I sometimes forget how much advice is tucked away in comments on old posts, like this (edited slightly, below) on how UK-based designer David Roberts recovered what he was owed from a client who had no intention of paying.

Alec Monopoly graffitiArt by Alec Monopoly.

“I had (past tense, unfortunately) a client for almost two years who provided me with a regular flow of work. However, the frequency of the work began to slow and payments got later and later.

“Then came the excuses and unanswered calls and emails. I was owed quite a large amount that was more than four months overdue. Finally, I sent the client an email stating that if they were experiencing financial difficulty to contact me about a payment plan. This seemed to shame the client into responding, but after another excuse the responses dried up.

“I came across the UK Government’s Money Claim Online service which, for a small fee (£70 in my case), they’ll take the client to the small claims court. I did this and within three weeks the client was forced to pay the full amount, plus interest, and my £70 fee.

“I was fortunate — the client had moved premises and obviously had no intention of paying.

“So I would urge freelancers to watch for the signs and don’t wait forever as the longer you leave it the harder it can be to get your money.”

Money Claim Online can be used for fixed sums under £100K. I’m not sure about similar services outside the UK.
Read the original post: How do you deal with unpaid invoices?