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Want to Nudge Past Due Freelance Clients? There’s an App for That

Tech

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For $3, you can now issue a formal demand letter to stingy clients in a matter of minutes.

According to a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union, 71 percent of freelancers have had trouble getting money from a client. You read that right, a majority of independent workers have been stiffed before.

That’s a big issue in a country where 40 percent of the workforce is anticipated to be self-employed by 2020.

In fact, the issue is so pervasive and so detrimental to the everyday lives of freelancers (imagine being late for rent because a few past due invoices) that the Freelancers Union lobbied for months to push for legislation that would protect New Yorkers from late-paying (or non-paying) freelance clients. Last fall, the Freelance Isn’t Free Act passed with 51 votes and the legislation goes into effect on May 15.

When clients fail to pay on time, freelancers will often nudge their clients themselves. But when things get bad enough, many of them phone up an attorney to issue stern legalese in the hopes that their client will pony up out of fear of legal action. Legal fees can cost hundreds of dollars an hour, so for most freelancers, this isn’t a viable option—especially if it’s concerning a small-to-mid-sized project.

Well, now there’s an app to make things a little bit easier on “the 71 percent.” For $3, the self-employed advocacy service Williams&Harricks will issue a formal demand letter to your client, and even remind them of all of the simple ways they can get you paid. Freelancers can choose from three tiers of letters, so that first-time offenders get a gentler nudge than clients who are several months past due.

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