Collecting late payment from an agency in Austria
Thread poster: Pavle Perencevic

Pavle Perencevic  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:49
Member (2002)
Serbian to English
+ ...
Oct 4, 2018

What's the best way to go about collecting a debt from a non-paying agency in Austria? At this time, they owe me about EUR 130.00. I'm generally located in Canada.

Thanks,

Pavle


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:49
French to English
Follow the usual steps Oct 4, 2018

1) You need to make sure the contract was clear about what you were to provide, by when and for how much. An exchange of emails can suffice for there to be a contract.
2)Then you need to be able to prove that you provided what you were supposed to provide in accordance with the agreement you had with the agency.
3) If you check those boxes, then you need to send a formal notice requesting payment. Something along the lines of:
"according to our agreement, etc. I provided a
... See more
1) You need to make sure the contract was clear about what you were to provide, by when and for how much. An exchange of emails can suffice for there to be a contract.
2)Then you need to be able to prove that you provided what you were supposed to provide in accordance with the agreement you had with the agency.
3) If you check those boxes, then you need to send a formal notice requesting payment. Something along the lines of:
"according to our agreement, etc. I provided a translation of (date, subject, amount, when delivered, etc.) and for which you agreed to pay me XXX euros by (date) by bank transfer/Paypal, etc. I have not received any such payment. Please could you send me payment within one week of receiving this email. Beyond that date I will have to take further action for recovery."
4) If you get no payment after that message, then take appropriate action. There is probably a small claims type system to formalise recovery. Systems of this sort are cheap, often completely free. They can sometimes be made online.
Do note that if the deadline has passed and you have not sent a formal demand for the money you are owed, it is unlikely that a claim can be made. You usually have to prove you have taken all the usual commercial steps for recovery.

Final word, do not spend too much time or money chasing 130 euros. I know any money owed should be paid, but economically, you do need to think about what you will do if the agent ignores the claim. Paying legal fees to recover 130 euros does not make sense.

You can also post a message on the ProZ Blueboard.
Collapse


Teresa Borges
 

Pavle Perencevic  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:49
Member (2002)
Serbian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Nikki Oct 4, 2018

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

1) You need to make sure the contract was clear about what you were to provide, by when and for how much. An exchange of emails can suffice for there to be a contract.
2)Then you need to be able to prove that you provided what you were supposed to provide in accordance with the agreement you had with the agency.
3) If you check those boxes, then you need to send a formal notice requesting payment. Something along the lines of:
"according to our agreement, etc. I provided a translation of (date, subject, amount, when delivered, etc.) and for which you agreed to pay me XXX euros by (date) by bank transfer/Paypal, etc. I have not received any such payment. Please could you send me payment within one week of receiving this email. Beyond that date I will have to take further action for recovery."
4) If you get no payment after that message, then take appropriate action. There is probably a small claims type system to formalise recovery. Systems of this sort are cheap, often completely free. They can sometimes be made online.
Do note that if the deadline has passed and you have not sent a formal demand for the money you are owed, it is unlikely that a claim can be made. You usually have to prove you have taken all the usual commercial steps for recovery.

Final word, do not spend too much time or money chasing 130 euros. I know any money owed should be paid, but economically, you do need to think about what you will do if the agent ignores the claim. Paying legal fees to recover 130 euros does not make sense.

You can also post a message on the ProZ Blueboard.


Thanks, Nikki.

This is all valuable advice.

1) You need to make sure the contract was clear about what you were to provide, by when and for how much. An exchange of emails can suffice for there to be a contract. CHECKED!
2)Then you need to be able to prove that you provided what you were supposed to provide in accordance with the agreement you had with the agency. CHECKED!
You can also post a message on the ProZ Blueboard. CHECKED!!!

However, I'm actually hoping some good soul who might have had a similar experience with a client in Austria can provide rather more specific instructions such as directing me to an actual website where such small claims can be processed cheaply, quickly and, preferably, online because, like you said, 130 euros is too small a sum to spend an excessive amount of time or money chasing.


 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:49
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Some ideas Oct 4, 2018

- Send a copy of the invoice with a final demand letter (Google for ideas of wording). It needs to be sent snail mail to the registered address, with proof of delivery returned to you by the post office. That serves as evidence (even if they refuse to accept the letter).
- Make sure the company is still solvent. This should help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_comp
... See more
- Send a copy of the invoice with a final demand letter (Google for ideas of wording). It needs to be sent snail mail to the registered address, with proof of delivery returned to you by the post office. That serves as evidence (even if they refuse to accept the letter).
- Make sure the company is still solvent. This should help: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_company_registers#Austria No point doing anything if they've filed for bankruptcy except follow the instructions of the officials.
- Leave negative feedback on the Blue Board to warn others. Look for other places to do similar.
- Find other ways to contact them so they know that you aren't going away. Make enough noise to be annoying, but not enough to be accused of spamming etc.
- Maybe get a lawyer to send a final demand as their ones carry more weight. It may cost too much though.
- Investigate the possibilities of the Austrian small claims courts. The "starting proceedings" section of this text ( https://gettingthedealthrough.com/area/9/jurisdiction/25/dispute-resolution-austria/ ) looks interesting. If it doesn't cost much to start then it can be highly beneficial to send the prepared papers to your client. I have proof - filing a claim was all I needed to do as payment arrived the very next day! Like the point further up, it gives a very clear message that this problem isn't going to go away!
Collapse


Teresa Borges
 

Joakim Braun  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 03:49
German to Swedish
+ ...
Fees Oct 4, 2018

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Paying legal fees to recover 130 euros does not make sense.



In the jurisdictions I know anything about, such fees are recovered from the debtor.
If you prevail, of course.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:49
French to English
@Joakim: Yes, but Oct 5, 2018

Joakim Braun wrote:

Nikki Scott-Despaigne wrote:

Paying legal fees to recover 130 euros does not make sense.



In the jurisdictions I know anything about, such fees are recovered from the debtor.
If you prevail, of course.


Yes, they usually are to be recovered along with the amount of the debt itself. However, for 130 euros, if the client has disappeared or cannot pay, then any costs advanced will be lost too. The overall loss will be increased, which is not a good idea.
Also, you might obtain a judgment in your favour (known as a "judgment debt"), but it can sometimes be necessary to take further legal action to have the first judgment enforced (known as "enforcement proceedings").

The main thing is that most systems have a means of pursuing small claims for no cost at all. That is no doubt the best course here.


 

Nikki Scott-Despaigne  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:49
French to English
@Pavle Oct 5, 2018

Pavle Perencevic wrote:

However, I'm actually hoping some good soul who might have had a similar experience with a client in Austria can provide rather more specific instructions such as directing me to an actual website where such small claims can be processed cheaply, quickly and, preferably, online because, like you said, 130 euros is too small a sum to spend an excessive amount of time or money chasing.



https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_small_claims-42-at-en.do?member=1

"1 Existence of a specific small claims procedure
1.1 Scope of procedure, threshold
There is no small claims procedure as such in Austrian law. The Austrian Code of Civil Procedure (ZPO) only provides for a simplified procedure in certain matters brought before the District Courts. As a rule, these are special procedural rules or a simplified procedure for purely financial disputes which fall under the jurisdiction of the District Courts (amount in dispute of EUR 15 000 or less, rising to EUR 20 000 from 1 January 2015 and EUR 25 000 from 1 January 2016). Certain procedural simplifications may be applied in cases involving labour and social security law, irrespective of the amount in dispute.

As a rule, these simplifications apply to small claims of up to EUR 1 000 (see point 1.5) or EUR 2 700 (see point 1.9).

1.2 Application of procedure
The specific rules for small claims under Austrian procedural law are mandatory and the parties cannot opt out of them.

Thus neither the court nor the parties can transfer the claim to ‘ordinary’ proceedings.

1.3 Forms
As there is no small claims procedure in Austria, there are no particular forms for such claims.

1.4 Assistance
Legal representation is not compulsory in Austria for amounts in dispute of up to EUR 5 000. Judges must provide assistance to parties with no legal representation, i.e. they must advise the parties of their procedural rights and obligations and of the legal consequences of their acts and omissions. Parties are also able to register their claim orally before the District Court with jurisdiction or the District Court in their place of residence. If a written submission by a party with no legal representation is inadequate, the judge must give that party an appropriate explanation and guidance. The judge’s impartiality must not be compromised by this."

A starting point.


 

Pavle Perencevic  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 18:49
Member (2002)
Serbian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ all Oct 11, 2018

Thanks, everyone, for all the valuable information. It turns out - I won't be needing it after all! Somehow or other, things have fallen into place, so to speak. I hope this will all prove useful to someone else at some point.

 


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:


You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Collecting late payment from an agency in Austria

Advanced search







Anycount & Translation Office 3000
Translation Office 3000

Translation Office 3000 is an advanced accounting tool for freelance translators and small agencies. TO3000 easily and seamlessly integrates with the business life of professional freelance translators.

More info »
Protemos translation business management system
Create your account in minutes, and start working! 3-month trial for agencies, and free for freelancers!

The system lets you keep client/vendor database, with contacts and rates, manage projects and assign jobs to vendors, issue invoices, track payments, store and manage project files, generate business reports on turnover profit per client/manager etc.

More info »



Forums
  • All of ProZ.com
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search