Question: Can PTO's be sent to collections?

We have had the worst experience this last school year with the fundraising company we chose and here we are practically a year later still having problems. The most recent event was a letter sent to us from the shipping company requesting payment for freight charges from our fall delivery. The fundraising company filed Ch. 11 and is refusing to pay the $670.40 to this shipping company and now they are asking us to pay it. They say that since I signed for the shipment that I also accept responsibility for payment should they not be able to collect from the company. I have never heard of this and I have reviewed our contract and it states that it would be delivered on consignment, freight free by the fundraising company. I need some solid legal advice or some direction. They are threatening to send us to collections for non-payment. They want me to call the company (which no longer exists) and ask them to pay. Can PTO's even be sent to collections?? We are a non-profit organization with a tax-exempt number. Thank you for your time.

Asked by PTO Treasurer in Fl



Advice from PTO Today

Rockne writes:
I'm sorry you are going through this.

Can be PTOs be sent to collections? Sure. Any entity can be, non-profit or not. The more pertinent question is whether you owe the money or not, and that I don't know. Folks that are owed $$ will try to collect from anyone and everyone. And that goes double for collections agencies who only get paid if they get $$ from someone. And they can be aggressive and they certainly have been known to, let's say, stretch the truth.

I have no idea if you actually have any liability for the $670. I suspect not, but I just don't know. You had a business relationship with the FR company, not the shipping company. You didn't hire the shipping company. If went out of business and stiffed FedEx, FedEx couldn't come to me for the $$ from my last order, right?

I'd be polite and firm, and if they truly go to a next level, i'd get a local lawyer to a) give you the answer on whether you owe anything; and b) to write a firmly-worded response.


Community Advice

PTO Treasurer in Fl writes:
Thank you, Tim!
I have learned a few new details since I posted that question. I have reviewed the contract that we signed with the fundraising company. It specifically says that the items I order from them will be delivered on consignment, freight free by SSS ( Southern School Services). I have called two lawyers that I know and am waiting for a response. By reading the contract, I believe that we are not liable because technically I never took ownership of the items, they were delivered on consignment. I don't want us to go to collections but I'm not about to pay out money that is not rightfully due. Thank you again!

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