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What to Do When Final Payment is Due and the Client Won’t Pay

Under Florida law it is very important that your agreement with your customer include a written provision for the recovery of attorney’s fees. In general, without such a provision, the recovery of your legal expenses will be impossible or much more difficult. This provision for attorney’s fees can be included in a formal contract or in a less formal form such as a proposal, invoice or packing slip. Your ability to recover attorney’s fees creates an additional financial incentive for the customer to pay and may make the difference as to whether or not to pursue your customer.

The more front heavy the correlation between the payments from your customer and the services you provide the better. Numerous small payments throughout the job reduces your risk. It is better to take a check than receive no payment at all even if you suspect the check may be bad. Writing a bad check may have criminal consequences and also provides you with an opportunity to recover three times the value of the check. Again, this may be the necessary incentive for your customer to pay the bill.

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