We Demanded Payment, Now What?

By Lindsey Revels Fernald
Attorney at Law

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Clients often come to us for help recovering money owed on various contracts, agreements, payments, services and products. Depending on the circumstances, we may recommend sending a letter to the debtor to demand payment of the total balance owed. Sometimes, debtors (or their attorneys) respond to the demand letter, the line of communication continues, and we can work toward a resolution of the matter. Sending a demand letter, rather than filing a lawsuit off the bat, may help curb legal fees and, in some cases, can allow the parties to resolve the matter more quickly.

However, sometimes a demand letter will go completely unanswered. In that case, a client is generally left with two options: either continue to try and communicate with the debtor about the balance owed or file a lawsuit to recover the balance owed. Generally, an overarching goal in filing a lawsuit would be to obtain an order for summary judgment in which the court finds that there are no genuine issues of material fact in the case and our client is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Of course, there are several steps to be completed before we can move the court for summary judgment (e.g., serving the defendant(s) with a summons and complaint, and allowing the defendant(s) time to respond to the complaint) and sometimes there are potential, unforeseen obstacles on the road to summary judgment (e.g., missing information or a competing motion to dismiss).

Regardless of the path to resolution, Vann Attorneys is experienced and well-equipped to assist with every step of your case. Whether you’re interested in sending a demand letter, filing a lawsuit, or simply want to discuss your legal options in more detail, we would be more than happy to speak with you. Please contact us for more information.

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