There are many ways to persuade a debtor to pay you the money they owe. Yet, sometimes the only option remaining is to file a lawsuit. If so, you need to know what this entails.
First, it is essential to remember a lawsuit will cost you time and money. While you may recover your costs, you cannot recover the time you invest. So make sure the sum owed is worth it.
Second, sometimes the threat of litigation is enough for a debtor to take their responsibilities seriously. Some people push their chances as far as possible but will pay up once the threat becomes real.
Once you are sure you want to pursue a lawsuit, you need to ensure you have the evidence you need. You need to prove you gave the good or services at a price they agreed to, you billed them correctly for it, and that they have not yet paid.
The more evidence you have to back up your attempts to get paid, the better. That is why it is wise to use written correspondence when chasing someone to pay — it provides more evidence than phone calls or talking in person.
There are limits to when and where you can file a lawsuit against a debtor
You need to ensure you are filing the lawsuit in the proper jurisdiction and within the permitted time under the statute of limitations. In California, this is four years for debt due to a written contract and two year where the agreement was oral.
If you think filing a lawsuit is your best option to reclaim money owed to you, it is crucial to understand the legalities involved to increase your chance of success.