I have some clients that signed our agreement a while back ago. The agreement describes when invoices are sent- payment is due after 15 days. The agreement did not include any information about a late fee charge. Can I simply email clients and advised of "New Company Policy"- and describe that a late fee of $50 would be applied if late? Thank you.
No, you cannot just email the clients to advise them of a new late fee. The clients would have to sign a written amendment to the original written agreement specifying when and how much the late fees would be.
Frank W. Chen has been licensed to practice law in California since 1988. The information presented here is general in nature and is not intended, nor should be construed, as legal advice for a particular case. This Avvo.com posting does not create any attorney-client relationship with the author. For specific advice about your particular situation, please consult with your own attorney.
I agree with Mr. Chen because I assume you are writing about a transaction that is not between "merchants" and because you intend your new policy to apply retroactively. If either of those assumptions is correct the answer is clearly no: You cannot charge a late fee simply by adding it to your invoice. In transactions between merchants, however, and with respect to new invoices such a late payment penalty may be lawful depending on all the circumstances of the transaction.
I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers must not be relied upon. Legal advice must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. I provide legal advice during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us. The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential and I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo or because I have answered or commented on a question. All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult with an attorney for legal advice. Also, see Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference
I agree with the other attorneys
Legal disclaimer:This message does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Any statements are made for general informational purposes and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client privilege is created by this communication. Attorney is licensed in California only.
2 lawyers agree