I have an unpaid signed contract from last year that still bothers me a bit.

I recently found out that this person has won a contest to pitch the product on TV. As I understand, financially, the client was previously unable to pay (and probably has horrible credit, so that if I sued in court, he wouldn't mind having his permanent record messed up by legal unable to pay).

  • Should I inform the contest that he has an unpaid contract?
  • Or, should I wait until after he actually seems like he can pay? I assume that this TV show will at least get this product some customers so he can pay his bills.

Just sent him this email:

Congrats on winning the [big TV pitch contest name].

Now that you're a rich gazillionaire, I hope that you can pay for the app I built for you way back then. I am attaching the invoice again for your convenience.

1 Answer 1


Don't assume that he'd be OK with a judgement against him from a court case. If the amount on the contract is below the upper limit for small claims court, send him one more (registered) letter saying pay the invoice within XX days or you will be subject to legal action (and include the invoice).

I also think you should tack on a late fee and interest, but if that's not in your contract, I don't think the extra fees would hold up in court (but you can also sue for your legal expenses).

And once you file, you might be able to get on TV yourself (on one of those court tv shows like Judge Judy)

  • Can you provide more guidance here?
    – ina
    Dec 16, 2017 at 2:20
  • I am in the US and that's the legal system I'm familiar with. I'm not a lawyer, but I've had to deal with some things in the past. Registered mail is more legal and official than email. You should also remind him about the contract terms. My advice was: send a letter via Registered Mail. threatening him with legal action within a specified time frame. If that doesn't get him to pay you, (and the amount he owes you is under the small claims court limits) you can file a lawsuit in small claims court.
    – Voxwoman
    Dec 18, 2017 at 19:54
  • If the amount he owes you is greater than the upper limit for small claims court (this varies by state), you'd have to sue in Civil Court, and you'd very likely need a lawyer for that, which then starts to cost a LOT of money. Sometimes people will pay up under the threat of a lawsuit.
    – Voxwoman
    Dec 18, 2017 at 19:59
  • If a threatening letter from you won't do the trick, the next step is to get a lawyer to write a letter.
    – Voxwoman
    Dec 18, 2017 at 19:59

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