What to do if I do freelance photography as a side business and I recently had a client who is refusing to pay the due balance for a photo shoot?

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What to do if I do freelance photography as a side business and I recently had a client who is refusing to pay the due balance for a photo shoot?

He is not complaining about the images produced, but the bill total. Initialy he asked what my rates are. I explained $35-$65 an hour depending on the length of the assignment. He was vauge about the length of the shoot. I was on site – set up, photography, break down for nearly 4 hours. At the conclusion of the session he gave me a check for $75 saying that he would pay me the balance when the photos were recieved. My total bill was for 3 hours @ $65 per hour – $ $195.Can I report his nonpayment to a credit agency? The only contract was verbal.

Asked on April 1, 2013 under Business Law, New Hampshire

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You can try reporting the nonpayment to a credit agency, but 1) that doesn't actually do anything to get you your money; and 2) he could potentially try to take legal action against you for the damage to his crediting rating, claiming your report was false--and even if you win, do you want to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit?

If he paid you $75 out of $195, there is only $125 at stake. It is probably not taking legal action of any kind over $125--even a small claims suit would cost you $20 - $30 to file and a total of 4 - 8 hours of your time. Sometimes, a business simply needs to write off a bad debt.


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