Recovery in a Tough Economic Climate

The current economic slowdown has forced Canadian companies of all sizes to face the unwelcome reality of unpaid invoices or bad debts. Debt recovery can be a problem. Negotiating for debt recovery on your own can be problematic and ineffective.

Some companies operate exclusively using electronic payments, letters of credit or C.O.D. deliveries. Not all businesses can function using these methods exclusively or at all. There is another challenging level of challenge involved in dept recovery.

Consider the following story. A lumberyard sells a truckload of lumber to a general contractor to renovate a new restaurant. No documentation is exchanged between the two companies or the restaurant. The general contractor was given thirty days after the delivery to make a payment. The thirty days have come and gone and the lumberyard has not received a payment. Weekly phone calls are not effective in stimulating a willingness to pay because of the restaurants undisclosed financial difficulties that the restaurant is experiencing. Each conversation becomes increasingly heated causing tempers to flair on both sides.

What to do? Typically, the next step is for the lumberyard to prepare a stern “demand letter. However, such a letter may progressively alienate the customer making matters worse. If there is a problem with the accuracy of the name of the company and names of the owners further complications can ensue.

We recommend that Canadian Corporate Legal Services be brought in at this stage stimulate an amicable negotiation for dept recovery. Our first step in negotiating debt recovery would be to build a detailed file with all pertinent details. This may include yes; credit history, review of debtors actions in connection to this latest debt, names of those involved, exact company names, details of the goods supplied, taxes levied and times of shipping and receipt. Next, we would call the owner of the general contractor and establish a cordial working rapport. Politely but firmly we would indicate that we are acting on behalf of the lumberyard and were preparing to take the matter to court in a predetermined period of days. Emphasizing that the lumberyard has supplied a needed component of the restaurant. We would also appeal to the owner to arrange for payment in a timely and workable timeframe and point out that he might be liable to our client as well. If these calls fail, a demand letter is sent to the restaurant indicating the commencement of legal action. All these efforts are meticulously recorded. Generally, we achieve positive results without the need to go to court. If there is need we have the expertise to proceed quickly and successfully.

Canadian Corporate Legal Services has been actively involved in debt collections for over 20 years. Collectively, we have over 70 years of experience in helping companies negotiate and collect what is owed to them while preserving customer good will and a positive corporate image.