Late payment and devalued currency
Thread poster: inger nordhagen
inger nordhagen
Local time: 05:59
English to Norwegian
Nov 24, 2008

Dear fellow-translators,
I have a question regarding late payment involving a significant devaluation in the currency we were to be paid in.
My partner and I did a big job, translating a book from Norwegian into English.
It was our first substantial job, so we were a little naive and didn't write a contract for the project.
We finished on June 1st, and we still haven't received payment. Because of the devaluation of
the kroner (40% against the dollar) we will lose a lot of money on this project. Again, this is work
we have already completed. In addition, the kroner did not start to fall until three months after we finished the project. Thus, we are wondering what rights we have without having a contract.
Can we ask the client to pay the 40% we have lost because of the devaluation of the kroner?
Can we charge interest since he is so late?
We appreciate any tips or comments!
Inger


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:59
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
One thing is clear Nov 24, 2008

It is normally possibly to charge interest plus administrative fees for reminders. You will have to check the exact official regulations which apply to your country. Often there is a fixed rate of interest that you should charge.

The more pertinent question is whether you will be able to collect payment at all after all this time.

As for the exchange rate, I doubt that you can do anything about that.

Astrid


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Patricia Rosas  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:59
Spanish to English
+ ...
didn't you bill in US$ Nov 25, 2008

Inger,

Since you live in the United States, didn't you bill in US dollars?

Most of my clients are in Mexico, and the peso has unfortunately devalued against the dollar in the past weeks. I'm owed a substantial sum of money from one regular, well-paying client. The reason that they are late is cash-flow problems, partly resulting from the devaluation. But when they pay me (next month I hope!), they will pay my bill in dollars, and so they are affected, but I am not.

I don't work with agencies, many of which do seem to take 60 days to pay, but more than that seems outrageous to me. Have you been defrauded? I hope not!

Good luck!
Patricia


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Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:59
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Charging interest Nov 25, 2008

You can find the EU Directive 2000/35/EC on late payment here: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/regulation/late_payments/index.htm . Whether it can be applied to services between an EU state and the US may depend on the specific contents of your contract with them.
As for the devaluation: they have to pay the amount indicated on your invoice - in the specified currency. If you invoice in other currencies than the one used in your country, you may gain sometimes and lose out at other times because of the fluctuations of the exchange rate. That's part of the business – and has raised several similar questions in the Money Matters forum recently.
Attila


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