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How do I collect a debt from former employee?

Bethesda, MD |

My firm accidentally paid a terminated employee money via direct deposit. She is not entitled to this money but she is refusing our phone calls, and we can't reverse the direct deposit. How do we collect this money?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    I would suggest sending a letter stating the error, showing her the accounting behind your statement and asking her to return the funds. If that does not generate a response, you can send it to an attorney to file suit or you can file suit on your own (depending on the amount).
    I would suggest this however, depending on how much you are talking about and the terms of the separation (i.e. was it amicable or otherwise), you may want to look at the business decision of simply allowing her to retain it and walk away. It may not be worth the cost of an attorney and the bad faith it would generate to pursue. Again, it depends upon the amount involved.
    Also, if the employee seeks to collect unemployment, you may be able to advise the unemployment office she received additional funds which may act as a set off against unemployment benefits she might otherwise receive. I can state that for sure and would defer to any other answers that address that issue.


  2. You may sue in small claims court.


  3. This is a business decision like everything else you must do for your business. Is this worth the trouble? Will the employee be motivated to file against you some kind of defense in her counter complaint something you do not want to see in front of a judge? If you have nothing to be concernd about then file a lawsuit against her. Before you do this make sure you do a cost/benefits analysis.

    This answer is designed to provide general information only, does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney/client relationship. I am an attorney licensed in Maryland and California. A consultation and retainer will be required if you would like to obtain my representation. Office: (410) 381-1656. David Mahood, Esq.


  4. This is likely a very easy small claims action . File the one page paper work, attach proof of payment along with your signed affidavit. The District Court has those documents online - see the below link:

    http://www.courts.state.md.us/district/forms/civil/dccv001f.pdf