Late paying agency: How to ensure I get paid?
Thread poster: Atanaska Ivanova-Massart

Atanaska Ivanova-Massart
Luxembourg
Local time: 14:42
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
Jul 6, 2007

Hi,

I am a freelance translator living in Bulgaria and working mainly for UK agencies. One agency is now 2 months overdue with payment of an invoice for a significant amount of money. Can anybody give me advice on what my legal options are for ensuring I get paid. Would this be under UK or Bulgarian law? The payment should be received into a UK account.

Thank you for your help.

Regards,
Atanaska


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Tobi
Local time: 14:42
English to German
+ ...
Did you already contact them? Jul 6, 2007

First of all, you should contact the company. The further proceeding depends on the result of this communication.
Did they simply to forget to pay in time? Some companies always wait for a first reminder before they pay.


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Atanaska Ivanova-Massart
Luxembourg
Local time: 14:42
English to Bulgarian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
multiple contacts on reporting the payment problem Jul 6, 2007

Tobi wrote:

First of all, you should contact the company. The further proceeding depends on the result of this communication.
Did they simply to forget to pay in time? Some companies always wait for a first reminder before they pay.


Dear Tobi,
thanks for your comment.
I have contacted them about 4 times now reporting that I have not got the payment yet (Given that my jobs for them started in April).
What happens is, the Manager normally tells me something along the lines: 'payment should be received earlier next week' or 'payment should be received by the end of next week' or 'you are likely to be in the next Pay Run'.
I have done a job for them in June, too, but my confidence in this agency is melting and I wonder if I should keep doing jobs for them when I have not got a single payment from them.


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Tim Drayton  Identity Verified
Cyprus
Local time: 15:42
Turkish to English
+ ...
Possible course of action Jul 6, 2007

Well, in theory individuals can pursue their own recovery action for what are classified as "small claims" (less than £15,000) through the county courts. You can find further information here:
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_rights/legal_system/small_claims.htm
It might be very difficult to pursue this course of action in your case, as I think personal appearances in court are required. However, it is a statutory requirement to send a final notice for payment, in which the required period is granted for payment to be made (I think this is about two weeks), by registered mail before starting such proceedings. I have found that simply serving such a notice on a late payer results in speedy payment (although you will never be contacted by them for work again!), given that it implies the threat of legal proceedings. I have a template for such a notice (valid for the UK) that reads as follows:

FINAL NOTICE
Dear Sirs,
FOR THE ATTENTION OF THE ACCOUNT MANAGER - FINAL NOTICE
I invoiced you on --- for the amount of ---, being ---.
As this amount has been outstanding for longer than the agreed --- days from the date of the invoice, I must request payment by ---. Should payment not be received by this date, I will be forced to commence court proceedings to recover the amount due to me.
I will also be claiming court fees and interest at the statutory rate of 8% per annum (S69 County Courts Act 1984).
If you have already dispatched payment, please accept my apologies and ignore this letter.
Yours faithfully,

If you really feel that the agency which owes you money is acting in bad faith - and of course you should start with gentler forms of reminder - I would send the above final notice by registered post, keeping a copy and proof of dispatch for yourself, and if you still receive no payment you will probably have no other choice than to put the matter in the hands of a collection agency, informing them that you have served a final notice for payment, given the distance separating you from the debtors.


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:42
Dutch to English
+ ...
UK agencies do often take between 45 and 90 days to pay Jul 6, 2007

UK agencies do take a while to pay. Of the 10 or so agencies I work for in the UK, 1 pays within 30 days, 3 within 90 days and the rest between 45 and 60 days after the invoice date.

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Vadim Poguliaev  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 15:42
English to Russian
executive Jul 6, 2007

You can try to contact higher authority, like the head of vendor management (worked, when I got in similar situation) or even some of the executives. You can also try the phone call.

[Edited at 2007-07-06 11:48]


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MariusV  Identity Verified
Lithuania
Local time: 15:42
English to Lithuanian
+ ...
try a very simple thing Jul 6, 2007

I had a problem with one UK agency. The amount was not very big, they had reorganization (maybe it was the actual reason as a lot of staff changed, and so on), and the payment was overdue for more than half a year. I wrote a simple email to the PM in charge and cc.: to their CEO saying that I want to receive the money they owe to me for more than half a year (gave them 10 days to settle) and added that I will authorise my friend in the UK to apply to a court of law if they do not settle as requested. The next day money was there. A UK agency should react because if you go the legal way (I myself was bluffing, they can have serious consequences. Esp. what related to their credit ranking (they will have problems at banks and so on).

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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:42
German to English
+ ...
Atanaska, of course you shouldn't accept any more jobs from them Jul 6, 2007

until you see some money! Have you checked their Blue Board record?

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