Customer non payment.

I did a job for a commercial customer in dec. 2015. The total
for the project was 2200.00. He signed a contract and gave
me a 250. Deposit. He wanted a payment plan which I
agreed to and in writing via email, I set up 4 payments with
the first payment starting on 2/1/17 and the following
payments on the first of every month. He paid the first
payment. I sent him an invoice for the second payment on
2/27/17 with the payment due date of 3/1/17. It is now 3/18
and has not paid me for the second payment. I’ve sent
texts, emails, Facebook messenger messages. On 3/16, he
texted me that he was waiting for his check to clear.

What recourse do I have? Do I take him to small claims
court for the payment or for the whole balance? His next
payment is due in two weeks.

Asked on March 19, 2017 under Business Law, New Jersey


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to sue him--that's how you recover money when someone violates a contract or other agreement. When they breach the contract or agreement, you are not limited to suing only for the next payment--you can sue for all the money still due under the payment plan, since they cannot hold you to the plan (to receiving payment over time) once they have violated it. Given the amount you describe, filing a lawsuit in small claims court is the best, most cost effective, and fastest option.

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