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Terming for Late Payments

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  • Sparkles
    replied
    Thank you!

    This family just started with me last month and has had a hard time paying. They haven't been late yet, but this is the first full month of care, so the bill is more expensive.

    Dcm is not forgetful, I don't think they have the money. That's why I debated terming if I'm not paid by closing today (due date). I don't want a client that can't afford the bill.

    My policy states that repeated late payments may result in termination. I also have daily late fees and suspension of services. Although, I've found that most families don't read my policies so dcm may not even know about the fees and suspended services.

    I'm just trying to be proactive and have a response ready if she doesn't pay today.

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  • Pestle
    replied
    It's what's in your contract, and what's in your contract is up to how you want it to work.

    One egregiously late payment is a good reason to terminate, so your contract should have fairly broad language instead of narrowing it down so much that you are handcuffed when you need to be free to take action.

    Two "Oops; I forgot" late payments is a good reason to terminate if you want to, because you are going to spend every weekend chasing down your income. If you want to give them the option of staying, you need to make them understand that you are serious about enforcing this.

    As soon as you decided to terminate care because of late payment, you need to stop providing care when there is money owed. Meet them at the door with their kid's stuff in a bag and a written notice of termination.

    Beware the client who says they are scatterbrained and asks you to remind them. Just tell them "You can set up a reminder on your phone or whatever calendar you use to remember your other appointments." Don't become their life coach. Always charge them late fees according to your contract.

    As soon as somebody tries to fight you about on-time payment or tries to negotiate out of payment on time or in the full amount, you need to cut them loose because they are just going to abuse you. They don't have to pay you late; they just have to try to get out of paying you for this to apply. And you don't need to have anything about that in the contract. The contract lays out what your fees are and your clients sign onto that. I had one family that I allowed to bullying me into reducing my rates. They were my first clients. Never again. It can be stressful because you don't want to lose that income and they want you to feel like the bad guy for expecting payment out of them, but you are never going to get a good referral out of someone who views you that way, and so you need to keep it professional instead of trying to keep it neighborly with someone who is trying to manipulate their neighbor.


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  • GirlMomma
    replied
    I think three late payments are fair.

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  • Sparkles
    started a topic Terming for Late Payments

    Terming for Late Payments

    Just curious, how many late payments do you allow before you term?
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