How to quickly collect a very old debt – in just one day.

Home/case studies/How to quickly collect a very old debt – in just one day.

How to quickly collect a very old debt – in just one day.

How to collect a very old debt quicklyQ:  What can you do when customers are completely ignoring you?

A:  Take a gamble.
Do something different.
Throw “everything” at them in one hit.
Be extremely firm.


The events
Wed, 22 Jan – A client emailed us. They had a debt owed to them. It was one YEAR old – $6,814.50. They’d tried “everything”, they said.
Thu, 23 Jan – We sent them instructions.
Fri, 24 Jan – The debtor called the client the very next day and apologised – most embarrassed, didn’t answer his phone because he didn’t have the money but now was able to pay. (funny that!)
Tue, 28 Jan – Client confirmed that the full amount had been received.

This is what we did
We told our client to
1.     Cut and paste the wording below on to YOUR own letterhead and save it as a WORD file.
2.     Save it also as a pdf.
3.     Send it to the debtor – twice.

ONCE – as an email
* By emailing it to him (preferably from the secretary’s email address, so that the business owner is left out of it)
* Using the subject line … “2.00pm, Tuesday, 28 January”
* Putting ONLY this wording in the body of the email to say … “The attached file is self-explanatory”.

TWICE – as a letter
* By posting the WORD copy to him.
(If you can send it using Australia Post’s person-to-person service even better, but not essential.)

By doing it that way the debtor
1. will get “the message” twice in writing on two different days.
2. is more than likely to open the attachment in the email due to the odd subject line and wording in the body.

This is what the email/letter said

Dear Mr Debtor,
My name is Michael Todd. I am a Financial Consultant. Records indicate that
• There is a remaining balance of $6,814.50 outstanding (Invoice 1234, 21 Feb 2013).
• At no time has that balance been queried.
• You have not replied to recent emails sent, messages left or even to the final email sent to you by Fred Bloggs on 13 January.
Allow me to be extremely clear.
Fred Bloggs Pty Ltd are not prepared to “carry” this debt any longer.  Recovery of this debt has now become a matter of principle.  This final email is simply to let you know that
• I have been instructed to commence litigation against you, if I deem necessary.
• When judgement against you is obtained, not only will you incur additional legal costs (for your solicitors should you engage any), you’ll have a percentage of ours to pay too.
• The courts also allow interest to be charged on top of the claimed debt.
• Judgement against you will be recorded with Veda Advantage. (This affects your ability to obtain finance for a period of 5 years. Other coffee suppliers will also see this.)

In other words, should you decide not to respond to THIS email …
• The amount owing is likely to increase to at least $9,000,
• Your credit file will have a default judgement noted on it, and,
• Enforcement proceedings will be taken if you decide not to settle the judgement debt as well. This incurs even more costs and embarrassment when property to the value of the larger judgement debt is seized.
Bottom Line:
1 Settle this account in full, or
2 Contact me personally on 0412 345 678
by 2.00pm next Tuesday, 28 January.
I am not prepared waste time sending emails and leaving messages. The future course of this matter is now entirely in your hands.

And the beautiful thing about this is that


You DON’T have to use a third party – do it yourself!  Make up a name.  The debtor won’t know.  It’s NOT illegal to do so. AND – you’ll probably get paid.

Similar posts as well as the links in the body above
Mean it?  Then write it.
When you’re simply being ignored
Sometimes you just HAVE to get tough

By | 2017-07-13T08:51:40+00:00 September 29th, 2014|case studies|0 Comments

About the Author:

Have you ever wondered why a client does business with you and then ignores your invoice like they had no intention of paying it in the first place or they treat you like their own personal line of credit, leaving YOU dangling, waiting months for their payment? Unfortunately this situation is all too common and can even be puzzling for the most experienced business owner. If you’ve ever had to handle outstanding accounts or you are just so over non-payers, then we can help. Real-world skills, solutions, tips & strategies to get more accounts paid on time, and, most importantly, how to maintain customer goodwill while keeping YOUR cash flow in the positive. You will find the blog posts helpful but to get real results, contact us by using any of the forms on this site, by email or by phone. I’ve been involved in the management of accounts for over 30 years, heard every excuse in the book, can spot a non-payer at 20 paces. Finance Companies in the 70s (systematic, tough), professional firms in the 80s (no systems, too gentle) and, since then, just about every other sort of business you can think of. I’ve written books on the topic, spoken all over the place about it and the blog in this website is my way of “giving back”. I hope you find it helpful.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.