All too often we run into situations where collection costs will be added to a debt unjustly. Although, it would be great to be able to recoup every dollar owed without any expense, there are requirements to be able to add these costs. Collection agencies will add this cost without question; this could leave you(the client) in hot water.
If the bill is overly inflated, the debtor is immediately going to ask why the bill is so high. This usually causes an immediate argument and gives them another reason to not pay.
Unreasonable Collection Costs – Collection fees and interest is warranted when someone goes delinquent. You are having to wait to get paid for work that has already been completed. Choose a reasonable collection cost/interest rate on your delinquent accounts, through experience we have learned they become less collect-able when the principle balance doubles because of late fees.
How to add collection costs to my receivables?
For collections costs to be legally added to a bill, it has to be agreed on in writing by both the vendor and the debtor prior to the bill becoming delinquent.
1. Get a signed invoice upon completion of the job with verbiage added at the bottom of your invoice.
2. You can add this verbiage to a patient registration form if you are a medical facility.
3. A traditional signed agreement between both parties prior to doing business is always ironclad
“THIS VERBIAGE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE AGGRESSIVE”
Most companies in the world have late fees; nobody likes them but people at least understand them. You do not have to tell your clients you are going to file suit against them if they do not pay you on time(this is cynical). Being on the defense rather than the offence is recommended. Meaning the verbiage should protect you rather than give you the upper hand on someone.
Example Of How To Add Collection Costs To A Bill:
“Payments received after 30 days from the date of service will be subjected to a 5% monthly interest rate up to six months.”
What Do I Know?!
Legally yes, you do have to have it in writing before you add collection costs to a bill. The amount you add to the bill is your decision and some of this post is my professional opinion.
Hopefully this article was helpful, thanks for reading.
Nexum Group Inc.