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ChadA
06-01-2005, 05:22 PM
I have a lady who owes $170 for lawn care and shes made it clear that she's going to do what ever she can to not pay it. She is not on a contract or a service agreement. (my mistake) But today when I went to collect for the fith time I wrote up an agreement saying she was going to pay me the remaining balance and her sign it and had a witness sign it. Will this hold up in sm claims court. Or can I put a lien one her house. She is moving soon so I need to act fast. Any advice would help.

MP350
06-01-2005, 05:27 PM
Most of use have come across this same problem. After reading about guys on this site using olddebts, I tried it got my money within 10 days.Why not look in to it because even if she moves you can still chase your money.

ChadA
06-01-2005, 05:35 PM
Olddebts? What is that? Is it A collection agency. Thanks man. Aprriciate it.

marko
06-01-2005, 05:42 PM
http://www.olddebts.com/

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=97865&highlight=olddebts

DennisF
06-01-2005, 07:22 PM
Check with your county. Florida's lien laws allow licensed contractors to place a lien against real estate for services rendered and unpaid. The minimum in most counties is usually $100. The lien fee can also be recovered.

She can't transfer title to the property as long as there is a lien on it. Most of the time the title company will payoff the lien and deduct the money from the sellers proceeds. OUCH!

Comes as a real shock to most people at closing time. It can also put them in an embarrassing position when they find out that the lawn guy got his money from the sale of their house. It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you go one up on a deadbeat customer.

Shawns Lawns
06-01-2005, 07:25 PM
Why is she refusing to pay you? And what service did you perform at her residence? :waving:

ChadA
06-01-2005, 09:39 PM
Why is she refusing to pay you? And what service did you perform at her residence? :waving:


I mowed four times at $30 per mow and aerated once for $50. Honestly I think she is just a thief. I don't know how else to put it. With all the excuses she gave me in the last two days. She probably never intended on paying me. Last night she told me come by today at 10:00am well I smelled something fishy so I went at about 9:30 sure enough there she was about to leave with the last of her stuff in her truck. She then said oh could i call you at noon and pay you then, I said NO I need it now, lets go to the bank i'll follow you. She then says follow me to the storage place there is someone there I can barrow it from. So I start following her and she pull over at grocery store and comes to my truck saying she only has $20 in her account but her son is going to check hers, But he might not have it all. He comes out "sorry no money in my account". Big surprise! So she starts to to jump in the truck and says I'll call you we need to go. "Oh no, I need to get something in writing from you". I then told her what BS this was. I said this is my source of income, this is how I support my family I don't have time to be out here playing games. Here's the saddest part, Her son is a RB for the Indianapolis Colts. She don't work he pays all her bills. What a deadbeat. Sorry for the rant, I'm still a little hot.

ChadA
06-01-2005, 09:40 PM
Check with your county. Florida's lien laws allow licensed contractors to place a lien against real estate for services rendered and unpaid. The minimum in most counties is usually $100. The lien fee can also be recovered.

She can't transfer title to the property as long as there is a lien on it. Most of the time the title company will payoff the lien and deduct the money from the sellers proceeds. OUCH!

Comes as a real shock to most people at closing time. It can also put them in an embarrassing position when they find out that the lawn guy got his money from the sale of their house. It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you go one up on a deadbeat customer.


Thanks Dennis I'll check on that tomorrow.

Todd's lawncare
06-01-2005, 10:18 PM
Why didn't you stop after the first time she didn't pay ? I collect when job is done if they don't pay i don't mow any more then I'm only out a few bucks . Don't let it build up . And when i get a funny feeling when i look at a job i have them sing two papers the contract and then the "fine print" paper and i make it sound really bad if they don't pay like one i just did there was a 50 collection fee and any and all court cost and all late fee's so one a 110 bill if he didn't pay it would have been about 460 bucks if i had to chase him for the money .

Todd's lawncare
06-01-2005, 10:20 PM
Check with your county. Florida's lien laws allow licensed contractors to place a lien against real estate for services rendered and unpaid. The minimum in most counties is usually $100. The lien fee can also be recovered.

She can't transfer title to the property as long as there is a lien on it. Most of the time the title company will payoff the lien and deduct the money from the sellers proceeds. OUCH!

Comes as a real shock to most people at closing time. It can also put them in an embarrassing position when they find out that the lawn guy got his money from the sale of their house. It gives you a warm, fuzzy feeling when you go one up on a deadbeat customer.
Is that any amount lien or is there a limit ? Like if there was one for like 2,500 would they pay it and take that out too ?

geoscaper
06-01-2005, 10:23 PM
See if she has any nice plant material on her property. A Jap. maple or two might equal your $170 or more :.

Precision
06-01-2005, 10:30 PM
See if she has any nice plant material on her property. A Jap. maple or two might equal your $170 or more :.
that just makes you thief too.

Precision
06-01-2005, 10:32 PM
You don't even have to file a lein just send a letter stating you are going to. That usually works. Jim Lewis posted the one he uses, it worked for me too. Do a search.

SoloMow
06-01-2005, 10:55 PM
You don't even have to file a lein just send a letter stating you are going to. That usually works. Jim Lewis posted the one he uses, it worked for me too. Do a search.

Precision,
I ran the search you suggested and found only THIS THREAD. I'm interested in getting a copy of this letter. Any other suggestions? :cool:

smitdavi
06-01-2005, 11:17 PM
...... Here's the saddest part, Her son is a RB for the Indianapolis Colts......

I'm a huge colts fan, got my season tickets for the 3rd season now. Whats her son's name? That is if you can say.

BRIMOW525
06-01-2005, 11:30 PM
Go to the police NOW!!! Get the necessary info from them NOW! She'll sell the house, settle, and jump town never to be heard from again. Definitely go to the Recorder of Deeds and place a lien on the property.

I am in the same boat as you, but mine has been going on for 3 yrs now.

Woman was in nursing home, accountant handling bills and house. Accountant hires me to mow lawn. Cut it for 3 yrs, never a problem. Suddenly, daughter comes out of nowhere and fires accountant and me. Demands refund for last 3 yrs of cutting. I refuse (of course!) Letter battle back and forth. Then they say mothers $$ is tied up in Court of Chancery. Have no idea what that is. THEN , mother dies. ( yea I was watching the paper) My paper work still in the court of chancery to this day. Place lien of mothers property AND mothers will. None as of yet have been settled. $400.00 bucks and I'm not allowed to charge interest from 3 yrs ago. I'm the 2nd contractor on the list. 3 under me and 1 above me. He was quicker to the court house than me. Don't let the dead beat walk. Get info now for what to do in your area. But if you can put some kind of "mechanics" lien on the property, then you'll screw her till you get paid.


DONT" WAIT!!!

DennisF
06-01-2005, 11:41 PM
Is that any amount lien or is there a limit ? Like if there was one for like 2,500 would they pay it and take that out too ?


As far as I know there is no limit on lien amounts. There is a case in my county in Florida where a contractor placed a lien against a home for $125,000 for a complete renovation. He was paid $25,000 up front to start the work. After completing the job the customer filed bankruptcy and is trying to shield the home from judgments. The contractor is still waiting for the judgment, but in this particular case I think he is screwed. By the time that the banks are finished getting their money the contractor will be left in the dust.

The Captain
06-02-2005, 12:38 AM
File the lein. NOW! Don't screw around with idle threats. if you want your money. There are limits that differ from state to state but usually in regard to whether Small Claims or Civil Court has jurisdiction. Leins are an animal all to themselves. They pertain to services rendered or materials provided to a property. People like your client don't care squat about your family and have probably been threatened by better than us so many times before they don't care.

Just my nickles worth.........Jim

marko
06-02-2005, 08:19 AM
Chad, are you sure since she is out of the house that she owns it or was she just renting? Try Old debts. It's only $170 and there will be filing fees etc for a lien. Do you know where she lives now?

ChadA
06-02-2005, 09:33 AM
Why didn't you stop after the first time she didn't pay ? I collect when job is done if they don't pay i don't mow any more then I'm only out a few bucks . Don't let it build up . And when i get a funny feeling when i look at a job i have them sing two papers the contract and then the "fine print" paper and i make it sound really bad if they don't pay like one i just did there was a 50 collection fee and any and all court cost and all late fee's so one a 110 bill if he didn't pay it would have been about 460 bucks if i had to chase him for the money .

I billed her monthly and she had paid her first month in advance so I wasn't to worried about her paying. I mowed four times and sent out an invoice on the first which was due in 30 days. I then aerated her yard for her. The next time I went back she said she was moving and to come back and collect. I kept a close eye on her until the incedent yesterday.

ChadA
06-02-2005, 09:34 AM
File the lein. NOW! Don't screw around with idle threats. if you want your money. There are limits that differ from state to state but usually in regard to whether Small Claims or Civil Court has jurisdiction. Leins are an animal all to themselves. They pertain to services rendered or materials provided to a property. People like your client don't care squat about your family and have probably been threatened by better than us so many times before they don't care.

Just my nickles worth.........Jim

Thanks Jim, I agree with your aggressive approach.

ChadA
06-02-2005, 09:54 AM
OK I just call the the civil ct about filing a lien and they just put me through to a automated message about filing in sm claims ct. Who do I go through to file lien?

SouthernYankee
06-02-2005, 11:11 AM
chad, please continue to post and let us know what happens, I hate people that dont pay up.

Precision
06-02-2005, 07:05 PM
Go with old debts if she has indeed moved. But you should review the lien option so you know how to do it for the next scum bag.

PM me and I will send over a copy of the lien letter. Or PM Jim Lewis since it is really his letter to send.

olderthandirt
06-02-2005, 09:31 PM
auditors office will file the lein all you have to do is go to Staples and buy a mechanics lein paper $6 for 3. Go to the auditors office and get the legal desciption of property and then fill in the blanks. Takes 10 min. In Oh. you only have 60 days from the last time you worked to file.

oakwood
06-02-2005, 11:11 PM
that just makes you thief too.

At this point $170 worth of something would be nice, I have a friend who loans money privately and he hasn't bought a car in ten years because he has taken those who slow pay or don't pay until they do pay or don't. The lawn section at Walmart offers a bevy of lawncare products including grasskiller. You obviously got jacked for the cuts, maybe she doesn't need the hassle of a grassy lawn in the first place.... :angel:

ChadA
06-03-2005, 10:03 PM
Well I went to the courthouse to day to put a ien on her house and found out she was lieing about that to. She doesn't even own the house. She was renting it. So much for putting a lien on it. I got the name and address of the deed holder and I will try to contact her tomorrow and see if she has a way of getting ahold of her. Does anyone have any other tricks up there sleeve.

ChadA
06-03-2005, 11:45 PM
Anyone have any advice on what else can be done. I'm already going to go with olddebts and put it on her credit but I don't think that will bear fruit. I don't want to keep spending money trying to collect money that I may never get.

marko
06-04-2005, 04:13 PM
Do you know where she lives now?

promower
06-04-2005, 05:23 PM
If olddebts doesnt work, considering its a small bill I would write it off, report the amount as income on her part at least then she will have to pay taxes on it.

ChadA
06-04-2005, 05:56 PM
Do you know where she lives now?

No I don't. I found one listing under that name but Its probably not her. I'm going to check early in the morning.

ChadA
06-04-2005, 10:39 PM
Hey guys I'm not ready to give up on this one yet. If I take this POS to court and I win. Do I still have to chase her around trying to get the cash or does she have to pay on the spot.

lawnman_scott
06-04-2005, 10:51 PM
Hey guys I'm not ready to give up on this one yet. If I take this POS to court and I win. Do I still have to chase her around trying to get the cash or does she have to pay on the spot.
you will probably have to chase her around.

ChadA
06-14-2005, 11:48 AM
A quick update on the situation. I was talking with some neighbors of hers and found out she borrowed about $500 from one of her supposed friends/neighbors right before she moved. I also found out that she didn't move out of state like she said. She moved a few miles away to an apartment complex and I also found out she works at the post office downtown. I called and they confirmed she works there. Looks like I'll be paying her a visit.

SouthernYankee
06-14-2005, 11:56 AM
Keep us updated, I hope you get paided!

RichmondR
06-14-2005, 01:57 PM
Chad --

I haven't posted much in a while, but I just read this string. I'm a lawyer but I dont practice in the debt collection area. A couple points of advice:

1. I definitely would not go to this customer's workplace without understanding the laws relating to the collection of debts. Just type in "Fair Debt Collection Practice" to a search engine like Google and you will find a lot of information. Most importantly, if you do something to collect this debt that is in violation of the law, you could end up getting sued by the customer for more than they owe you.

2. The reason you were referred to small claims court is likely that you will have to file a small claims court action against her and win before you can start the process for filing a lien, if that's even an option anymore. You will have to pay a filing fee to get a court date before the judge, but that's usually included as part of your judgement if you win (ie, you can collect it from the customer). If you win (and its sounds like you have a pretty good case), or if they dont show up, you will get a court judgement that you can then enforce thought a number of means, including liens, wage garnishments, etc.. Hopefully the small claims court clerk could assist you with that.

3. As to the basic subject of a mechanics-type lien -- the subject that you started this string with -- most states require that you get the customer's assent to such a lien (often in a very specific format prescribed by the state) in writing prior to the performance of services; I didn't read anything in this string to indicate that you had done so, hence the need to go to court. I'm not even sure if lawn maintenance services would qualify (also a state-by-state issue). If you had a proper mechanics lien, you could probably record it against the title of the house, which would be a "cloud" on the title of the house should the owner ever try to sell.

Again, my advice is to take it easy on the debt collection until you understand the law. Hope this helps a little, and good luck.

ChadA
06-14-2005, 04:22 PM
Chad --

I haven't posted much in a while, but I just read this string. I'm a lawyer but I dont practice in the debt collection area. A couple points of advice:

1. I definitely would not go to this customer's workplace without understanding the laws relating to the collection of debts. Just type in "Fair Debt Collection Practice" to a search engine like Google and you will find a lot of information. Most importantly, if you do something to collect this debt that is in violation of the law, you could end up getting sued by the customer for more than they owe you.

2. The reason you were referred to small claims court is likely that you will have to file a small claims court action against her and win before you can start the process for filing a lien, if that's even an option anymore. You will have to pay a filing fee to get a court date before the judge, but that's usually included as part of your judgement if you win (ie, you can collect it from the customer). If you win (and its sounds like you have a pretty good case), or if they dont show up, you will get a court judgement that you can then enforce thought a number of means, including liens, wage garnishments, etc.. Hopefully the small claims court clerk could assist you with that.

3. As to the basic subject of a mechanics-type lien -- the subject that you started this string with -- most states require that you get the customer's assent to such a lien (often in a very specific format prescribed by the state) in writing prior to the performance of services; I didn't read anything in this string to indicate that you had done so, hence the need to go to court. I'm not even sure if lawn maintenance services would qualify (also a state-by-state issue). If you had a proper mechanics lien, you could probably record it against the title of the house, which would be a "cloud" on the title of the house should the owner ever try to sell.

Again, my advice is to take it easy on the debt collection until you understand the law. Hope this helps a little, and good luck.


Thanks Richard,
Great advice, A lien is not an option I think since she isn't the deed holder on the property. Now that I know where she works and possibly where she lives I was just going to forward this info to the debt collector and let them contact her. I've spent to much time and energy pursuing her to even waste anymore valuable time tracking her down.
I was wondering If I do take her to sm claims ct and I win can I add ct costs to her bill. Thanks again Richard, I appriciate it.

ChadA
06-14-2005, 04:28 PM
Thanks Richard,
Great advice, A lien is not an option I think since she isn't the deed holder on the property. Now that I know where she works and possibly where she lives I was just going to forward this info to the debt collector and let them contact her. I've spent to much time and energy pursuing her to even waste anymore valuable time tracking her down.
I was wondering If I do take her to sm claims ct and I win can I add ct costs to her bill. Thanks again Richard, I appriciate it.


Never mind Richard, I just reread the post and you already answered my question.

RichmondR
06-14-2005, 04:33 PM
Chad --

Many small claims courts will allow you to add your filing fees to the amount of the judgement (assuming you win, of course). Whether the small claims court does in your area is a question for the clerk when you pick up the claims form ("If I win and get a judgement against the defendant, will the judge add my filing fee to the judgement amount?") Filing a claim is a simple process and may just scare the customer enough to pay, particuarly since you appear to have a statement from her in writing that she owes you the money. Again, good luck.

olderthandirt
06-14-2005, 09:59 PM
I was wondering If I do take her to sm claims ct and I win can I add ct costs to her bill.
You can add your gas stamps envelopes electric bill anything with in reason that it took to track her down and collect. Whether or not a magistate will grant you the amount you ask for is a whole dif. story. But I would definatly add all the cost invovled and sue for the inflated amount, hoping that the # will scare her into paying or that I would win judgement in the amount asked for.

ChadA
06-15-2005, 09:28 PM
You can add your gas stamps envelopes electric bill anything with in reason that it took to track her down and collect. Whether or not a magistate will grant you the amount you ask for is a whole dif. story. But I would definatly add all the cost invovled and sue for the inflated amount, hoping that the # will scare her into paying or that I would win judgement in the amount asked for.

Thanks Mac, I like that idea. I have wasted alot of time and gas tracking this deadbeat down.