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Owed money - what is reasonable?

(13 Posts)
BettyOBarley Fri 21-Apr-17 16:43:26

I had a very small 'work from home' business which I wound down to only taking orders only from one other business.

I sent the last order to them in Sept and have had several promises of payment (nearly 1k) then struggled to contact them until Feb this year when they informed me they had folded their business and had financial problems and the details were with the accountant. I've heard nothing since and an email from last week has gone unanswered so far.

What is reasonable to do next??
I don't want to hassle this person if they are having problems but at the same time it's been nearly 8 months and I'm not sure if I'm being a pushover now...and I need the money! It's hard to find online what is a reasonable amount of time to give someone to pay after they have advised of financial problems. They are definitely a sole trader not Ltd company.

Any advice would be very much appreciated

MrsMargoLeadbetter Fri 21-Apr-17 17:01:54

I am no expert...but have they given the details of their accountants? If so, looks like you can register the debt here -

I wouldn't worry about the time. They have 8 months to keep you informed/pay you and haven't...

Sorry to hear you are going through this.

UnicornMadeOfPinkGlitter Fri 21-Apr-17 17:03:31

Sounds like they mean that the company has folded. I.e. Gone bust, so prepare yourself for the fact you probably won't be paid. sad

caroldecker Fri 21-Apr-17 17:29:45

If it is a sole trader then you can claim through the courts. the only way to avoid paying you is bankruptcy, although they may offer a small amount a month going forward.
You can charge interest and fees incurred and also register an interest in any property they own, so they cannot sell without your permission.

WitchDancer Fri 21-Apr-17 17:36:41

The squeaky wheel gets oiled first, so chase them for the money. We have very strict timelines on chase letters and then put a claim in the small claims court.

Being a some trader is not a bad thing - you can claim their personal assets to cover their debts.

Hekabe Fri 21-Apr-17 18:08:22

Yes - get in quickly so that you can reclaim monies owed. If they are limited you will need to get in line as a creditor.

Sole trader as PP mentioned - you can go through the courts unless they file bankruptcy in which case you;ll need to again be listed as a creditor.

Bad luck though. x

BettyOBarley Fri 21-Apr-17 18:35:29

Thank you all for the really helpful responses!

I think I will give her a couple of weeks to reply to the latest email and then ask for accountants details and if not forthcoming I'll have to go down the small claims route sad she does have a paid job as well so it wasn't her only income and I'm pretty sure she was a sole trader as she dissolved her limited company a few years ago according to Google.

It's my own fault for agreeing that she could pay invoices in batches rather than one by one. You live and learn....Probably why I wasn't very successful!

WitchDancer Fri 21-Apr-17 20:00:47

With respect, why wait another couple of weeks? You've waited 8 months already!

Get formal chase letters done and sent, which will evidence to the small claims courts that you have done everything possible to get the money. One a week, for 3 weeks, each one getting progressively sterner with the last one stating if payment is not made by x date you will be putting a court case in.

I'm sure if you owed one of your suppliers they wouldn't have waited this long - put your business head on and get it sorted!

WitchDancer Fri 21-Apr-17 20:02:01

Oh and why do you need to contact her accountant? It's got naff all to to do with them, and I say that as an accountant

BettyOBarley Fri 21-Apr-17 21:06:22

Thanks for the kick up the bum witch it's what I needed! I made the mistake of getting too friendly with this person so I've been too lenient weak

I misunderstood what someone else said about the accountant, will follow your advice thanks a lot

AlexanderHamilton Fri 21-Apr-17 21:12:35

You need to send a letter before claim which gives 14 days to reply or you will start small claims proceedings. Look up the wording that is required. It usually scares people into action.

WitchDancer Fri 21-Apr-17 21:16:00

Good stuff, sorry to be a little harsh. Keep us posted and we may be able to hold your hand through the process

BettyOBarley Fri 21-Apr-17 21:30:11

No don't apologise! I've been far too soft (it previously took them 12 months to pay a £150 invoice which should have told me something hmm) I was still working with then at the time but now I'm not so I need to get on and get my money. Especially as they aren't even bothering to reply to me. I will definitely come back if needed thank you..

Thanks Alexander I will Google that letter now.

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