Doing business with an international party often involves extra challenges. A different commercial culture and a different language sometimes makes communication more difficult, especially when conflicts arise. In practice, we regularly see that companies write off a claim because they assume that collecting abroad is impossible or involves too many costs. There are many misunderstandings regarding debt collection abroad which often lead businesses into thinking they should just write off their unpaid invoices. But this is not right. Our international lawyers are experts in cross-border debt recovery and have shed some light on some of the most common misconceptions.
Misunderstanding 1: Foreign debtors can hide more easily
It often happens that a debtor no longer responds to phone calls, letters or e-mails, thinking this will prevent payment. This is especially common with foreign debtors. They hope that when they hide, you eventually give up and write off the invoice. Paying a visit to the debtor is a lot harder when they are abroad. Although it seems easier for foreign debtors to hide, we usually know where to find these debtors. Our foreign collection specialists know how and which systems to use and can track down almost every debtor. Moreover, we do everything in our power to find a debtor, no matter how much they try to stay under the radar. With us, there are very few debtors that really disappear into thin air.
Misunderstanding 2: Collecting abroad is more expensive
Of course, there are costs associated with the collection process. Many companies mistakenly assume that the cost of a foreign debt recovery is a lot more expensive than a debt collection in their own country. This misunderstanding is simple to explain: an external collection party often has to be involved. Many collection agencies are not active on the foreign market, which means that knowledge and expertise must be purchased. However, this does not apply to our organisation. We have international specialists in-house. As a result, we not only switch faster between the pre-legal and judicial stage, but additional costs are also not required.
Misunderstanding 3: You must engage a collection agency in the debtor’s country
Many companies think that a collection agency in the country of the foreign customer should be involved if the invoices remain unpaid. However, this is not necessary at all, you are free to call in a collection agency wherever you want. However, you must bear in mind that not every collection agency is equally effective. Our experience shows that when debtors are approached in their own language, they are much quicker to pay. In addition, it also helps if a debt collection party can take legal action against the debtor if necessary. The idea that they might be taken to court is enough for many debtors to pay their outstanding invoice quickly. A collection lawyer or lawyer from the country of your debtor is therefore a lot more effective when collecting foreign claims. That is why Bierens has collection specialists and attorneys from various European countries, in-house. This enables us to collect international invoices faster and more effectively.
Would you like more information about collecting claims abroad? Contact us today. Our collection specialists and lawyers always give honest, clear advice about your collection case.