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gil_jnr

Freelance supplier & contractor refusing to pay on time - help required on court action

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I've recently taken the plunge into self-employment for the first time and have been working as a freelance CAD designer for the last 4 months for a company under a very basic contract stating payment within 30 days of receipt of invoice.

 

During that time, the company has consistently been late paying invoices and has required me to continually chase them. They've used all manner of excuses and now the business relationship has ended after the current invoice became yet again overdue (due date 1st December) and leaving me with no option but to get somewhat shirty with them.

 

I sent an Overdue Payment Notice via email on the 4th Dec after they refused to explain why I had not been paid on time yet again, and stated that the company now had 7 days to pay £132 for services supplied, plus 4x statutory late-payment charges of £40 for every late payment (plus £2.32 in interest for the first invoice that was over 60 days late in payment), giving a total due of £294.26.

 

The reply from them, also by email on the 4th Dec was that they only made 1 payroll run a week and that they 'explained' that they made payments after 30 days on the following payroll, and that they confirmed that I would receive the final payment of £132 on 7th December - today.

 

Having just checked my account balances online, there is no sign of any payment into my account.

 

I'm now at the point of taking a small claims action against the company for debt recovery, and to include the £40 charges as stated in the Late Payments Of Commercial Debts Regulations.

 

I've not had to pursue this course of action before, and would like to know if the court would consider it to be reasonable if I include a figure of £120 (8hrs @£15 p/hr - standard industry rate) in business administration costs to cover time & effort spent in chasing them and processing the paperwork to bring the claim against them?

 

I've had a search through the site but can't find any examples on how to best complete the Particulars of Claim for the MCOL document.

 

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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I recently made a post enquiring what I could charge for bringing a claim against a business to recover outstanding payments:

 

http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?375176-Freelance-supplier-amp-contractor-refusing-to-pay-on-time-help-required-on-court-action

 

I've not had to go down this route before and will need to take action to recover the debt if full payment has not been recieved, as stated in a Letter Before Action that will expire on Tuesday.

 

The details are straightforward enough, It's the matter of whether I can include any further charges for my time, and what would be considered reasonable costs by the court.

 

Any suggestions, and any links to examples to complete the MCOL form, would be greatly appreciated

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Please keep to one thread gil .....I have merged your thread from self employment.

 

Regards

 

Andy


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i would send them a letter before action giving them 14 days to settle their account. if you receive no reply you can issue your claim straight away. you could try and claim your admin fees but they seem high to me, what does your contract state?

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Thankyou for the replies :)

 

The entire details of the contract (that was sent to me by email) is as follows:

 

"Hi, To save you coming in it stands as:

[company] employ a subcontractor to undertake modelling on their behalf. This is paid at £x.xx per model. Work is allocated on a weekly basis. The subcontractor will be expected to complete any works they indicate they can complete in the week.

Payment will be made 30 days from receipt of a valid invoice which can be issued by the sub contractor for work completed in the month at the end of the month"

The company insist that they have the right to make payments after 30 days have passed on the following week's payroll, and most of the time it has been two weeks after the 30 days have expired after sending them overdue notices, and having 'Please make payment within 30 days of date of issue' stated on the invoice. I know they have received each and every invoice/reminder to their accounts email address so they cannot claim they didn't get it on time.

 

An LBA has already been sent and expires this coming Tuesday.

 

As for the administration fees, I read on a 'sticky thread' here that the fees a L.I.P. can charge have been increased from £9.25 to £18.00 p/hr, so the £15 p/hr (my current hourly rate) would fall under the maximum, and the 8 hours charged for would be for spending 1hr per month over 4 months having to chase outstanding bills, and the remaining 4hrs spent having to prepare the forms & admin to bring the claim against them.

 

Their reply to the LBA was that they refused to acknowledge the Late Payment Commercial Contracts regulations.

 

I'm assuming this will be a straightforward process to claim.

 

Are there any templates that someone could kindly provide a link to, to help complete the forms to set the claim process in motion?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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