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nherweck
01-23-2006, 11:44 PM
OK...I have one customer that I only serviced twice. He had me mow, edge, trim, & blow his property while he was out of town. He paid me for the first trip, but when I mailed out invoices for the second trip...no response. I try calling (a good 20 times within two weeks)...no response. I try having a collection agency contact him...they get no response. I know he still lives there as his car is always out front (yet when I ring the doorbell, he's not home :-/). I've thought of having someone else ring the doorbell and I sneak up when he answers the door (to some kid selling candy or whatnot)...but I'm not a big guy, and I don't think that would blow over too well anyways. I've left him invoices on his porch, taped to the door, mailed, left on voicemail, I even faxed invoices to his place of employment! All he owes is $25, but with late fees added in, there is $108.04 bill! My late fee consists of 5% PER WEEK LATE, which is CLEARLY STATED on ALL invoices. I paid the guy that helps out, I paid for gas, I paid for all items, so why can't he pay for a lousy $25 bill?

Anyways...what I'm getting at is...can I go to small claims court as I am only 16 years old? If not, do you guys know of any other way I can get the money from this guy?

Another late payer owes $61.88 after all late fees, and I've serviced her home about 10 times. She was a service-per-call client, and was always fast with payments. The last service though, she just ignored all phone calls, all invoices, and all collection agency efforts, pretty much the same situation as the guy I just spoke about.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...Thanks everyone!:)

dcondon
01-23-2006, 11:52 PM
OK, If your only 16 i don't beleive you can take him to court. Do you have insurance and own a business???? If you answer no to both questions then just move on to the next person.

cgland
01-23-2006, 11:56 PM
Check the laws in your state. There is a max % you can charge on overdue invoices. Ours is 2% compounded monthly. At some point you will have to realize that this deadbeat is not going to pay you. After all it's only $25 out of pocket and it seems as if you have already thrown that much at him in paper alone not to mention your time. I know it sucks, but cut your losses and learn from this.

Chris

Edgewater
01-23-2006, 11:58 PM
I wish my deadbeats were on $25 A/R's :gunsfirin

nherweck
01-24-2006, 12:02 AM
Wow thanks for the quick responses guys. I'm not insured, but I'm licensed. My insurance agent said I really shouldn't waste my money on insurance this past year as I had very FEW clients and really started out the business. This year, I'll be purchasing Business Liability Insurance sometime around March. Thanks again guys!

drsogr
01-24-2006, 12:37 AM
Just get your $25 out of him through revenge. There are many things that you can do to have fun at his expense!

supercuts lawn maint
01-24-2006, 12:39 AM
i had the same problem one time.. i went to office max and picked up a packet of five lien forms for about $5.00. the law states that you have to warn the person that you are placing a lien on thier property first. i called her up and told her i was placing a lien on her property and that it would also affect her credit report, she just slamed the phone on me.. filled out the lien form, (make sure the form is double sided because it's $19.00 per page), then take it to the court house,(the recording dept), and record it. it takes about ten minutes to do. i charged her the bill she owed me($50.00) plus a lien processing fee which consist of ($60.00 pick up and delivery) this was me picking up the check at the title office and delivering it to the bank. and three man hours at $47.00 per hour. ten mintues to drive to the court house ten minutes to record it and ten minutes to drive back home. i just rounded those ten minutes to the hour. plus the $19.00 for recording the lien. her total she had to pay me to lift the lien was $270. you will get this money at closeing when she sells her house. no title company is going to close on a house if there is a lien on the property. it is aganst the law to do so.. the funny part about it was the title company wanted me to add on a per dieum charge for the days that the lien was on the property. (three months at $2.00 per day)

MMLawn
01-24-2006, 12:45 AM
You CANNOT charge 5% A WEEK late fees. That is a total violation of the Federal Usury Statues and that in turn makes the entire late fee uncollectable by law. That's 260% APR.....shoot the mob doesn't even charge that. So, its REALLY only $25.00 and you're only 16 and he knew that so he took advantage of that and because you are a minor you can't do squat about it legally as you have in legal terms "no standing" for a legal action at all including filing of Liens as suggested above. All you can do is learn from it and move on to the next "customer".

TURF DOCTOR
01-24-2006, 12:51 AM
Jeez 5% a week man that"s 20% a month mastercard*nherweck*

sheshovel
01-24-2006, 12:51 AM
MM is correct you are SOL and you cannot charge those late fee's.

Hollow_soul2000
06-16-2006, 04:22 AM
There is a site that gives the small guy the opportunity to rate the homeowner and list all homeowners that don't pay contractors. Might want to check it out. I have done lawn care for years and I use the guys site. When the homeowner knows of such a site then he just pays to get off the list. Sweet for me.

Sorry its called www.thedeadbeatlist.com

Sandgropher
06-16-2006, 05:13 AM
Some people would suggest round up on the lawn, super glue in locks etc but this is unprofessonal so i would never suggest this.....can some one pass the super glue solvent as its hard to type with fingers stuck together :laugh:

Try and contact a bloke called Bobby Gedd in NJ he has great success in this area of business :laugh:

crawdad
06-16-2006, 07:27 AM
You CANNOT charge 5% A WEEK late fees. That is a total violation of the Federal Usury Statues and that in turn makes the entire late fee uncollectable by law. That's 260% APR.....shoot the mob doesn't even charge that. So, its REALLY only $25.00 and you're only 16 and he knew that so he took advantage of that and because you are a minor you can't do squat about it legally as you have in legal terms "no standing" for a legal action at all including filing of Liens as suggested above. All you can do is learn from it and move on to the next "customer".


There's one more thing he can do. No, not "revenge." That's just stupid.
Knock on his door when he has company. Ring the bell and Knock loudly. Be polite. You will get paid.

Freddy_Kruger
06-17-2006, 12:02 AM
OK...I have one customer that I only serviced twice. He had me mow, edge, trim, & blow his property while he was out of town. He paid me for the first trip, but when I mailed out invoices for the second trip...no response. I try calling (a good 20 times within two weeks)...no response. I try having a collection agency contact him...they get no response. I know he still lives there as his car is always out front (yet when I ring the doorbell, he's not home :-/). I've thought of having someone else ring the doorbell and I sneak up when he answers the door (to some kid selling candy or whatnot)...but I'm not a big guy, and I don't think that would blow over too well anyways. I've left him invoices on his porch, taped to the door, mailed, left on voicemail, I even faxed invoices to his place of employment! All he owes is $25, but with late fees added in, there is $108.04 bill! My late fee consists of 5% PER WEEK LATE, which is CLEARLY STATED on ALL invoices. I paid the guy that helps out, I paid for gas, I paid for all items, so why can't he pay for a lousy $25 bill?

Anyways...what I'm getting at is...can I go to small claims court as I am only 16 years old? If not, do you guys know of any other way I can get the money from this guy?

Another late payer owes $61.88 after all late fees, and I've serviced her home about 10 times. She was a service-per-call client, and was always fast with payments. The last service though, she just ignored all phone calls, all invoices, and all collection agency efforts, pretty much the same situation as the guy I just spoke about.

Any help would be greatly appreciated...Thanks everyone!:)
You sound like a wierdo and you're harrassing him. If you are going to phone someone 20 times you better be *67ing it and not leaving any messages or you will PO some people and maybe THEN they won't pay you. Collection agency for 25 bucks, lol.

cwlawley
06-17-2006, 01:31 AM
How can you be liscensed but yet you can't get a permit to work due to the heavy machinery clause?

topsites
06-18-2006, 12:00 AM
MM is correct you are SOL and you cannot charge those late fee's.

Correct, there exist laws against gouging on the late fee so watch it.

You can charge something like a one-time 35-45 dollar late fee and then some reasonable % like 15-18% Apr which is like 1.5% a month, but it has to be something reasonable (and within the law, I think 18% Apr (Apr= per year) is the max but I don't know).

My question is this: How much time and money am I willing to invest chasing lost money?
The answer: As little as possible, the money owed to me is for work already completed, so any time / money spent chasing is basically like throwing more good money after bad. For all that matters, 25 dollars = 1 small lawn that takes me 30-45 minutes to finish, so unless I have a method that takes LESS time than that, I'm better off cutting grass and forgetting the other 25.
The solution: If you have a collection agency, get them to report it to all 3 credit bureaus and you're done.

This way, every customer always pays. Some pay cash, others pay by check, while a few pay with their credit records.
And if the customer never pays, so long they're ok with the collection issue on their credit record, I can live with this myself.

Conclusion: You need a method where no matter what happens, there exists closure. On that note, some will NEVER pay, and what I mean by closure is you need to find some kind of way you can live with this. As for me, once it is on their credit record, I am satisfied even if I never get paid because it takes the edge off my anger, and that's all I want and that's the end of it <- That's closure, the end.

cessnasovereign
06-18-2006, 12:15 AM
I go after everyone, even after collection fees through olddebts.com I'd only come back with a dollar or two.

I just hate to see people getting away with ripping others, including me off, so I'll do whatever it takes within reason. I also charge a $30 late fee.

cessnasovereign
06-18-2006, 12:16 AM
edit: $30 the day after due date (if you don't charge a late fee until 15-30 days after due date, then why have a due date cause then they can just push it to the max.)

tthomass
06-18-2006, 12:18 AM
leave him a lone............go by and spread weeds all over his yard and then smile come next spring

topsites
06-19-2006, 01:14 PM
its called www.thedeadbeatlist.com

Hey that's got some cool tools and tips, too...

thes
06-19-2006, 08:05 PM
Does anyone have a name/website of a good collection agency in NJ?
Thanks...

Sandgropher
06-19-2006, 08:16 PM
Does anyone have a name/website of a good collection agency in NJ?
Thanks...

Try Bob Gedd collection agency, some one local may be able to help you get in touch with him, is in the same business Lco and is very good at getting non payers to change there thinking good luck. :usflag:

thes
06-23-2006, 10:08 AM
Thanks Sandgropher...I will check him out. :)

FLAhaulboy
06-25-2006, 11:40 PM
sit down and type out a letter to him stating if he doesnt pay the balance in full within ten days, you will be notifying all local lawn mowing services that he is a deadbeat customer and doesnt pay for mowing services.

thes
06-26-2006, 06:17 PM
sit down and type out a letter to him stating if he doesnt pay the balance in full within ten days, you will be notifying all local lawn mowing services that he is a deadbeat customer and doesnt pay for mowing services.

That's a good idea....have you ever used it yourself? If so, how did they react?