Excuses, Excuses…Defenses in Commercial Debt Collections Claims

Commercial Debt Collections
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Your customer’s phony excuses for non-payment have continued. They are now bogus “defenses” in the legal action you had to initiate to get paid. Your non-paying customer is now a defendant.

Not surprising, the laundry list of “excuses/defenses” raised by non-payers in commercial debt collections cases are not unique or special. The defenses vary by industry and are included to continue to delay payment. A result of experience and a focused collections practice allows us to anticipate the defenses. The art is knowing when and how to demonstrate to the Court that the defenses are bogus.

Examples of defenses that are raised in commercial debt collections cases:

  • A standard defense raised on a variety of cases is that payment has already been made, whether it’s true or not,
  • Goods were returned, defective, unsatisfactory, non-conforming, late and untimely,
  • Services were unsatisfactory,
  • Improper service, lack of jurisdiction, accord and satisfaction, violation of FDCPA, lack of standing to sue, latches, etc.

Some defenses can be handled without requiring you to appear for a trial and spend your time in Court. The process is referred to “on papers,” or by motion. Motion practice peels away bogus claims by requiring the defendant to prove their claims. An added bonus is it forces your non-paying customer to put his hand in his own pocket (instead of yours) and incur additional legal fees to defend the case. The goal is to get the debtor to fold and pay you without having to wait or spend time going to trial.

Boilerplate defenses should not be feared rather appreciated that they are standard defenses and just a continuation of your non-paying customer’s excuse(s). It’s time to stop listening to excuses and time to get paid.

Call this New York City commercial debt collections attorney at (212) 686-0100 or email jnager@ffgnesqs.com to discuss your case.