Money between people can put strains on a relationship. It doesn’t matter whether it is a business transaction or between two people. It matters especially when the person owed money is facing financial stress themselves. It can lead to personal pressure and sometimes the desire to take matters into your own hands. While chasing a debt yourself is doable, allowing emotion into the proceedings can backfire.
Emotion leads to legal repercussions
Last month, a Pembroke Dock resident took a debt into his own hands. Despite being a business owner, he sought to deal with the debtor personally. This involved physically turning to a man’s house armed with a hammer. The business owner was charged with both affray and criminal damage after using the hammer to damage his debtor’s door. It was also revealed he had consumed alcohol before the incident.
The man’s defence told the court of how he was sorry for his actions.
“He had financial difficulties. He was trying to build up a business, but money has been tight and he decided to recover a debt. This is extremely out of character for him. He comes across as a very polite and respectful young man. He is extremely remorseful for his actions on that day.”
As a result of the actions, the creditor was ordered to pay £172 in costs and £432 for the door. The case is a good study of why allowing emotions into debt collection can go awry. Even if money is between family members, it is much better to ensure the matter is dealt with using facts. Facts and figures are the easiest method of collecting debt. In the worst case of taking matters to a court, this is what will win a case.
The benefit of mediation
For small business owners and those without credit control experience, debt collectors can be a safety net. Rather than potentially regrettable actions, or inefficient collection methods, we provide the experience needed to get positive results. Debts are much more likely to be resolved when escalated to debt collection because of the implications of using a third party. Collectors also have the dialogue options necessary to secure payment based on consequences of not paying. Collectors take all available evidence and put in place a strategy with clear outcomes. This isn’t done in an intimidating or bullying way, but simply using facts.
We understand how frustrating non payment can be which is why collectors gather as much as they can about your situation before approaching the matter. With the powers of legislation, facts and evidence behind them, collectors can secure payment in a timely manner. For small business owners this could be the difference between successful recovery and losing out.
AYOM’s collection manager Laura spoke about the Pembroke Dock incident and collecting.
“The indecent with the hammer is a classic case of a creditor reaching the end of their tether. Criminal damage is not the answer however we fully understand his frustration. He was a person seeking to grow his small business and needed the money back. We see so many cases where even 1 unpaid debt can harm a small business’ cashflow.”
“What we aim to achieve is that barrier between a business owner’s frustration and those who owe them. We mediate and talk to each side to find the best result. It also avoids the situation escalating in both party’s minds to avoid something like the Pembroke Dock case.”
“Our advice to small business owners is to have as much of the debt documented as possible. Have texts, emails, call logs and letters to prove beyond a doubt what is owed. If you have carried out work, take photos of it. Quash disputes as early as you can with supporting evidence. Then if you feel the debt is becoming personal or difficult to handle, ask an expert. Debt collectors can take your evidence, put it in clear terms and secure payment. Even if the debt is then taken to court, your efforts will be seen positively by a judge as evidence and proof is essential.”
Take advantage of mediation
If you are a business owner with one or more outstanding debts, you can call AYOM for free advice. Debt collection can be difficult for new businesses or small businesses to conduct. The time and resources needed the knowledge of legal process. It can be a big task for growing businesses.
If you would like a free consultation regarding the credit control process, call 0800 130 3357. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Use the years of experience available to you and get your credit control back on track.