They Didn’t Pay…

I recently heard the following rather bizarre story from someone I know. His company had done marketing work for a lawyer over a period of time and rendered several invoices. After several months of not getting paid by this lady lawyer on 2 older invoices, he faxed 2 reminders and 4 new invoices to the accounts payable department in her firm.

The next day he got a call from the police saying she made a harassment complaint.

The officer said that if they sent her anymore invoices they would be charged with harassment.

I find it hard to believe that the police would actually have gone through with their threat, but this story certainly shows there are some very strange things happening to people who are just looking to be paid for services rendered.

Needless to say this lawyer is now going to get sued by this creditor.

If a non paying client is getting aggressive and disagreeable, unload that file to a third party. You will save yourself from a distracting headache that will take you away from your business and may actually get your outstanding balance paid without having to file a court claim.

Michael Lebovic

Statute Of Limitations

Not just people, your invoices have limitations too.
In most of Canada’s provinces you have just 2 years to collect the money that is owed you. I suspect most of you know this by now – I certainly have mentioned it enough times but it bears repeating.

What reminded me of this  was an appearance at a settlement conference with a client a few weeks ago. They were owed $20,000 for services rendered. The defendant had at one time said they had damages and were therefore not paying.

Our client said no problem, we have insurance just give us the documentation and we’ll get it all straightened out. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. The defendant stalled and stalled. Our client, being nice, kept prodding them gently and then not so gently.

And then…the clock ran out. It was past 2 years of the invoice date and the defendant just stopped communicating. That is when we got the file. Because it was a lot of money and there were extenuating circumstances we filed a court claim. The judge was very sympathetic but in the end said no to allowing our client’s case to proceed. It was just filed too late and she no choice but to dismiss the claim.

Our client was denied their $20,000.00 for no other reason than that they waited to long.

Please don’t wait too long with your receivables.

Ya better not shout, ya better not pout – Ya better not cry- I`m tellin you why

It’s that time of year again, holiday music in all the stores, the guy on the radio is counting off the days until you know when,  the party men are looking for mistletoe and Canada Post is tracking Santa’s progress.

And Santa ? He is looking over his list of course to see who was nice and who was naughty…

Guess what? So should you. You probably should be looking that list over more than just once a year but certainly now that the year is winding down it’s time you looked at that list. Your receivable list that is,

Do you know who still hasn’t paid that past due invoice?

Who has been making promises but not keeping them?

Well don’t procrastinate. Now is the time for them to make good on them for goodness sake.

And if they don’t..

You better not pout, you better not cry, you better not wait,

I’m tellin’ you why

Canadian Corporate Legal’s in town

How to Treat a Human Being

There is a lot of educating taking place today. How to use this app.  How to use that technology.  How to communicate without communicating.
Our young and not so young have been reduced to “speaking” in text bites and photos. Along with this shrinking of language has come an unfortunate shrinking of manners and empathy.
I have learned that being busy doesn’t have to mean abandoning manners and consideration for others.
Perhaps it’s time to add a new course to today’s social media curriculum –  how to treat human beings. What would that curriculum be?
About not returning phone calls because, well, I don’t need this person right now or I’m not interested in that product.
About leaving room, in routine daily interactions, for tact.
About remembering the impact of rejection: for a job, a promotion, a loan, the brutality of dating apps, the opaqueness and dangers of hurried emails.
All of us have experienced rejection of one form or another – professionally, socially and, of course, the killer — romantically.
Bromides, whether true or not, don’t take the sting out of rejection. It hurts.  It feels personal even when it’s not.
For anyone in HR, management, purchasing, sales, customer service — whatever you  do — I would like to say :
It’s true we’re all busy and it is hard to get back to everyone — but not that hard. I think our current culture of We’ll call you  back if we need you is awful.  It diminishes you and the person you’re interacting with, or more accurately not interacting with. There is a better way.
Whenever I need to fill a position, I always call the candidates I am not hiring to tell them something positive and then explain that there was just someone else  who was a better fit.  Okay, it does sound a lot like the “It’s Not You” break-up line.  But here’s the thing — it allows the other person to think about what they need to do yet not feel crushed.
How about acknowledging an email from someone you are not all that excited to hear from (assuming you know them) or saying good morning to the fellow in the elevator instead of both of you standing there mute.
It takes 30 seconds or less to acknowledge receipt of someone’s resume or sales pitch with “thanks but not now.”
Manners and consideration can only make the marketplace better and everyone’s life a little more pleasant. Couldn’t we all use some of that?
One word of caution.  It might make your feel better about yourself, too.


Should We Wait, or
Should We Not
They’ve Been Saying ‘soon’ A Lot
But So Far Promises Are All We Got

Get in touch and learn how we can help.

No Collection – No Fee
Lawyers and Paralegals on Staff

Michael Lebovic
(416) 784-3770, ext. 224

 On Happiness… you can’t make me !

We all obsess about happiness– what is the secret?

If only we had that job, that toy, that car…if only we were famous!

And so we check emails,  look at screens, keeping close track of the stuff

that are “must haves”  while the real gifts in our lives slip by –

the relationships, magical moments with our kids, loved ones..

our friends…hey.. our health !

Did you dress yourself today? Go to the washroom on your own? Feed yourself?

Guess what ? YOU are having a good day, a great day even..and you almost missed it.

Let’s  take a minute & take stock of all our blessings because these ARE the good old days – enjoy them!

On the subject of gratitude let us not forget the magnificent country we all have the privilege to live in


Just when I was ready to quit.

quit coffee that is….

The internet is generally awash with warnings, advice and tips on how to quit.

Well, I’m no fool – I’ve read  about how bad coffee is for you so I finally bit the bullet and recently weaned my way down to just 2 cups a day. Two cups!

I was tempted to nominate myself for the Order of Canada. I mean if this wasn’t heroism I didn’t know what was. Naturally I rarely miss an opportunity to inform people of this feat. Some things should not be kept to oneself. I have a duty to inspire my fellow coffee addicts. A little smugness never killed anyone.

But now it turns out the experts are at it again –   not one but two new studies have come out finding  that coffee is …wait for it…good for you. Not just good for you, drinking coffee will actually extend your life ! And it gets even worse…the more cups you have…up to 4 cups they say now  – but who knows where this will end – the longer you’ll live according to  Daniella Emanuel of CNN

One study surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study to date on coffee and mortality, and found that drinking more coffee could significantly lower a person’s risk of mortality.

The second study was more novel, as it focused on nonwhite populations. After surveying over 185,000 African-Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese-Americans, Latinos and whites, the researchers found that coffee increases longevity across various races.

People who drank two to four cups a day had an 18% lower risk of death compared with people who did not drink coffee, according to the study.

For crying out loud, can  red meat and chocolate far behind? Why must they torture us with these studies? Don’t we have enough stress in our lives?

Quick …gimme that double espresso before they change their minds again

One thing wont change though; sitting on your AR will NOT get you paid.

Get in touch and learn how we can help.
No Collection – No Fee
Lawyers and Paralegals on Staff

Dealing with late payers

Disturbingly, it seems that  paying late is the new normal.

” Big companies are paying their bills late, later, and latest” says Dave Rosenbaum in an article he wrote several years ago.

He says it started back in 2007–2008. CFOs and finance departments felt they had to hold on to their cash in those economic hard times. The longer companies could hold on to their cash the more liquid they were, the safer they felt

Purchasers think when it comes to accounts payable outstanding, the longer the better.

While before 2008, many businesses were reluctant to drag out payments,  as time went on more and more companies ( usually larger ones) began telling suppliers (usually the smaller ones ) that payment  would now be extended from 30 days to 60, 90 days, and sometimes beyond.

There are other business owners who have just gotten used to paying late, bullying suppliers into accepting less than what is owed and periodically not paying at all.

To their surprise, it worked. They got very little pushback.

Small companies who worry about losing business, won’t challenge their big customers, and often accept payment terms that are longer than they should be.

What is worse is that they are even loathe to take action when those due dates have long come and gone and  the account still remains unpaid. Rather than getting tough they keep accepting excuses and hoping they will get paid “soon”.

According to Rosenbaum  …. an Experian/Moody’s Small Business Credit Index study showed severe delinquencies (invoices more than 90 days past due) climbed dramatically over the last 6 years….. . . . This is one area where large firms often take advantage of their market power to strong-arm small-business suppliers and customers.”

Accounts receivable delinquencies have gotten better recently, giving some suppliers and service providers a false sense of security. However, they still do themselves harm when they allow their customers to continually delay payment.

Often by the time third party collectors are contacted, the file is virtually uncollectable. Sometimes even limitation periods have expired.

If the customer is having cash flow problems, it makes sense to try and work with them, but not to the point where you wind up last in line behind other creditors.

If any of the following danger signs are present it’s time (with some exceptions) to turn your delinquent account over to someone who can retrieve your money for you.

  1. The account is 60 days past due with no firm commitment for a payment date;
  2. Your customer is not returning your calls or replying to your emails;
  3. The customer has defaulted on at least two payment date promises;
  4. The customer won’t even commit to a partial payment.

The credit you extend to your customers is a courtesy. You should make them understand that the payment timeline is factored into your price. If they insist on dragging out the payments beyond the deadline, their costs will increase and you will be forced to take action.


Back to Work Already?

Many of us going back to work tomorrow may think it’s time to grouse again, after all Canada day is over. But there is still plenty to be grateful for. I was reminded of this by a piece I read in the Financial Post by William Watson this past Friday. In a fascinating look at how Canadians lived in the era of confederation he shows us just how well we live and how much we have today – materially anyway.
In 1864 only 107,000 Canadians out 3.4 million lived in towns with populations over 100,000 while only 450,000 lived in towns with more than 5000 people. That means 85% of Canadians liven in very small towns.
To many of us that that kind of life might be viewed as preferred to today’s big city life. No noise, no traffic, no pressure. But here is the rest of the picture. No doctor, no emergency services , no reliable source of water.
According to an OECD project called “How Was Life” that much of Watson’s figures comes from the per capita GDP in today’s dollars was only $1451.00. By contrast per capita income in 2010 was $24,941.00
17 times higher!
Today we’re on average 3 inches taller, our life expectancy, on average,
is more than double what it was 150 years ago .
As for education – in 1870 the average was 5.7 years of school,
better than the rest of the world but a far cry from what it is today.
So, fellow Canadians, as we return to work we need to recognize that
there is a lot be satisfied about…. but before we start feeling too superior,
Watson points out something very important.. “…despite their straitened circumstances
– which they of course did not recognize as such – they dreamt large and we have Canada as a result.”
I would add they also had faith and a belief in something bigger than themselves.
It was less about comfort and more about commitment, less about the material
and more about the willingness to sacrifice for the future and a greater good.
Something to ponder as I go back to work. What is it all for?