Recently we featured an article on an individual called Phillip Buffett and his "Uber Intelligence" group of companies. This individual came to our attention when we were tasked by two freelancers to pursue unpaid invoices totalling over £10k.
It soon became apparent to us that the individual in question was a known fraudster, with a history of criminality and a penchant for defrauding individuals, businesses and even professional athletes. He was also already serving a seven year ban as a director for his previous frauds.
The Professional Contractors Group have called for an anonymous hotline to be created, allowing small business owners to 'name and shame' large companies that pay late or otherwise try to use their 'brand power' to manipulate payment terms.
While the PCG are calling it a 'witness protection' hotline, we prefer to call it Slimeshoppers, as it doesn't get much lower than a big business trying to use their size as an excuse to withhold payment to small suppliers.
A married couple and their son have been banned as company directors after failing to pay more than £186,000 in tax. Heather & Lance Shepherd and their son James Shepherd, who ran a company called Shepherd Security Ltd in Preston have been disqualified from acting as directors for a total of 15 years following an investigation by the insolvency service.
Late payments are a burden that all businesses must bear, and we fully understand and appreciate the annoyance that they can cause to all of our clients, whether big or small. So when a customer leaves you with an unpaid invoice, it's equally understandable that you might choose to 'encourage' them to pay up in any way possible.
Increasingly, that for some people means taking to the social networks to name and shame the non-paying client and try to embarrass them into paying. There are clear problems with this approach - for a start, you have to wonder whether a business owner happy to renege on a contract is likely to be shamed into settling their account simply because of a bit of bad word of mouth. But we were curious to find out just how often naming and shaming actually works - so we asked you.
Web designer Frank Jonen has taken extreme action against his late-paying client, San Francisco-based gym chain Fitness SF.
Mr Jonen's web design firm has been working on the new Fitness SF website and brand identity for over six months; but he ultimately took the decision to replace their homepage with a simple text statement.
Daring to speak out about late payment on Twitter could cost one woman £120,000 in fines and legal costs - all because of an unpaid £146 invoice.
The BBC reports that 55-year-old Lesley Kemp of Milton Keynes carried out £146 of transcription work for a company based in Qatar.
But when Resolution Productions paid her late - and expected her to cover the cost of their own £25 bank charges - Ms Kemp vented her frustrations on Twitter.
In part two of our series on Debt Recovery in the USA our American Debt Collection agent outlined the 10 questions any creditor must ask prior to taking a claim to court in the USA. Whilst many of the points raised in this piece are not entirely dissimilar to the questions any creditor should ask before pursuing legal action, one critical point is often overlooked.
If your company is considering taking legal action in the USA to recover unpaid invoices, you will be expected to provide at least one witness at trial. Our US affiliate explains:
In our first blog post on USA debt collection we discussed the three pre-legal stages an American debt recovery agency will use to attempt recovery. But what happens when they have done their best to collect, but the debtor refuses to co-operate?
In this instance your only option to collect the debt may be to consider taking legal action. As with any legal claim here in the UK you can expect to pay the court costs and lawyers fees. But unlike in the UK you as a creditor will be required to attend any hearing, generally at your own cost.
Here at Safe Collections we have decades of experience in helping our customers recover unpaid invoices and bad debts both in the UK and across the globe. One of our key markets is the USA and we have been working closely with our US debt recovery affiliate since 1986.
Robert is the Vice President of International & Corporate Quality at our affiliate office in New York and here he explains the Three Phase USA debt collection procedures they follow in recovery of overdue accounts from US based debtors.