Advice on getting paid from US based company
Thread poster: Eduardo Cano Rodríguez

Eduardo Cano Rodríguez  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:32
Member (2011)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dec 8, 2006

Dear all,

Some months ago I translated two projects for a company based on the USA. Everything went fine and the customer was quite satisfied with the job. The company stated that the payment was to be made in 30 days time, but unhopefully I did not receive it. I contacted this agency and they asked if I was willing to accept a 4 stages payment, they will divide the payment in four instalments and will send 4 checks. The total amount was 2,400 $, and I received the first two checks, last one in August. Sadly, they do not answer me my emails anymore, they answered to my BB posting stating "there was some kind of miscommunication and that the payment was about to be made" and still didn't receive anything.

I submitted a complaint to the Better Business Bureau but did not receive answer, and do not know if this procedure is valid only for residents in the United States.

I am thinking about asking a debt collection agency, but as this is an USA based company and I am from Spain, I was wondering if any of you know any agency that can help me with my payment problems.

Any help or advice will be really thanked.



Rebecca Lowery  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 18:32
French to English
Try phoning them Dec 8, 2006

I'm really not sure if there is much else you can do. If it were an EU company you could threaten to charge interest on the debt but as the company is in the US I don't think this would apply. In my experience e-mails are easily ignored but whenever I've actually phoned a late payer, you kind of catch them unawares and they're more likely to pay just to get rid of you!

Good luck! I've got my fingers crossed for you!


David Earl  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:32
Member (2007)
German to English
I'm not a lawyer Dec 9, 2006

First, I'd wait to see what others here suggest.

I might ask the local US Embassy/Consulate for recommendations.

BBB wouldn't help, because their purpose is to collect _reports_ and make them available to BBB members. They're not a collection agency.

The State Bar Association for the customer's State might also be able to give advice on how to proceed. (Google: "State Bar Association" and select for the appropriate State.) An email inquiry to them can't hurt (worst case: they don't respond), and should help you determine at what level you should start legal proceedings, if you need to do that. (State-level, District, etc.) I would expect them to recommend that you hire an attorney, which means you would have to pay legal fees/retainer, initially.

As to finding an attorney, SBA California offers this site:

However, that comes from/applies to CA & _may_ differ from State to State.

Late fees may be applicable, (as well as legal fees if you win). That and the amounts depend on 1) the contract (if any), 2) the common law for the legal level that you start at. Each State has their own view on these issues, but that may not be the level that you start at.

Put any emails into a special folder in your email program, so that you have the original documentation in the original form (with the header information: routing, message id, etc.). Same with any faxes (but in paper format), etc. My understanding is that many legal systems recognize "Do job for X compensation" as a contract, but I'm not a lawyer.


Maya Gomon
United States
Local time: 12:32
English to Ukrainian
+ ...
Department of Labor Dec 10, 2006

I would suggest contacting Department of Labor ->

You don't have to explain in US where you from until asked.

Good Luck!

[Edited at 2006-12-10 07:20]


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Advice on getting paid from US based company

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