What to Do if You Are Owed Money

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If you have ever been owed money, you know the feeling of being stressed about how to get repaid. Perhaps you are in that situation now and don’t know what to do.  The first thing to do is make sure you have a clear understanding of how much money you are owed and what the terms of payment or repayment are. This article will cover different precautions to take to help ensure that you either get paid back or can avoid a similar situation in the future.

Set a Deadline for Repayment

This is key. Make the other person set a date for payment and ensure they stick to it. This doesn’t have to be an intense one-on-one meeting to set everything up.

Oftentimes, it is as simple as signing a contract or having a verbal agreement to be paid “every two weeks” or on the “last Friday of the month.” This deadline will set an expectation and give you leverage if things go south. Not having a deadline makes it so someone can say they can pay later, even if it is ethically wrong to wait that long.

Don’t Procrastinate: Get Paid as Soon as Possible

This is extremely important. You’re entitled to payment for work you’ve done or money you’ve lent, and it’s not unreasonable to expect that payment. If you put it off, it’s only going to get more and more difficult, and you’ll likely never get it all done.  Let’s take a simple example where you lend $50 to a friend. It can be awkward to have to remind them to pay you back, but how awkward would it be if weeks and months passed by?

It may get to the point where it is more embarrassing to ask for the $50 in December when the money was originally borrowed back in July, so it’s just forgotten about.  Depending on your relationship with the other person, this could mean that you have to be aggressive and push a little harder than if you were dealing with someone you are more comfortable with.

This is something that you need to seriously consider if the person you’re dealing with has a payment setup but is not upfront about it. If they’re not upfront about the amount that you owe, they may be trying to hide something.  If that’s the case, it might be a good idea to get some legal help. This is not something that you should take lightly, but it is something that you need to consider seriously.

A lawyer can also be involved if you feel that your work is being exploited. For example, if you’re on a salary but being asked to work an unrealistic amount of hours, seeking legal help may be wise.

Use a Debt Snowball Method When it Comes to Paying Off Debt

With the debt snowball method, it can be best to pay off a bit of debt at a time. With that momentum, it will become easier later. Consider allowing someone to use this method if they owe you money.  Often, people do not intentionally avoid paying but rather find themselves in a situation where payment is not possible, such as paying unexpected taxes or not having a successful business.  Be aware that someday you may be in the same situation as the one who owes you money and that you may also be seeking mercy. You might want to negotiate a deal where the person you owe money to can pay you back monthly rather than expecting the payment at once. Considering and implementing these tips can increase your chances of getting paid and prevent the situation from recurring.