Mistakes to Avoid When Collecting Houston Business Debts

As a business owner, you need to have the money that is owed to you paid on time. The overall success of your business and your bottom line likely depend on being paid in a timely fashion. But what are the rules for collecting that money from your clients and business associates?

Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act[1] (FDCPA) of 1978, establishes limits that all business owners must understand. The act was enacted as part of the Consumer Credit Protection Act[2] to eliminate abusive practices in the collection of debts. Under the FDCPA, businesses and debt collectors must follow certain rules including:

Don’t Ask for More Than is Owed: A business owner attempting to collect a debt cannot misrepresent the amount a consumer owes or add on interest, fees or expenses that are not permissible under the law. This means that if an extra fee was not outlined in an original credit or loan agreement, it cannot be requested during the collections process.

No Harassment: A business owner cannot harass the individual or business that owes money. The following can be considered harassment:

  • Calling repeatedly
  • Using obscene, threatening or abusive language
  • Calling early in the day or late in the evening.

No Threats: It can be easy to become frustrated or angry when a business will not pay you the amounts that are owed. It is illegal, however, to make threats of any kind including threats to file a lawsuit, to file charges, to garnish wages or to take any other action that you do not intend to pursue.

What Steps Can You Take to Collect Money in Houston?

While a business debt collection lawyer can provide the best advice for your business, there are some suggestions that apply in nearly all cases:

Small Balance: Do not overlook a small balance. When a business owes you even a small amount, it is important to address the issue before the balance becomes overwhelming.

Be Creative: Be creative and flexible for genuine customers who have genuine financial problems. Ask for realistic money they can afford to pay and if possible, extend the time for repayment.

Written Agreements: If you reach an agreement for a payment plan, it is important to enter into a written payment agreement to avoid further difficulties.

Contact a Houston Business Debt Collection Attorney

Businesses that fail to adhere to the guidelines created by the FDCPA can face fines and other penalties. To protect your business, it is important to work with an experienced Houston commercial debt collection attorney. If you have money that you are owed, contact the Weisblatt Law Firm today to find a path toward remediation that does not put your business’s future at risk. Call us today at 713-666-1981.

References

[1] https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/rules/rulemaking-regulatory-reform-proceedings/fair-debt-collection-practices-act-text

[2] https://www.debt.org/credit/your-consumer-rights/protection-act/

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