Debtor excuses top-10

2 min.

Loopholes, denials and threats. Our lawyers regularly are confronted with the creative excuses of debtors. Though some excuses may bring a chuckle, others are downright disturbing. We present to you: the excuses top-10.

  1. I don’t know nothing

    To prevent loss of face, responsibilities of financial troubles are often blamed on others. The post office is a popular scapegoat. “I have never received anything from Bierens”, or “I have received registered letters, but the envelopes were empty”. Sometimes, debtors who lack a creative mind turn to clichés as a valid excuse. “I haven’t seen any letters. My dog must have eaten the mail.”
  2. Paid and done

    Bankers too are often blamed for non-payment. “The money has been transferred some days ago. If you haven’t received this yet, the bank must have made a mistake”. That this is yet another excuse, becomes apparent from what follows. The computer of the debtor crashes on the exact moment we ask him for proof of payment. Who says there is no such thing as coincidence?
  3. Wrong number

    Technical malfunctions are the basis of many excuses. Not only do computers have the tendency to die on us just as we are transferring money, phone numbers often mysteriously become connected to different devices. As our calls become more compelling, phone numbers spontaneously come to belong to entirely different people. “Mr. X? Never heard of him.” However, when we call from another number, Mr. X suddenly has regained possession over his phone.
  4. Return to sender

    Do you wish to become untraceable? We sometimes have letters returned to us, saying the addressee no longer can be found at the given address. If the debtor has moved and has not transmitted a change of address, this may delay the process. However, the game of hide and seek ends quickly if the company name is still displayed at the original address.
  5. Let’s take this to court

    This might work with general debt collection agencies, but our lawyers also regularly are ‘scared’ by debtors who threaten to take us to court. “If you ever contact me again about that invoice, you will have to answer to the judge. Do you want to pay the costs of a procedure that shows I do not have to pay your client? Go ahead!” It is remarkable how quickly the debtor changes his mind when we say we’re looking forward to receiving the court order.
  6. Show me the money

    This is no excuse on why an invoice should not be paid, but a creative way to get the money needed to pay that invoice. One of our debtors had a noteworthy invoice to pay to one of our clients, but said his balance was insufficient. So, he came up with a lucrative revenue model. Each time we contacted him, he would charge us €300,- per hour for his professional information and advice.
  7. K.O.

    Coming up with a valid reason not to pay takes quite some creative thinking. For debtors, it may be easier to support their weak arguments with stronger muscles. “From now on you will leave me alone, or I will have some of my connections visit you at your home to help you better understand my point of view”.
  8. Over my dead body

    Some debtors are truly scared to death that they will have to pay and go as far as to publish their own obituary in order to convince us of their passing. As you can imagine, it is quite a scare when the deceased debtor appears risen from the dead to do some Christmas shopping. Oddly enough, this is not our only example of morbid excuses.
  9. Internet café ‘Bush bush’

    We received a quite plausible excuse via email. “I cannot pay the invoice, because I am not in the country but in the jungle. That is why I cannot contact my bank.” Those modern day internet cafés aren’t what they used to be.
  10. Oh, the horror

    Serious mental or physical conditions may provide a valid reason for a late payment. But, what do you think about this one? “I have a strange phobia. I am scared to open my mailbox because I am afraid of what’s inside. That is why I was not aware of any unpaid invoices”.