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MYOB, allow me to respond to your last two paragraphs.

Its a good idea to steer a forum thread back on track as you have done (per your 2nd last paragraph). However, just because a post like Ric’s doesn’t fulfil your specific need; its still good to encourage any sort of knowledge and expertise sharing. One way to approach this issue is to say that you felt someone’s post was off-topic, then proactively create a new thread (provide link to thread), and then continue on with guiding the topic back on track. This cleans up your thread, and provides an arena for people to branch the topic discussion.

I’m sure lots of people, myself included, received a lot of value from Ric’s post even if only slightly deviates from your desired response. I agree, in general, that its better to put strategies in place to ward off these issues, rather than chasing after the fact.

In terms of experience, I have two separate associates who have chased outstanding debts. The first one had their solicitor prepare a set of pro-forma letters which cover off the legalities, whilst being sufficiently, and increasingly threatening. This has worked to good effect.

Another, was chasing $2,000, and out of principal, spent $1,000 engaging a solicitor to provide their client with notice. This one is still ongoing.

My lesson I take away from this, if you feel it important and viable, get a solicitor involved. As far as I’m aware, unless you are regularly chasing funds, working through the logistics of a debt collector can be quite an onerous task. Also, talk to your solicitor, they may be able to recommend some debt collectors (they need to get paid themselves also).