SGS

Specific & General Services Limited

Member of CSA

Debt Problems and Business Advice

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Do you have a specific debt problem that you would like us to repond to? Please complete our brief form and then scroll down the page to read the questions and answers.

Any suggestions or advice given by SGS shall be without prejudice and SGS shall not be liable for any suggestions or advice given.

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Q: We have been supplying a particular company regularly for nearly 10 years and up to about 6 months ago they always paid on time. They have not paid June, July and August invoices and are expecting further goods to be delivered during October.

It is very difficult to know what to do bearing in mind that we have dealt with this company for such a long time without any problems.

A: You do not mention the amount this company owes so we will assume that it is substantial sum and that your payment terms are 30 days.

However, regardless of how much is owed we would suggest in the first instance that you immediately obtain a Status Report on the debtor company and providing it is satisfactory you arrange to meet with or telephone the director/s of the debtor company in order to ascertain their intentions in respect of payment of the amounts owed to date.

As you have dealt with this company for a long period of time we realise this will be difficult but you must inform them that you have your own suppliers to pay and cannot afford to allow this matter to continue any longer.

We would suggest that you insist upon immediate payment of the June account (preferably by BACS) and post-dated cheques to cover the July and August accounts (dated no longer than one month apart), all cheques to be cleared on first presentation.

If the June account cheque clears satisfactorily it must then be your decision whether or not you supply further goods during October.

Q: We have been supplying a particular company regularly for nearly 10 years and up to about 6 months ago they always paid on time. They have not paid June, July and August invoices and are expecting further goods to be delivered during October.

It is very difficult to know what to do bearing in mind that we have dealt with this company for such a long time without any problems.

A: You do not mention the amount this company owes so we will assume that it is substantial sum and that your payment terms are 30 days.

However, regardless of how much is owed we would suggest in the first instance that you immediately obtain a Status Report on the debtor company and providing it is satisfactory you arrange to meet with or telephone the director/s of the debtor company in order to ascertain their intentions in respect of payment of the amounts owed to date.

As you have dealt with this company for a long period of time we realise this will be difficult but you must inform them that you have your own suppliers to pay and cannot afford to allow this matter to continue any longer.

We would suggest that you insist upon immediate payment of the June account (preferably by BACS) and post-dated cheques to cover the July and August accounts (dated no longer than one month apart), all cheques to be cleared on first presentation. If the June account cheque clears satisfactorily it must then be your decision whether or not you supply further goods during October.

If you decide to supply further goods during October and beyond, inform the debtor company that you will be evaluating this account on a weekly basis until your payment terms are adhered to. This should include a monthly Status Report to check for any County Court Judgments, High Court Writs and Insolvency Proceedings.

If you require us to obtain a Status Report on your behalf or if a Status Report you have obtained is unsatisfactory please contact us again for further assistance.

Q: I run a small company and offer my customers a prompt payment settlement discount if they pay within 30 days.

I have noticed that the majority of my customers are taking the discount and paying on average in about 60 days. What would you suggest?

A: We would suggest that you immediately remove the settlement terms and replace them with the appropriate wording from the 1998 Late Payment Interest Act.

If you require any assistance with the wording we would be pleased to assist.