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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 75057
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I have sent (very late) invoices to a company I used to work

Customer Question

I have sent (very late) invoices to a company I used to work for which have been ignored and they have not responded to at all. The invoices were sent very late as I was suffering with MH issues at the time which impaired my ability to do certain things and daily life. Do I have any chance of recovering the money for services I provided or is it just too late
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Bolton
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: I sent the invoices to head office with an explanation as to why they were so late with payment terms of 30 days to raise disputes and a further 30 days for payment
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: They are 2 to 2.5 years old
Submitted: 11 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Were there any contractual rules on how soon invoices should be raised? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Not that I am aware of. I did not recall receiving anything from the company about it. Managers still working for the company were aware I hadn't sent any and was struggling with my MH and one even tried to assist me in putting them together.
Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Can't talk at the moment as I'm in a public place
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. First of all, I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced in your situation.

There is no specific timeline by law in which an invoice must be raised. Sometimes, the contract deals with that and sets deadlines but in the absence of such, an invoice could be raised months, even years later.

The important dates are that you can only make a claim for them within 6 years, so really you should be issuing them within these 6 years as once the time limit has passed, a court won’t hear a claim over them anymore.

At this stage, assuming they continue ignoring you, you can consider taking this further more formally.

If money is owed by one party to another, the debtor can potentially be taken to court to try and force them to pay up. However, as legal action should only be used as a last resort, there are certain steps that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without the need to involve the courts. It is therefore recommended that the following steps are taken in order to try and resolve this:

1. Reminder letter – if no informal reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the other party to voluntarily settle this matter.

2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but have been ignored, the other party must be sent a formal ‘letter before action’ asking them to resolve this amicably within a specified period of time – 14 days is reasonable. They should be advised that if they fail to make contact to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to pursue them for the money that is owed. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this without the need for legal action. There are numerous templates available online for such letters and a simple search will bring up a list of useful results.

3. If the letter before action is also ignored, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome.  There will be a fee payable, which depends on the amount that is claimed. The debtor will eventually get a copy of the claim and they will have a limited time to answer it. They could accept it and pay what is owed, they could accept it only in part and defend the rest, or they could outright reject it. They could also completely ignore it, in which case judgment will eventually be entered automatically against them. Also, it is worth noting that the simple act of submitting a claim could show the debtor that this is being taken seriously and prompt them to consider negotiating a potential solution to stop the claim progressing further, such as offering full or partial repayment.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 11 days ago.
Thank you for the advice Ben. Have a good weekend. Deborah
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 11 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this, please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be happy to help. All the best