When a Company is Under Attack Debt Disputes Remove the Pressure
Credit should be used responsibly and only taken up with reputable lenders. Keeping your credit rating in good health is most important for a company so it can be disconcerting when no matter how well you plan your budget, you find yourself having to pay for expenses you know you weren’t involved in. Debt disputes come about because you may disagree with the size of the amount owing, you may have already paid or the debt may not even be yours.
Keep Copies of All Correspondence
Debt disputes are common in business and can also come about when you question for instance an agreement that you entered into for the supply of goods or services. In the commercial world, agreements are being made every day; some of them verbal and others in writing. These agreements can sometimes be so complex that it is better that the company approach an expert to ensure terms and conditions are understood and that liabilities under the agreement are eliminated. Remember to keep copies of all correspondence as it may be needed in court if that is where your dispute ends up.
When a breach occurs a company needs to know what options are open to them and most companies want to settle amicably before the matter goes to court. These options can include consulting an expert, sending a letter of demand or hiring a debt collector.
If as a company you are faced with a demand for payment that you do not owe, you have the right to dispute the amount owing. Sometimes contacting the company who sent the bill will be the first step towards disputing a debt but sometimes this won’t be enough. Looking at business contracts is a good idea as this may help you understand the problem more clearly.
Sometimes Mediation isn’t the Solution
A company may inform the collection agency of the reasons for a debt dispute and may request to see statements and documents showing the ‘offending’ amount. This needs to be done within 30 days of receiving the bill. If you as a company are claiming against another company, you will need all their business details on the application form. They will have 28 days to file a response from the time they are served and all parties involved in the dispute will receive notice to attend mediation in an effort to reach an agreement. If an agreement is still not reached at mediation, a hearing and a final decision will be made. One of the parties will be ordered to pay interest on the debt as well.
Whenever you make a reasonable request, debt collectors need to co-operate and provide you with account details and information and also stop debt collections until the problem has been sorted out. When it comes to debt disputes, in Australia there is free legal aid available in each territory and state along with free financial counselling.
Disputes around Outstanding Tax
Always get legal advice immediately if there is debt you don’t agree with. A company in Australia may believe their tax assessment is wrong. The company can write to the Australian Taxation Office and ask for it to be amended along with supporting documents. A company can also apply for an independent, external review by the Small Claims Tax Tribunal or by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. A summary of the small claims or civil and administrative tribunal processes are different between the different states and territories, so it always advisable to check out the court’s website before you proceed.
A company will need to make an arrangement with the tax office if it wants to defer tax payment till the debt dispute has been resolved. The Australian Taxation always considers suitable processes such as dispute resolution processes to resolve debt issues before litigation. Debt disputes include legal action to recover tax liabilities, director penalties as well as insolvency proceedings.
Put All Agreements in Writing
Want to avoid time consuming and frustrating debt disputes? Put all agreements in writing in a simple language which can be understood by both parties and sign the contract. This will assist with resolving disputes quickly without having to go to court.
With contracts like this you will know what to do when the scales start tipping into unbelievable panic when you see what debt amounts you owe. These simple and understandable contracts can be referred to when financial issues arise and you feel under pressure.