Whatis abusiness’s recourse regarding delinquent payment?

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Whatis abusiness’s recourse regarding delinquent payment?

I own an auto fabrication shop and 2 of my customers have been lugging with their payments. Can I charge them $50 a day storage fee even though they did not sign a document regarding it?  And other than sending their information to collection, what can I do to get money from them?

Asked on July 9, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) No, you cannot charge them a $50 per day fee if that had not been disclosed to them in advance--i.e. prior to them agreeing to have have you do the work for them--such as in the service agreement, standard terms of sale, etc. It was not part of the agreement to have them pay a late fee like that; you cannot unilaterally now change the agreement to impose the fee. You can make a late fee part of your agreements going forward, however.

2) If someone is late or delinquent in payment--has not paid by when they were supposed to under the terms of service, etc.--you may sue them for the money. You can sue in small claims for smaller amounts, where you don't need a lawyer, to make doing so more affordable. 


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