Collecting overdue debt from Customers. Small business-Some 90 days late. Some much older. Use bill Collector? How to do it myself?

UPDATED: Jun 11, 2009

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Collecting overdue debt from Customers. Small business-Some 90 days late. Some much older. Use bill Collector? How to do it myself?

I am a small business owner that had to lay off my office person after 7 years. We are owed $ 18,000.00 in late money. About $ 2,000. we can’t do anything about because it is the 10% withheld pertaining to a contract. I need start all over in my education in this area. My former office person had a company approacher for some of the older debt. But they are not local, and I am not sure how to go about checking up or proceeding in general. What books/web sites etc. ? Virginia law is confusing

Asked on June 11, 2009 under Business Law, Virginia


B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

I'm not a Virginia lawyer, but I'm not surprised you find this area of the law confusing, because there are a lot of details to this in most states.  There are also federal laws that regulate what you can and cannot legally do, when trying to collect a debt.  Mistakes can be expensive!

You can turn your receivables over to a collection agency, and it shouldn't be hard to find one;  they will get paid a percentage of what they collect.  Or, you can go directly to a law firm that does collections work;  there are some firms that do nothing but.  These lawyers also get paid out of what they collect.  One place to look for a qualified attorney near you is our website,

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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