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ANDREI VASHKEVICH,
ADVOCATE, MANAGING PARTNER

WHAT TO DO IF A CUSTOMER DOES NOT SIGN THE ACTS / DOES NOT PAY?

02.03.2020
Check customer's solvency

Services for checking:
kartoteka.by
minjust.gov.by/directions/enforcement/debtors
ssf.gov.by/ru/debtors-ru
portal.nalog.gov.by/debtor

If there are enforcement proceedings or debts to the budget, then most likely the customer will not be able to pay for your work.

While drafting executive documentation, make copies for yourself or keep the executive documentation in duplicate

Customer has the right not to recognize the scope of work which was done even with signed acts. In this case expertize may be required. If you have no executive documentation it will be difficult to prove your rights. Especially if the customer "loses" your executive documentation.
Do not accumulate debt - file complaints

Do not wait until a large debt accumulates, file a claim for each overdue amount.

As a rule,
before going to court you have to file a complaint and get an answer. Or wait for experation of the period established by law or contract for an answer. And only after that apply to the court. Usually this period is 30 days.

Do not correct acts if you are not sure in your rightness

Customers often say that they have the right to make remarks on the acts and the contractor is obliged to make corrections and compose new acts. It takes a lot of time. To recover a debt through a court, it is not necessary to make corrections in the act.


Customer hasn't signed an act, but works were not performed

Don't wait infinitely signing of an act, apply to the court with an act signed only by the contractor if you are sure that the work has been completed.

The court will evaluate all circumstances of that case including executive documentation. It has a right to recover a debt from the customer in case of the abcense of a signed act.
If you are not sure about an amount of money ask to recover a part of dept

The law allows to require recovery only of part of dept in court. It is advisable to file a lawsuit for the amount with which the customer agrees (in order not to delay the consideration of the dispute and obtain a document for debt collection as fast as possible), and leave the remaining amount for a separate claim.

Do not give a reason to make this case longer

Try to get at least a part of dept with minimal losses as fast as you can. If you are not sure about capasity of a customer don't file a claim for the recovery of penalty and interests, firstly ask to collect the undisputed debt.

Customers file counterclaims if they have that possibility. This allows to drag out the proceedings as firstly the court is obliged to consider the claim of the customer. For instance, the contractor claims penalties for late payments and customer counterclaims penalties for late performance of works. Тhe court must consider all the claims.

* This article was prepared specifically for lextorre.com as of February 27, 2020.

** The article provides general information and should not be considered as legal consultation.

*** For questions connected with publishing this article contact marketing@lextorre.com