You can hire counsel to write a "nasty-gram" demand letter or you can file suit. If your friend got the money, then your friend would seem to owe you the money. You should also consider re-evaluating your business model and processes and procedures so as to avoid these types of things in the future. No good deed goes unpunished.....right? Well, if there are rules that are adhered to, then there are no good deeds to be done and resultantly be punished for. Just an idea. I hope you find this helpful. Peace and wellness, Mike Troncellito
This is not legal advice and no attorney client relationship is created by any information provided here.
The friend received payment that belonged to you, so he is accountable to you to pay you what is yours; just because the other company made the check payable to the wrong party does not mean you lose your rights.
However, to enforce your right to recover what is due to you, you have to do exactly that: enforce your rights. If the friend can not be persuaded to pay over to you what it due to you, then you will have to file suit against this "friend" to recover what is it. In that lawsuit, you'll have to establish the terms of the deal by which you are entitled to recover the money; if there is nothing that is in writing, then it could become "he said/she said"....At the same time, the mere threat of a lawsuit may - often is - enough to persuade the debtor to pay what he owes.
I urge you to contact an experienced debt collection attorney, who can make written demand on your "friend" for payment of what is owed to you, and if it is not paid, can then file suit to recover what is due.
The information I have provided is necessarily general in nature and for informational purposes only, may not be applicable to your situation, and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been created, nor will one exist, unless and until you and I subsequently enter into a written agreement for my services. Any information you send me before I agree to be your lawyer will not be treated as confidential or held in confidence and cannot be protected from disclosure.
You can negotiate or you can start formal collections. Maybe the friend will think it's a bargain to pay back 75% of what's owed, and you can save the legal fees. Generally, you can't garnish a paycheck or freeze a bank account until you get a formal judgment.
The dialogue on this website does not constitute legal advice nor does it form any sort of attorney-client relationship.
You've been given good advice thus far, however, this is another angle that has not been mentioned yet. You MAY have a claim against your client as they have not paid you yet. If your contract with the client calls for them to pay your company, then they may be in breach of the contract. Client paying your "friend" rather than you is no different than client paying your employee who was paying the truck directly, rather than you. Paying the wrong person does not necessarily remove their obligation to pay the correct person. Much depends on your contract and prior course of dealings with the client though. You should absolutely collect an attorney to help you.
My comments are for general information only and should not be construed to create an attorney-client privilege nor should they be relied upon for any reason. Consult an attorney for specific advice on your particular issue.
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