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5 Excuses a Debtor Will Use to Avoid Paying their Debts

Have you experienced people that simply don’t want to pay and the excuses a debtor will use to avoid it for as long as possible.

This can be really frustrating as a creditor, especially if your business cash flow is poor or you're having other financial issues.

So, what can I do about these people and their excuses? Is there any way that I can call them out and force them to pay?

Well, outside of legal action, you may not really be aware of any other options. It is important that you are, however, as this issue continuing can cause serious problems in your business.

In this article our team of debt collectors discuss 5 of the main excuses a debtor will use to get out of payments and how you can manage or call out said excuses to receive payment.

Excuses a Debtor Will Use 1 - “I am out of money”

The first item on our list of excuses a debtor will use to get out of payments is the popular “I can’t pay you because I have no money”.

Although this one can potentially be true and the individual may indeed have no money to pay you with, it doesn’t make it any less irritating when you hear it as a creditor.

It can also be a lie to get you to feel sorry for the debtor or to simply give up on the debt, which is unethical and must be managed.

Either way, it comes in handy to have a management strategy when a debtor says these words.

One way you can go about this is by requesting that they fill in a financial statement describing their current situation.

This can be very enlightening to you as a creditor if they are being honest about their finances and can help you to understand what is going on.

If this is the case, you may wish to consider engaging in a payment plan or negotiation with your debtor, although it is your choice if you do this or not.

If they are being dishonest and are actually financially stable, they will be hesitant to fill in a financial statement that will point out the obvious. 

Excuses a Debtor Will Use 2 - “I’ll pay you soon”

Another of the excuses a debtor will use is that a debtor may tell you to get out of debt payments is “I’ll pay you soon I promise”.

This excuse is not as trivial as the first as it is not dependent on truth or fiction but on the word of your debtor.

Depending on your history with this individual and how many times they have promised to do just this will decide on whether or not you choose to believe this.

Even if you do believe it, it’s good to have a plan of action in case your trust is broken, and they do not pay you “soon”.

So, how do I deal with this excuse? Each time your debtor “promises” to pay you, document this promise including when they said they will pay you by.

Hold them to this promise and, if they do not make the payment when they say they will, remind them and follow up continually until they do so.

Do, however, follow the rules of debt collection and even if they break their promise don’t harass them!

Excuses a Debtor Will Use 3 - “I’ll just go bankrupt”

This one is less one of the excuses a debtor will use, and more of a threat but something else a debtor may say to get out of payments is “if you don’t forget about it, I’ll just go bankrupt or liquidate my company”.

This can be quite worrying as a creditor as a debtor declaring bankruptcy may mean that you do not receive payment at all.

This is because declaring bankruptcy puts an official in charge of your finances who divides your income into payments to creditors at the level of priority.

If your type of debt is not a high priority, you may not receive much or any of the money owed to you. So, what do I do about this excuse?

If this individual was willing to go bankrupt or liquidate, they likely would have already done it, so try not to worry too much.

Instead, calmly explain the negative effect bankruptcy or liquidation takes on the debtor’s future with finances.

If this doesn’t work, as the debtor for the name of the individual responsible for the bankruptcy or liquidation. Whatever you do, remain calm as this is likely an empty threat!

Another Excuse 4 - “I never received the product”

Another one of the excuses a debtor will use to get out of paying their debt is saying that they never received the product or service they are being charged for.

First of all, think logically. If the person had not received their product or service, surely the first thing they would have done would have been to contact you.

Why would they wait until you reached out to them? Well, chances are they didn’t do this and are simply lying.

This one is a little difficult, however, as you will need proof that they did indeed receive the product or service.

You can do this by going through your administration to find a signature or receipt that confirms your client received what they are paying for.

Excuses a Debtor Will Use 5 - “I’ll call you tomorrow”

Another of the excuses a debtor will use to get out of paying their debts is to avoid you through the “I’ll call you later” method.

This excuse is generally annoying as there is nothing you can really do to force them to call, and you can only call so many times.

If they promise to call you later and simply do not do so, your best bet is to start making moves to cut ties with this person as a client.

If your business is a repeating service like a subscription, cut them off completely and start making moves to get your money in other ways.

Whether it be through a debt collector or legal action, it’s likely time to pursue other routes of getting your money.

Consider Debt Collection

Are the excuses from your debtors piling up and they simply will not pay, no matter what you do or say?

If this is the case, you may wish to consider debt collection.

A debt collector will take over the full responsibility of collecting your money from your clients, so you will no longer have to worry about contacting them.

They are also more experienced and have better access to tools that can help in the process, so they will likely collect your debt with more success and in less time.

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