How do I get a client to pay me?

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How do I get a client to pay me?

I am a freelance animator. I created an animation for a client. After I delivered the animation to him, he changed his mind and refuses to pay me. I kept the client in the loop throughout the entire project to make sure there was no surprises when I delivered the final animation. He approved everything I sent him. After I sent him the animation, he changed his mind, and said he could not accept it because it was not what he expected. He refuses to pay the $600 that we agreed upon. (via email) I have emails and chat logs of every single thing we have sent to each other. What do I do?

Asked on April 30, 2012 under Business Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

You sue him--when someone does not pay you as per a contract or agreement (including an oral one, in case there was no formal written agreement), the way to secure payment is with a lawsuit. You would probably want to represent yourself in small claims court, so as to save on legal fees; you would need to prove the terms of the agreement (what you were supposed to and what you should have been paid) and that you honored your obligations. If you can do that, you should be able to recover the money; also, once you initiate a lawsuit, there is a very good chance the client will pay all, or at least offer enough to make a settlement worthwhile.


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