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Collecting bad debts in Manitoba

Are you having trouble getting paid for your goods or services? Do you need some new ideas to collect outstanding account receivables? Resources and services are available to help you with this important task.

Where do I begin?
Success in receiving payment on overdue accounts is often achieved when you consistently follow your company's credit and collection policy. If you do not have a plan in place, it's important to develop one that meets your cash flow needs. A plan usually defines timelines for when different tools are used to realize payment. Tools can include phone calls to the customer, collection letters, Small Claims action, hiring a Collection Agency, and so forth. No matter which collection tool is used, be professional at all times and maintain a pleasant and respectful demeanor.

Is Small Claims Court an option?
If the bad debt is less than $10,000 you may want to file a claim at the Manitoba Small Claims Court. To learn more, read CFIB's Understand small claims court procedures, forms and fees in Manitoba and visit the Manitoba Courts website.

Should I hire a Collection Agency? Where do I find one?
If you do not wish to launch a legal proceeding through the Small Claims Court, you could recover your money by hiring a collection agency. Agents' fees for service are often a percentage of the outstanding debt they collect. You should be able to find a list of collection agencies at the Yellow Pages website.

Can a lawyer help? If I do not have a lawyer, how can I find one?
Legal counsel is important to ensure your company's credit and collection policy complies with relevant legislation. The Law Phone-in and Lawyer Referral Program provides general legal information and can connect you with a lawyer.

Related document: Edmunds, Ross. The Canadian Credit and Collection Guide, 2nd Edition. Carswell. ISBN/ISSN:0-459-56298-3. 3 vols. loose-leaf. 
If interested in purchasing this resource, visit the publisher's website. Another option is to see if a copy is available at your public library.