If I invoice for work from a year ago, can they choose not to pay?

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If I invoice for work from a year ago, can they choose not to pay?

I had waited awhile to invoice a client because I simply did have to time nor did I need the money at the time. When I finally did they agreed to pay monthly installments until the debt was paid off. I got an email today saying she didn’t want to have to change her books so she wasn’t going to pay me for the rest of it. This is all for design and web work that I had been doing for them. There was no contract at all, which obviously was my naive mistake. I also want to know if I can revoke my permission for them use my work and sue them for infringing on the copyright.

Asked on November 23, 2011 under Business Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you were late in invoicing your clients for work done and the clients were making monthly installments to you for services rendered, but stopped, the clients are still responsible for the balance owed plus a reasonable finance charge on the unpaid balance owed.

I would write the clients a letter stating the need for them to resume the monthly installments. If they fail to start payments against within a reasonable time, your option is to write off the amount owed or sue them for what is owed.

You can revoke your permission to use the work that you did for the clients but that would do little good for you since the clients have partially paid for the services. You want the money owed, not the satisfaction of the clients not using the work.


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