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googles
08-19-2005, 08:27 PM
I have a client who wont pay and they sold there house. i dont know how long they will still be living there but i want my money. i did the work and they wont pay. i called her and she had the ball#@s to say she didnt send it and i ask are you going to send the bill and she said no. They are older folks who are selling in prime area and most likely going to move to florida. If i take them to court wont they still have to fly to NY if i make them and to settle it in court since that is where i perform the service for the??? also how many certified invoices do i have to send them before i take them to court. these people where always trying to get freebies since i had them and now they think they are going to get away with a bill. her house went in the price range of 700,000 and they cant pay a $200 dallor bill. some people are so so cheap.

brucec32
08-19-2005, 08:39 PM
I believe that when you perform services (as well as installation/improvements) on real property like a home you can put a lien on it for unpaid bills. I would immediately let them know you plan to do this. You can't close on a home until the lien is satisfied. It would have to be paid at closing and the closing agent would send the money, but more likely they would pay it to avoid a snafu at closing.

Call your local county perhaps to see what the proceedure is for the lien. I'm sure others here will have better specifics.

1MajorTom
08-19-2005, 08:40 PM
Why call? It would best if you would go to their door, and hurry while they are still living there. Matt did this last year to a customer that we had just signed on. Normally we don't have problem with non payers, but this guy thought he was going to get over on us.
When Matt went to their door, the guy said, "I'll have my wife send out the check on Monday." Matt says, "No, I don't think so, I'll wait right here, and I'll wait here all night if I have to, go inside and have your wife write the check now." Persistance pays, he came out with the check.

googles
08-19-2005, 08:52 PM
i dont want to keep calling them and threating them. If they move to florida and i take them to court, will they have to come to NY to settle it??? I think a plane ticket is around the same cost?

OMG
08-19-2005, 08:57 PM
Googles, if you have them served while in your home state, they'll either have to appear or you'll win by default......However, unless you enroll your judgement before closing, it won't do any good.


Also, I don't think garnishments are allowed in Florida.


Therefore, I would proceed with the lein.


Or perhaps some Roundup balloons.....lol

SHOWCASE LAWNS LLC
08-19-2005, 08:58 PM
Go To The Local Police And File A Theft Of Services/fraud Charge On Them

With That Paper In HaNd Go And File A Lien On The Property..................they Will Be Begging To Pay Once They Get The Criminal Complaint And A Notice Informing Them Of the Lien

DFW Area Landscaper
08-19-2005, 09:00 PM
Court could likely be a waste of time. I have sued two people who stiffed me. One guy paid about a year later. The other guy showed up in court and lied. The bastadge owed me about $700 and because he lied in court my judgement was only for $300 and change. I will never, EVER see a penny of that judgement...I am certain.

Knocking on doors and making phone calls to collect your money takes time. If your business model requires that you do stuff like that in your free time then you are likely working on a failed business model. Collecting money is work. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated just to accounts receivable. Those corporate employes get paid nice salaries to collect the corporation's money. You can't hire $7/hr employees who speak no english to collect money.

I have made it a mandatory requirement that all customers place a credit card on file for automatic payment. This is one of the smartest moves I ever made.

http://www.meierslandscape.com/residential/content/view/12/32/

The credit card is non-negotiable because I know from experience that I will get stiffed on 8% of all the work I do if I extend credit. Not only that, my company grosses over $25K per month and that amount is growing. If I were mowing for a month and then sending a bill and waiting an average of three weeks for payment, my business would require about $50,000 just for working capital. Plus, I'd have to work my azz off just to get paid. No way Jose. Let the bank loan the customer the money, not me.

You can kid yourself all you want but rest assured, your bill is at the absolute bottom of the pile with your customers who are struggling with their bills. The mortgage, car payment, phone, water, cable, internet, electric and the credit cards all get paid before you see a penny of your money. The lawn mowing company is absolute dead last unless we are smart enough to require next day credit cards. I still get a few declines due to NSF but at least then I know to take them off the schedule. If they are the kind of person who doesn't keep thirty bucks in their checking account at all times, I certainly don't want them owing me for more than one cut.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

1MajorTom
08-19-2005, 09:02 PM
i dont want to keep calling them and threating them.
Why? It's your money right? I didn't say anything about threatening them, but I think a weak little phone call WILL NOT get the job done. What's wrong with showing up in person and asking for your money? If asking doesn't work,then TELL them you want your money. When Matt shows up at a door, the customer feels his presence. It sure beats having to go to court over a couple hundred bucks.

mcwlandscaping
08-19-2005, 09:10 PM
In the original post by googles, he mentions a "certified invoice" What is this. I have some clients that have been bull ******** me over money they owe and i want to make sure that i am doing thing right, Thanks

lawnman_scott
08-19-2005, 09:11 PM
Sounds like they will fit in great down here. Unfortunatly for them most people here are charging in advance as I do. Oddly enough its because of people from the great state of NY who try to screw you.

googles
08-19-2005, 09:48 PM
Why? It's your money right? I didn't say anything about threatening them, but I think a weak little phone call WILL NOT get the job done. What's wrong with showing up in person and asking for your money? If asking doesn't work,then TELL them you want your money. When Matt shows up at a door, the customer feels his presence. It sure beats having to go to court over a couple hundred bucks.

LOL, Ok i took your advice and called them. She pickup the phone and i said if you do not pay me in full i will put a lein on your house and you will not be able to close. She told me to go **** myself LOL. the other time i called her before that she also told me take me to court my husband is a lawyer. Anyway how do i go about putting a lein on someones house. Dont i still have to send them certified mail? please tell me how i can put a lein on her house?

googles
08-19-2005, 10:00 PM
Court could likely be a waste of time. I have sued two people who stiffed me. One guy paid about a year later. The other guy showed up in court and lied. The bastadge owed me about $700 and because he lied in court my judgement was only for $300 and change. I will never, EVER see a penny of that judgement...I am certain.

Knocking on doors and making phone calls to collect your money takes time. If your business model requires that you do stuff like that in your free time then you are likely working on a failed business model. Collecting money is work. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated just to accounts receivable. Those corporate employes get paid nice salaries to collect the corporation's money. You can't hire $7/hr employees who speak no english to collect money.

I have made it a mandatory requirement that all customers place a credit card on file for automatic payment. This is one of the smartest moves I ever made.

http://www.meierslandscape.com/residential/content/view/12/32/

The credit card is non-negotiable because I know from experience that I will get stiffed on 8% of all the work I do if I extend credit. Not only that, my company grosses over $25K per month and that amount is growing. If I were mowing for a month and then sending a bill and waiting an average of three weeks for payment, my business would require about $50,000 just for working capital. Plus, I'd have to work my azz off just to get paid. No way Jose. Let the bank loan the customer the money, not me.

You can kid yourself all you want but rest assured, your bill is at the absolute bottom of the pile with your customers who are struggling with their bills. The mortgage, car payment, phone, water, cable, internet, electric and the credit cards all get paid before you see a penny of your money. The lawn mowing company is absolute dead last unless we are smart enough to require next day credit cards. I still get a few declines due to NSF but at least then I know to take them off the schedule. If they are the kind of person who doesn't keep thirty bucks in their checking account at all times, I certainly don't want them owing me for more than one cut.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper


The credit card way you do it is the best way because it decreases our problem customers and less calling to late ones but i am still growing with just under a hundred clients and if i do that now i think it will take me a long time to reach my 300 client mark. i think a lot of people would not go for that. i am guessing you are a big lawn company. Do you have a lot of new clients turn you down when you tell them how the payment works. also what about older folks who cant figure this out? let me know and in the future i will be doing this. its great. also how do you setup the credit card company to do this? is there a link i can check out. thanks

lawnman_scott
08-19-2005, 10:22 PM
Just do a search for credit card processing. You dont have to be a big company to take cards, just have to look for the right processing co to fit your needs. People dont have a problem giving out card info, at least the ones who were planning on paying.

Twigs
08-19-2005, 10:40 PM
Immediately contact 1) the real estate agent handling the sale 2) the attorney closing the sale 3) the mortgage company handling the sale and inform each of your problem and your intention to both file a lien and file a lawsuit for collection in the local city/municipal court. The information for the contacts can be gotten from the real estate company/agent. Follow up each contact/conversation with a registered letter (return receipt requested). The above will take about an hour of time. If you can't get the info needed, go to the local clerk of court and ask (they are very helpful) for help finding the mortgage information for the current owners. That company will also "hop" when you tell them of your intentions. ABOVE ALL FILE THE DANGED LIEN!!!!! That's what it is for. Do it once, and you will see how easy it is. It should be standard "paper work" for every LOC. Believe me, it is SO EASY!! Listen to me, I am a retired attorney. I dabble in lawn care because I like it, and my doctor said it is good for me. They probably won't close the sale without paying all liens, and if they do, the lien "sticks" to the property. Wait till after the sale, and you are probable S--- out of luck!!

QualityLawnCare4u
08-19-2005, 11:10 PM
LOL, Ok i took your advice and called them. She pickup the phone and i said if you do not pay me in full i will put a lein on your house and you will not be able to close. She told me to go **** myself LOL. the other time i called her before that she also told me take me to court my husband is a lawyer. Anyway how do i go about putting a lein on someones house. Dont i still have to send them certified mail? please tell me how i can put a lein on her house?

Googles, I hope you burn them a new one, I detest scum like this (my husband is a lawyer therefore Im above the law, you are just a dumb poor lawn boy) GRRRR makes me mad and its not even me. What was the reason they are not wanting to pay you other than her being a POS?

googles
08-19-2005, 11:27 PM
Googles, I hope you burn them a new one, I detest scum like this (my husband is a lawyer therefore Im above the law, you are just a dumb poor lawn boy) GRRRR makes me mad and its not even me. What was the reason they are not wanting to pay you other than her being a POS?

thanks for your support, well these people are just scum. i usally dont have my clients sign a contract but when i met her i had a funny feeling in my gut and i had her sign a contract. my first week they started pulling stuff and trying to get me to do free work. i only been doing this for 3 years and i guess i am still learning. if i was bigger i would have never even signed them up because i new they where up too no good but i needed the money lol so i went for it lol. woops. live and learn i guess

lawnman_scott
08-19-2005, 11:34 PM
Good advise from Twigs. Actually if you contact the agent, they may just pay the money to "get rid of you". 7% of $700,000 is $49,000, they can take a hit of $200. My real estate agent had to pay an old bill on the day of colsing to make the sale go through.

DFW Area Landscaper
08-19-2005, 11:40 PM
++++The credit card way you do it is the best way because it decreases our problem customers and less calling to late ones but i am still growing with just under a hundred clients and if i do that now i think it will take me a long time to reach my 300 client mark. i think a lot of people would not go for that. i am guessing you are a big lawn company. Do you have a lot of new clients turn you down when you tell them how the payment works. also what about older folks who cant figure this out? let me know and in the future i will be doing this. its great. also how do you setup the credit card company to do this? is there a link i can check out. thanks++++

You have a lot of questions here and I will try to answer all of them because I would love to see the industry slowly shift to credit cards as the norm.

I lose a tremendous amount of business to people who act outraged that the lawn mowing company would dare require a credit card. Generally speaking, people in their 20's, 30's & 40's are ok with the idea. The younger they are, the cooler they are about it. When a customer calls, they want to know what my price is to mow the lawn. At that point, I have a small amount of leverage because I have something they want. After I get their name and address, I say "I'd be glad to get you a price for that, but I need to be clear about one thing. We do require that all of our customers place a valid credit card on file for automatic payment. Would that cause any problems on your end?"

If they offer up any resistance at that point, I will almost never win their business. And that is probably a blessing. People under 50 usually don't have a problem with it. People over 50 are the problem causers, for the most part. But the older people are more likely to ***** and complain too, so not getting their business probably isn't always a bad thing. Basically, when a customer acts like a credit card on file is preposterous, that is a red flag that they want to be in total control of everything. Not only are they trying to dictate payment terms, but they are also inclined to dictate season start and stop dates, they will skip cuts, they will be weekly clients for the season, but they will expect you to convert them to bi-weekly on Sept 1st and then they won't go weekly until June 1st next year...you know, stuff like that.

The people who will succumb to the credit card requirement are less inclined to be bad customers, in my opinion. Once they succumb to that, they are less likely to be a bad customer.

I am not a big company. I only have 242 customers as of today, but I am still growing. But everything I do is an attempt to bluff these people into thinking I am a big company.

I have noticed that the credit card requirement is accepted differently based on how they found me. If they are calling from one of my older black and white cheap advertisements with cheap art work they will usually resist. If they are calling from one of my full color glossy door hangers they will usually not resist. If they have seen one of my crews out with the enclosed trailers that look really sharp they usually will not resist. If they see my crew with the wire mesh landscaping trailer they will usually resist. If they find me in the yellow pages or via online search, they will usually not resist. Word of mouth works as long as they were already told about the credit card requirement. If the credit card is news to them, even though it's WOM, they will usually pass on our service. So it depends a lot on how they find me.

Lastly, if they call during business hours it is unlikely to be problem. If I answer the phone at 8:00pm they will usually resist. If they hear a TV or my children they will usually resist. I pretend to be a big business but I am not.

Getting the credit card is a delicate game that must be "played" right. But it is well worth it in terms of cash flow, weeding out PITA's and the lack of A/R headaches.

As for the credit card processing company, I use Quickbooks Merchant Services and by the time all the fees are paid, I pay about 3.5% of what I gross. But the nice thing is, out of $150,000 in sales to next day credit card customers this year, I've only beed stiffed on five cuts, which is less than $150. In my opinion, this is 1,000 times better than wondering if a client is gonna pay and ultimately getting stiffed on 8% of all the work I do.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

QualityLawnCare4u
08-19-2005, 11:42 PM
thanks for your support, well these people are just scum. i usally dont have my clients sign a contract but when i met her i had a funny feeling in my gut and i had her sign a contract. my first week they started pulling stuff and trying to get me to do free work. i only been doing this for 3 years and i guess i am still learning. if i was bigger i would have never even signed them up because i new they where up too no good but i needed the money lol so i went for it lol. woops. live and learn i guess

Oh I am very familiar with having to take on clients that you dont feel good about because of the money. This year I started listening to that gut feeling and it has saved me some ulcers and I need some new yards bad but if I dont get a good feeling, I try to take heed. I still hope you aggravate the pizz out of these folks. You know kinda like a fly that keeps buzzing you at the table or a bad itch that want go away. Burn them, make their life miserable until they dont ever want to hear your name again. Its not the 200 bucks to me but its that arrogant attitude I just cant let go. My wife told me yesterday that I needed to let some things go and I informed her that it aint gonna happen. Ill spen 100 bucks to get 10 bucks if I feel real strong about it. Good luck to you.

befnme
08-20-2005, 12:31 AM
a lein would be the way to go because in north carolina even if you file with the courts and win the case the defendant has 10 years to pay you.then at that they still might not.the worst thing that happens is they get a collection on their credit file.

googles
08-20-2005, 12:35 AM
ok cool, but can someone tell me how to get a lein on somone. do i just go to the court house and say i want to put a lein on someone for not paying??????????

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-20-2005, 04:16 AM
ok cool, but can someone tell me how to get a lein on somone. do i just go to the court house and say i want to put a lein on someone for not paying??????????


Yes. Start with the treasurers office. They should be able to tell you how to do it for your state. The deadbeat or the buyer, will not be able to close on the house till the lien is settled. Like everyone said, do it yesterday. Do it before they can finish the closing. This will immediately get their attention and the attention of the buyer and the real estate agent. I'm not sure but I think that the property tax department will notify the homeowner of the lien.
After and only after you get the lien filed, then follow Twigs' advice. Hopefully they won't be able to counter the lien before it's filed.
I hope the buyer has a lawyer because this deadbeat could stick the new owner with the lien. This kind of deadbeat crook makes me want to puke. :angry:

Richard Martin
08-20-2005, 05:33 AM
Do something that will follow them wherever they go. Put it on their credit record. Have www.olddebts.com (a real collection agency) send them collection letters and put the debt as unpaid on their credit record. It get their attention and gets you your money.

googles
08-21-2005, 09:56 PM
Ok update on the whole problem. Ok I stop by today after I finished my jobs and I took pictures of the lawn just in case I have to take her to court. I never set foot on her property. They saw me taking pictures and she told me her husband has a letter for me. I was like ok and he came out and handed it to me. I figured they where finally paying there bill and was shocked. I thanked him 2 times and said I really appreciated it. sh!t I think I even shaked his hand. I walked away very happy and when I got into my truck I open the letter and it was no bill. It was them saying they will pay when they are good and ready and they also said they will counter sue for 1500 since they said I destroyed there lawn. they also said they donít like the threaten calls which I never did, I only called to see if they sent the check out and after the second call when I still didnít receive it and she told me she was not going to pay me, I explain to them if they donít pay I will have to go to court. I called them 3 times. She was the one who had to use bad language not me. The lawn looked great when I had them and now it looks like they put too much weed killer down or mowed it to low and it got burnt out since it been on average of 95 degrees out. I better not get blamed for that. So I went to there door and said I donít understand there is no check in the letter you gave me. why?? She got mouthy with me and I stuck up for myself. Her husband tried to act tough with me but I work with my hands all day and I was in no mood to put up with him so he back off when I got serious back. I said to her I have always been very nice to you and why are you trying to screw me out of 200 bucks. I didnít charge them for fertilizer and seed so I gave them a break. I really donít care about the money at this point I just donít feel they should be doing this to someone working in 95 degree weather busting there backs while they are in the aircondition house. I do great work too. Well then she said she will call the cops if I donít leave. I told her go ahead and I left. She was enjoying this I felt and I was just trying to understand there crazy reasoning which I never did. My question is can they actually sue me???? If so this is so crazy. What I do know was they are trying to intimate me with the letter and stuff. They must have done this before because it was too smooth for them. Well can they really sue me??? Trying to blame me for the lawn that they screwed up. I was so pissed when I went there because I wanted to take pics of the nice looking lawn they had but its all dried up now. I havenít been by her house in 3 weeks and I should have took pictures sooner but never thought it would come to this. Well let me know what I can do to protect myself from this beating I am taking. I have a knot in my stomach lol. Thanks everyone

QualityLawnCare4u
08-21-2005, 10:23 PM
Googles, I really feel like this is one of those "I'm a lawyer you cant touch me SOB" and It would freeze in hell before I let this one go. I would spend 500 bucks to make them pay the 200 but thats just me. I would do everything I could do legally before I just let this go. I really think they are just trying to scare you because you are a lowly lawn biy and he is by gawd a "lawyer". I would still follow thru with the lien thing. GRRRR makes me mad and its not even me its getting screwed this time. I hope you burn this SOB a new one. I really think that they think you are afraid of them. Show them otherwise!

mcwlandscaping
08-21-2005, 10:24 PM
Man all i can say is good luck. I really mean it. Take those s.o.a.b.' s to court and get your money or put a lein on there house or something. Good luck and may the force be with you!!! lol :D

cantoo
08-21-2005, 11:57 PM
I hate to say this but I am a eye for an eye kind of guy. I would do everything to get back at them. Order a moving company to show up at their door every couple of days, call for every type or salesman you can to knock on their door, report them for child abuse even if they don't have children, report their licence plate stolen, report them for cruelty to animals, schedule avon sales parties, anything to remind them to not stiff people in the future. All from payphones of course.

yrdandgardenhandyman
08-21-2005, 11:58 PM
Ok update on the whole problem. Ok I stop by today after I finished my jobs and I took pictures of the lawn just in case I have to take her to court. I never set foot on her property. They saw me taking pictures and she told me her husband has a letter for me. I was like ok and he came out and handed it to me. I figured they where finally paying there bill and was shocked. I thanked him 2 times and said I really appreciated it. sh!t I think I even shaked his hand. I walked away very happy and when I got into my truck I open the letter and it was no bill. It was them saying they will pay when they are good and ready and they also said they will counter sue for 1500 since they said I destroyed there lawn. they also said they donít like the threaten calls which I never did, I only called to see if they sent the check out and after the second call when I still didnít receive it and she told me she was not going to pay me, I explain to them if they donít pay I will have to go to court. I called them 3 times. She was the one who had to use bad language not me. The lawn looked great when I had them and now it looks like they put too much weed killer down or mowed it to low and it got burnt out since it been on average of 95 degrees out. I better not get blamed for that. So I went to there door and said I donít understand there is no check in the letter you gave me. why?? She got mouthy with me and I stuck up for myself. Her husband tried to act tough with me but I work with my hands all day and I was in no mood to put up with him so he back off when I got serious back. I said to her I have always been very nice to you and why are you trying to screw me out of 200 bucks. I didnít charge them for fertilizer and seed so I gave them a break. I really donít care about the money at this point I just donít feel they should be doing this to someone working in 95 degree weather busting there backs while they are in the aircondition house. I do great work too. Well then she said she will call the cops if I donít leave. I told her go ahead and I left. She was enjoying this I felt and I was just trying to understand there crazy reasoning which I never did. My question is can they actually sue me???? If so this is so crazy. What I do know was they are trying to intimate me with the letter and stuff. They must have done this before because it was too smooth for them. Well can they really sue me??? Trying to blame me for the lawn that they screwed up. I was so pissed when I went there because I wanted to take pics of the nice looking lawn they had but its all dried up now. I havenít been by her house in 3 weeks and I should have took pictures sooner but never thought it would come to this. Well let me know what I can do to protect myself from this beating I am taking. I have a knot in my stomach lol. Thanks everyone



Man, are you really 34 years old? I only ask this because you sound incredibly naive and they are treating you like you are some snot nosed 16 year old kid. Stop playing games, put a lien on their house tomorrow, file a small claims action, and while you are at it, check and see if there is a theft of services law in your area. Keep that letter. If you do have to go to court it will show attempt to defraud and will show a judge why their counter-suit is bogus. Take a few pics of some of your other properties to show what kind of work you really do. Talk to a lawyer. It will be well worth the cost but some will give a first consult for free. This punk needs an education. As tempting as it may seem, DO NOT resort to vandalism. You have a good case.
Also, be sure to tack any and all fees you can think of. Let the judge decide what they owe you. They are true pricks.


"Some folks need and education. Don't give up or we'll lose a nation." Mark Farner

mcwlandscaping
08-22-2005, 12:05 AM
I hate to say this but I am a eye for an eye kind of guy. I would do everything to get back at them. Order a moving company to show up at their door every couple of days, call for every type or salesman you can to knock on their door, report them for child abuse even if they don't have children, report their licence plate stolen, report them for cruelty to animals, schedule avon sales parties, anything to remind them to not stiff people in the future. All from payphones of course.
I am not sure if that is supposed to be funny but i am laughing my a** off. Especially after the "avon party" idea. Sorry if it is not, but, i got a really good laugh out of it, so thanks!

googles
08-27-2005, 07:22 AM
Good news! I went to my post box and I was shocked!!! She sent me a check. I was like holy sh!t. I couldnít believe it. I guess she got scared because if I put a lien on her house she wouldnít be able to close. Who knows maybe that already invested money in the future home to where they are moving. She was $35 short though but I got most of it. I want to thank you all for helping me get some money out of the cheap no good person. We all know itís not the money but the moral of this kind of stuff that happens to everyone in the business. Its sucks lol. Maybe the next guy she screws over will be a total nut job and trash her house or something worse lol. :D Well thank you again

QualityLawnCare4u
08-27-2005, 07:59 AM
Googles, I would STILL make the SOB pay me the other 35 bucks! I know what you got is better than no bucks but in her sick mind she still "screwed you a little". Congrats on what you did get. I had a client 4 years ago that owed me 525 and tried to short me 25 bucks. I did not quit until I got it either. Only took 5 months to get the first 500 and another month to get the 25 but dang it I got it!

OMG
08-27-2005, 09:22 AM
Googles, I hate to bust your bubble, but they may have paid you 'some' to cover their own arse (and still try a frivilous lawsuit).


File the lien on the rest immediately and tack on any applicable fees.


Just My Opinion.

mcclureandson
08-27-2005, 08:44 PM
Round-up ballons...then make your $200 back on the new homeowners with sod/seed installation...

topsites
08-27-2005, 08:58 PM
I believe that when you perform services (as well as installation/improvements) on real property like a home you can put a lien on it for unpaid bills. I would immediately let them know you plan to do this. You can't close on a home until the lien is satisfied. It would have to be paid at closing and the closing agent would send the money, but more likely they would pay it to avoid a snafu at closing.

Call your local county perhaps to see what the proceedure is for the lien. I'm sure others here will have better specifics.

Man I've had similar ppls like that before and one thing to remember is once they make it clear to me that they are NOT going to pay, all stops are out - I will give them 90 days so long they have INTENT to pay but once this intention is void, they get more like 5 days or ELSE. This prevents these cutiepies from running out of state and taking off, a LOT of ppls like this rip off lco's on a regular basis because simple fact is a lot of us are not like BIG corporations with tons of resources BUT we do got some bullets can be fired:

Here in Virginia you can put a mechanic's lien on a house where contractual work was performed WITHOUT a judgement (i.e.: No going to court). To actually DO it is a pain in the tail because there's 80 pages of legalese to read before you risk this one has a LOT of if's and buts however, usually the THREAT of doing it gets them to pay.
You need your money asap brother, don't play with these people.

Another trick of mine is to drive up to their house in my car and get out with my digicam and take a TON of pics. Just doing THAT usually gets them paying, believe it or not. But you gotta have the right attitude for it AND you gotta know what to do IF they come out talking trash, I simply act like I am done now and without saying a word, calmly turn around and walk to my car, get in, and leave, nice as can be.

topsites
08-27-2005, 09:02 PM
i dont want to keep calling them and threating them. If they move to florida and i take them to court, will they have to come to NY to settle it??? I think a plane ticket is around the same cost?

NO they do NOT have to come to NY for such a trivial court matter, sorry if it's blunt but it is the truth and NOTHING will happen to them if they do not show up, other than you will most likely win the case by default but then what?
You need to get your chaching before they leave and you are correct, forget the phone, this might involve a bit of dirty play but do NOT break the law in doing so, heh ...

topsites
08-27-2005, 09:09 PM
LOL, Ok i took your advice and called them. She pickup the phone and i said if you do not pay me in full i will put a lein on your house and you will not be able to close. She told me to go **** myself LOL. the other time i called her before that she also told me take me to court my husband is a lawyer. Anyway how do i go about putting a lein on someones house. Dont i still have to send them certified mail? please tell me how i can put a lein on her house?

First of all you are wasting your time if you call someone like this on the telephone OR if you talk to them at all that is a BIG waste of time and you will NEVER get your money talking. Only thing talk has ever done for me is it made me want to severely beat them after I had to hear their answer.

Way I do things, I print a letter and put it inside a PLAIN, UNMARKED MANILA envelope which I tape to their FRONT door. I do this in my own car, drive up, get out, tape on door, get back in car and see ya!
Here's the letter:

DD.MMM.2005


FIRSTNAME LASTNAME(of customer)

CITY, NY 12345

Dear FIRSTNAME LASTNAME:

I hereby give you notice that on or about dd.mmm.YYYY, work was performed on your property with labor and materials totaling (AMOUNT) dollars. Unless the amount due thereon is paid in full to the holder within FIVE (5) days after receipt of this notice, a lien will be placed upon your house and further late fees, fines, and interest will become due in addition to legal action.



Sincerely,



______________________

YOURFIRST LASTNAME
STREET ADDRESS
CITY, NY 12345


When it comes down to the last straw, I have ALWAYS gotten paid when using this method, only thing I hate was my nerves played with me.

topsites
08-27-2005, 09:17 PM
Court could likely be a waste of time. I have sued two people who stiffed me. One guy paid about a year later. The other guy showed up in court and lied. The bastadge owed me about $700 and because he lied in court my judgement was only for $300 and change. I will never, EVER see a penny of that judgement...I am certain.

Knocking on doors and making phone calls to collect your money takes time. If your business model requires that you do stuff like that in your free time then you are likely working on a failed business model. Collecting money is work. Large corporations have entire departments dedicated just to accounts receivable. Those corporate employes get paid nice salaries to collect the corporation's money. You can't hire $7/hr employees who speak no english to collect money.

You can kid yourself all you want but rest assured, your bill is at the absolute bottom of the pile with your customers who are struggling with their bills. The mortgage, car payment, phone, water, cable, internet, electric and the credit cards all get paid before you see a penny of your money. The lawn mowing company is absolute dead last unless we are smart enough to require next day credit cards. I still get a few declines due to NSF but at least then I know to take them off the schedule. If they are the kind of person who doesn't keep thirty bucks in their checking account at all times, I certainly don't want them owing me for more than one cut.

Later,
DFW Area Landscaper

I am glad I am not the only one who understands that going to court is a BIG waste of time, FINALLY someone sees what I've been through now if we could only get the rest of the folk on here who keep arguing with me on this method to see things this way, we might get someplace.

In this business we face this problem because people think there isn't much we can do about it. Oh they FEAR the mechanic because the mechanic keeps their CAR until the repair is paid. They fear the electric folk because their electric will be cut OFF if is not paid. But they don't fear US until we give them a REASON to be afraid of not paying us and while they're not afraid, they continue to take advantage of us BUT:
It is funny to note that once I gave them a reason to fear me, they no longer rip me off... I've gotten paid every single cent this year so far. Funnier still, they haven't stopped ripping off lco's, but they sure stopped doing it to me.

Anyone tells me they're not going to pay / they're not paying, mufugga you best get ready cauz it's coming and I ain't talking about no nice little court case neither. I stop JUST short of beating their tail or otherwise doing harm to them or their property OR threatening to do so, all else is fair game.

topsites
08-27-2005, 09:21 PM
Immediately contact 1) the real estate agent handling the sale 2) the attorney closing the sale 3) the mortgage company handling the sale and inform each of your problem and your intention to both file a lien and file a lawsuit for collection in the local city/municipal court. The information for the contacts can be gotten from the real estate company/agent. Follow up each contact/conversation with a registered letter (return receipt requested). The above will take about an hour of time. If you can't get the info needed, go to the local clerk of court and ask (they are very helpful) for help finding the mortgage information for the current owners. That company will also "hop" when you tell them of your intentions. ABOVE ALL FILE THE DANGED LIEN!!!!! That's what it is for. Do it once, and you will see how easy it is. It should be standard "paper work" for every LOC. Believe me, it is SO EASY!! Listen to me, I am a retired attorney. I dabble in lawn care because I like it, and my doctor said it is good for me. They probably won't close the sale without paying all liens, and if they do, the lien "sticks" to the property. Wait till after the sale, and you are probable S--- out of luck!!


I am sorry but registered/certified letters are just another big waste of time as I already found out earlier this year with an NSF check, the people simply ignored the letter and THEN I had to WAIT 15 days to get the stupid thing back from the post office before I could do anything else about it!
Put the letter in a PLAIN UNMARKED Manila ENVELOPE and TAPE it to their FRONT door, I guarantee you they will open it and once open they do NOT ignore it. Meanwhile, it doesn't cost YOU another 5 dollars per letter.

topsites
08-27-2005, 09:27 PM
thanks for your support, well these people are just scum. i usally dont have my clients sign a contract but when i met her i had a funny feeling in my gut and i had her sign a contract. my first week they started pulling stuff and trying to get me to do free work. i only been doing this for 3 years and i guess i am still learning. if i was bigger i would have never even signed them up because i new they where up too no good but i needed the money lol so i went for it lol. woops. live and learn i guess

well it wasn't until my 4th year until NOBODY skru'd with me no more, I think it is a matter of doing this lawncare stuff until you get pissed OFF one too many times about something, that's when change happens.

One other thing: Funny feelings nowadays, I get the HELL outta there with little to NO exception... Another thing I didn't learn until after my 3rd year is to NEVER ignore a funny feeling, even if I'm wrong, the odds are that I am right.

Last but not least, to permanently FIX the problem of needing the work just bad enough to where I'd ignore the funny feeling (or justify or otherwise figure I could make it ok) is I started to spend more and more money on PAID advertising. Now I got enough work, it doesn't phase me, I tell ppls to bug off if I don't like the way they did their hair, so to speak.

googles
08-28-2005, 10:11 AM
It is funny to note that once I gave them a reason to fear me, they no longer rip me off... I've gotten paid every single cent this year so far. Funnier still, they haven't stopped ripping off lco's, but they sure stopped doing it to me.

Anyone tells me they're not going to pay / they're not paying, mufugga you best get ready cauz it's coming and I ain't talking about no nice little court case neither. I stop JUST short of beating their tail or otherwise doing harm to them or their property OR threatening to do so, all else is fair game.

what is it that you do that gets them to pay??? tell the secrete?? lol

yrdandgardenhandyman
09-11-2005, 02:00 AM
what is it that you do that gets them to pay??? tell the secrete?? lol


I guess that maybe it was just easier to take the money you could get and move on. I hate to let someone get away with only paying part of the bill, but I think I can use the time it takes to collect that other 35 bucks and make 500 bucks from an honest client. Just be careful that you don't get a rep as a pushover. I think you did something right to get them to pay what they did.

DBL
09-11-2005, 02:08 AM
i think that you should go to the police and have a theft of services charge filed i work part time as a tow truck driver and one time back on the day of the live 8 concert we had 53 illegally parked cars at a train station and to make a long long day/story short we had a guy drive off...called the cops...they went and banged on his door and made him drive back and pay the bill or he was going to jail so they take that stuff seriously