How to collect money from a non-paying client

The customer owes 43 to my mother’s business and never made her payment. I called, texted, and sent a letter to her house. However, she never responded after her first response saying she will come and pay. After 5 months, she showed up at my dad’s business maybe 2 weeks ago and dropped off her items for cleaning. At that time, my dad didn’t refuse to take her garments because he didn’t acknowledge her name. She came by for picking up her clothes today while I was working at the register and I asked her if she owes money to my mom and ever made her payment. She said she remembers it and never went there to pay her. I still have her banking account from her voided check and card information. I know bank has no right to charge her forcefully and the amount of money is not worth to filing a small court claim. I don’t think hiring an collection agency is worth it either because it’s only $43 and collection agency usually takes 30% of the whatever amount that customer pays. I couldn’t ask her that we would charge her with the stuff that she dropped off her dad because there

are just 2 separate dry cleaning stores under same management. Of course, she won’t show up at my dad’s store anymore because she knows that we are related now. Is there anything else that i can do at this point? I am still mad at the fact that she still makes no effort to pay my mom even though she has enough money in her bank account now and came as a new customer at my dad’s store. She totally ignored us until I asked her if she ever made her payment while i knew she didn’t at my mom’s store in person. Also, she never went to pay her after she told me she would. Please help me with this issue because there is a high chance for her to go to other dry cleaning stores in area and intentionally write a voided check.

Asked on November 3, 2017 under Business Law, Virginia


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

There simply is no way to collect $43. It is not cost or time efficient to sue, even in small claims, and using her bank or card information without her permission would be criminal (e.g. theft). Sometimes you have to simply accept the loss and move on--I accepted a $300 nonpayment from a isn't recently, because even as a lawyer, it is not cost effective yo take legal action and possibly give up a whole day of work to a court case for that amount.

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