Non-paying agency in US in another state.
Thread poster: Anna Muntean Stacanova

Anna Muntean Stacanova
United States
Local time: 08:03
Russian to English
+ ...
Apr 22, 2010

Hello!

An agency did not pay by invoice, dated from November 2009. It is in GA, I am in CT. Besides, the owner behaved rude, hanging up the phone, ignoring emails.

Can I find a small court claim? If not, what are my options with the court?

What about ProZ job postings. If I report this agency to ProZ will they be prohibited from posting the job ads?

I was searching the forum for the answer, but could not find it.


Thank you so much!


 

Yasutomo Kanazawa  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:03
My suggestion Apr 23, 2010

Anna M S wrote:

Hello!

An agency did not pay by invoice, dated from November 2009. It is in GA, I am in CT. Besides, the owner behaved rude, hanging up the phone, ignoring emails.

Can I find a small court claim? If not, what are my options with the court?

What about ProZ job postings. If I report this agency to ProZ will they be prohibited from posting the job ads?

I was searching the forum for the answer, but could not find it.


Thank you so much!



Hi,

My suggestion is to use a debt collection agency. You should be able to find one where you live. Regarding small court claim, I don't know about that.
Even if you report this agency to Proz, the site cannot prohibit this agency from posting jobs, unless there are other peers who have been victims of non-payment by the same agency.

HTH


 

Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:03
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
Conditions under which an outsourcer may be banned from posting jobs Apr 23, 2010

Dear Anna,

Sorry to hear about this. The information about the conditions under which an outsourcer may be banned from posting jobs on ProZ.com is to be found here:

http://www.proz.com/termination_policy

And the conditions on which you can complain about the agency to ProZ.com are to be found here:

http://www.proz.com/faq/jobs/finding_jobs_at_proz_com.html#i_have_not_received_payment_for_a_job_i_have_done_what_can_i_do_

I hope someone in the USA will be able to help you with the information about the small claims courts soon.

Astrid


 

Andrei Yefimov  Identity Verified
Ukraine
Local time: 15:03
English to Russian
+ ...
negative blue board entry Apr 23, 2010

Hello Anna,

First, make sure you post a negative BB entry to warn other colleagues. Sometimes, it may work, and you may receive your payment straight away once a defaulting outsourcer has found out about it.

HTH


 

Attila Piróth  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 14:03
Member
English to Hungarian
+ ...
IRS Apr 23, 2010

Please take a look at the approach recommended by José Henrique in this forum post. The idea is quite interesting: as your fee has not been paid, you are obliged to report it as a bad debt. By keeping the money they owe you, they run the risk of an IRS audit.

Best of luck!
Attila


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:03
English to German
+ ...
Hi Anna Apr 23, 2010

I am so sorry to hear that.

Anna M S wrote:
An agency did not pay by invoice, dated from November 2009. It is in GA, I am in CT. Besides, the owner behaved rude, hanging up the phone, ignoring emails.


A question, though: Did you send them a reminder via certified mail with return receipt already? It's hard to ignore those, plus you are supposed to do so before you can take any legal steps.

Also, don't forget to charge a hefty interest rate in this hopefully last reminder.

Only after this step has been taken it makes sense to contact a lawyer. Look for one who is specializing in small businesses / freelancers. Mine here in Portland charges only $25 per phone call (I called him with a lot of questions when I started my business a couple of years ago. The information was priceless.)

Then ask your lawyer to write up a letter for you.

Lawyers in your area can be found here:

http://www.lawyers.com/Business-Law/Connecticut/browse-by-city.html


You don't really hurt your client with any BB entries. Their clients don't check a Blue Bord that is meant for translators.

However: You can notify the Better Business Bureau. This hurts...

Best of luck!

Nicole


 

Anna Muntean Stacanova
United States
Local time: 08:03
Russian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you all! Apr 23, 2010

Thank you, the information is very useful.

Hi Nicole, no I did not sent the letter yet. I emailed her yesterday with a warning that I will have to take further steps. She said she does not care.

Ah, those people. How are supposed to make a living like that?!


 

Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:03
English to Spanish
+ ...
José Henrique Apr 23, 2010

The other day I looked into the approach recommended by José Henrique. While his contributions tend to be very thoughtful and useful, I am not so sure about this one. What he recommends is reporting to the IRS that the non-payer has received income equal to the amount of the unpaid invoice.

In fact the non-payer has not received any such income. He has merely benefitted by not paying what he owes. But in that case, with no proof of payment, he also may not take any deduction for that amount as a business expense. That being the case, he is square with the IRS.

So I just cannot see how threatening the non-payer with the IRS can work.


 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Small Claims procedure Apr 23, 2010

You cannot collect from someone who cannot pay, which is likely why she does not care at this point.

It's been since November, so I do not see them ever paying you unless you follow through with some type of action.

NO COLLECTION AGENCY!!!
A collection agency does nothing but take the annoying work off of your hands in trying to follow up on a debtor account. They are there so that you can continue to focus on working rather than chasing money owed to you. Their MO is to annoy the heck out of the debtor with phone calls & letters etc. until they pay.

SMALL CLAIMS COURT:
If you are intent on going to a small claims court, you can do the following:

Determine the amount sought (principal + contractual late fees & interest).

If no late fees or interest was stated in the contract/PO/email whatever, then add fees & interest in accordance with Title 13, Section 13-11-1 of the Georgia Code (the Georgia Prompt Payment Act) or with the same prompt payment laws as provided in CT.

Once you have your total, file for judgment for that amount against the company in CT, in your city.

Likely, they will not show up and will not send a lawyer/defense attorney to represent them. If they do not, you will be granted a default judgment in your favor. If they show up, you will likely need to be prepared to defend your case.

If you win the judgment in CT, and they do not pay the judgment within the period demanded by the court, then do the following:

File to domesticate the judgment to GA or any other state where they hold assets.

I'm not sure if the GA legal system has adopted the UEFJA, but if they have, then you will be granted judgment after showing proof of the judgment in CT, providing the last known address of the company, and supplying payment of the filing fees.

Once domesticated, they will be required to pay the judgment under GA law. If they do not remit payment within the term demanded by the court, it can be used as leverage to freeze/seize/garnish assets they hold IN GEORGIA... and they won't have anything they can say about it.

Hopefully it doesn't have to go that far, but... these are your options.

[Edited at 2010-04-23 18:40 GMT]


 

Bryan Crumpler  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:03
Dutch to English
+ ...
Title 13, Chapter 11: Georgia Prompt Pay Act Apr 23, 2010

Paraphrased...

13-11-5. Payment due to professional service providers after 10 days...
13-11-7. Tack on 1% interest per month the payment is overdue.

Info here:
http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2003_04/versions/hb1195_LC_14_8569_a_2.htm


 


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