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I've a web development client who has fallen behind on payments. While working out with the client how to handle the situation, others involved in the site have sent work requests. What (if anything) do I say to them? Even when a plan is in place, I might not accept some of the tasks, so need to figure out what to say both before and after the payment situation is handled.

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"Thanks, I'll get to this as soon as I can."

If they push...

"Sorry I'm currently involved in discussions with [insert client] and will need to resolve a few matters before moving forward with new items."

if they further push...

"Sorry. As I stated I will get to this as soon as it's possible. At this point I do not have a time frame.

And if they just won't give up....

"Please feel free to contact [insert client] to express any concerns you may have regarding the speed at which projects are completed."
(This gets them to inadvertently convey how important you are to the client.)

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Three elements for the response:

  • If applicable, apologize for the delay. (It always pays to be polite.)
  • Inform the correspondent that the budget is currently limited. (Lets them know of the current situation without revealing anything potentially damaging to the reputation of the client.)
  • Request they send the request through the client for prioritization. (Both allows the client to perform the necessary task of triage and, as in Scott's answer, underscores how important the tech work is.)

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