. The other 2 files were still being pursued by CollectIT at the time of writing this.
Our client is $15,500 better off and very happy with CollectIT's services and results.
Tenacity pays off …
CollectIT began pursuing a debt for an Auckland Accountant in April 2013 when the debt was 18 months old. After approximately 20 unsuccessful attempts at contact which included text messaging, letters to two different addresses, emails to three different addresses and phone messages, the debtor company was loaded as a default debtor on Veda.
The husband and wife had both provided personal guarantees on their contract prior to work being carried out by the accountant and so were also loaded as default debtors alongside their company.
6 months later CollectIT was contacted by the wife as they had been declined a loan by their bank due to this debt showing on the banks credit check. She felt it was unfair that she and her husband had been loaded as defaulting debtors.
Despite numerous emails showing their signed contract etc, the debtor put in a formal complaint with Veda. CollectIT defended their actions (over 3 occasions) and the investigation department agreed that all procedures had been correctly followed.
The debtor then issued court proceedings against both CollectIT and the creditor. The first hearing took place in February 2014 and was adjourned after an hour as the referee wanted the husband to be present.
The debtor company was struck off from the Companies Office between the two court hearings.
A second court hearing took place in June in front of a different referee (again no husband present). After hearing all of the evidence, the referee issued a court order in our clients favour against both the husband and wife personally.
No payment was forthcoming from the debtor on the date the court ordered it to be paid. CollectIT was then told by the debtor that she was going to appeal the decision, then her story changed and she advised she would pay the debt in 4 months’ time. This was unacceptable and CollectIT moved on with enforcing the order by issuing a Warrant to Seize Property. On execution of the Warrant, the debtor gave the bailiff two cheques totalling the full amount of the debt.
Result: In September and October 2014 payment was received for work that the accountant had carried out for his client 3 years earlier!
Our client was delighted to have been paid the following - Original invoice $1,725, interest 917.70, collection costs $469.20. The debtor paid a total of $3,111.90
Ignorance doesn't work ...
Our client had carried out irrigation work for a company in Napier and the job had run smoothly with the client paying installments as and when requested. There had been no concerns with the job so it came as a surprise to the creditor when his final $10,000 invoice went unpaid.
CollectITs client wasted no time in handing the matter over for assistance. When CollectIT was asked to recover this debt, it was two months overdue.
The debtor decided ignorance was the best way to handle the outstanding amount - assuming that if he didn’t respond, the debt and CollectIT would all go away. Unfortunately for him, this approach did not work.
The debtor then raised a dispute (also wrongly assuming that if he made it difficult, CollectIT and the creditor would go away). CollectIT responded by preparing a claim for its client in the disputes tribunal. The disputes tribunal referee found in CollectITs’ clients favour.
Result: CollectIT chased the debtor, handled all the paperwork for its client, an order was obtained in the Disputes Tribunal and the debtor paid - Successful debt collection in Napier!
“Debt Collectors are all useless, you won’t be any different”
This was the comment made to CollectIT by a client referred by their accountant. The client desperately needed some assistance with slow payers and bad debts, but had had poor results from other debt collection agencies.
The client was persuaded to try CollectIT and after a few months referred 13 debtors. One of the concerns raised by the client was CollectITs’ 20% commission. CollectIT prepared terms of trade for this client so costs could be passed onto future debtors.
Unfortunately this client had left its debts far too long. Five of the debtors were liquidated, a $39,000 write off for the client. Five of the remaining eight debtors have paid or are paying (approximately $38,000), 1 is going through the courts, 1 was very small and the debtor had closed it’s doors and the other was handed back to our client as they were negotiating with their debtor. CollectIT has begun court proceedings.
Some debtors think we'll go away?!
Our client - in the advertising industry was owed $1,200 by a sole trader in Christchurch for advertising carried out.
Debtor B disputed the amount claiming the advertising never took place despite being provided with evidence showing dates and times, so off to the Disputes Tribunal the case went. At the hearing Debtor B requested certain information was supplied to him so another hearing time was granted.
Debtor B did not show up to the next hearing and so Client M presented their case and received a court order in their favour.
Following this Debtor B claimed they were never advised of the new date and so requested another hearing. At the 3rd hearing the order once again was granted in Client M's favour.
For a period of 3 months Debtor B continued to argue the order with CollectIT stating that he had gone to the Broadcasting Standards Authority, the Police, Commerce Commission, Office of the Ombudsmen about Client M.
Result: Nothing ever eventuated from all these threats. CollectIT enforced the court order, Debtor B commenced repayments and the debt was fully settled within 5 months.
Why terms of trade are important no matter what the size of the debt...
Our client - in the advertising industry was owed a total of $462 by a client in Christchurch. The debtor promised to pay on many occasions and never did. As our client was able to charge interest and recover collection costs CollectIT recommended proceeding to court. Our client was dubious due to the small amount involved but when CollectIT explained that under the terms of the agreement the debtor had signed with them, all costs would be added to the claim, instructions to proceed were granted.
CollectIT continued to carry out further follow up after the debtor was served his court documents advising that the deadline for payment was drawing near and that if payment was not received a court order would be obtained.
Result: The debt was settled in full with payment of over $1,000 and CollectIT did not have to go as far as obtaining the court order.
Our client received the outstanding invoice amount, interest, collection costs, process server costs and court costs. It cost them nothing.
Signed Credit Application Form puts the cost onto debtors …
CollectIT was engaged to pursue a sole trader from Dunedin who owed our client invoices worth $12,612. Once it was put into the hands of CollectIT, interest was oncharged as well as collection costs as per the creditors credit application form.
The debtor began making payments after a month of discussions, and these continued sporadically for 9 months totalling $6,000. The payments then stopped.
After many more follow ups with the debtor, but no further payments, CollectIT applied for a court order and judgment was obtained. All court costs and further interest and collection costs were added on to the debtors amount owing as per the signed credit application form.
Following judgment, the debtor was contacted by CollectIT again. No payments were forthcoming so CollectIT enforced the court order by way of a distress warrant and succeeded in getting 2 large payments over the next couple of months.
Result: At the end of the day, the total amount paid by the debtor was $18,290. The invoices, interest, court costs and collection costs were all paid by the debtor – it cost the Creditor nothing - and CollectIT had another very happy client.
There is often a lot of time taken to get a result like this as each process with the court takes time as well as creditors often need time to think about how far they want to go with individual matters. From the beginning of CollectIT’s involvement with this matter to being paid in full, the time taken was just under 2 years.
Small Business Sale
CollectIT's client B sold a lawn mowing business, and generously left approximately $25,000 in the business allowing the new owner to get established and then repay the amount.
As you've already guessed, the fact that it was placed in CollectIT's hands, means the debt was never repaid!
The debtor did not respond to the many letters, phone calls, texts or even messages left with family.
CollectIT were instructed to proceed with court action and a Notice of Claim was served on the debtor; however, the debtor failed to respond and as a result a court order was issued. The debtor failed to pay as ordered by the court.
CollectIT were then instructed by Client B to proceed with enforcement. On attempting to serve judgment it was found the debtor had moved. After a number of enquiries the whereabouts of the debtor was established.
The debtor finally answered his mobile phone at which time they were informed that a warrant had been issued for their arrest and eventually the matter was resolved.
CollectIT worked on this file for a total of 18 months; however, without the perseverance of both our client and CollectIT this debtor would never have repaid this debt.
Result: The debtor is making weekly repayments toward this debt. It is going to take a very long time to pay off and the final amount ordered to pay was almost $35,000 - most certainly a well deserved result for our client.
It pays to be tenacious
CollectIT’s client (Client A) in the travel industry was owed $13,057.11 by an ex-employee who had promised to repay the money. Funds were misappropriated in 2007 and although some payments had been made these were not consistent. In November 2011 CollectIT was asked by Client A to commence debtor management.
After this was ignored by the debtor, Court action was initiated in December 2011 and a charging order was put over the debtors’ home in May 2012.
In August 2012 a second party (Client B) who was owed $68,437.33 by the same debtor under similar circumstances also engaged CollectIT to carry out court action.
A court order was obtained on behalf of Client B and a second charging order was put over the debtors’ home.
At this stage the debtor had failed to respond to the two sets of court documents which had been served on them personally.
A sale order was drawn up by CollectIT, in order to force the sale of the debtors’ home and once this was served in January 2013, the debtor responded asking to sell the property privately and then pay the money owing rather than being forced to do so.
However in March 2013, the story changed and the debtor disputed ever being served any documentation. A hearing date was set for July to have the judgments set aside. This hearing did not proceed due to CollectITs evidence to the contrary.
In July 2013 the property was listed for sale by the debtor. Elation was short lived when the first contract fell over due to the fact that the property had no code of compliance. The property was sold under auction without code of compliance in December 2013.
Fortunately there was sufficient equity in the property to firstly pay the balance of the mortgage and the debts owed to both Client A and Client B.
Result: Our clients were paid the full amount owing to them after more than 6 years ($68,437.33 and $13,057.11)