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View Full Version : What if someone doesn't want to pay?


Lawn Neophyte
07-04-2008, 08:57 PM
What would you do?

MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE
07-04-2008, 08:58 PM
:hammerhead:

Lawn Neophyte
07-04-2008, 09:53 PM
:hammerhead:

So you suggest I use a mallet?

lsu03
07-04-2008, 09:57 PM
a big one, lol

Lawn Neophyte
07-04-2008, 10:00 PM
a big one, lol

WHat happens if charges are pressed?

LushGreenLawn
07-04-2008, 10:24 PM
You wouldn't press charges. This is a civil matter, not a criminal one. Google "Small Claims Court (Your State)" and you should get some helpful information. You could also try a collections agent. Send them a letter stating that you are going to take them to small claims court if they do not pay. Be sure to ad late fees as needed. If it goes to court and you win they are responsible for all late fee's and court costs.

Toy2
07-04-2008, 10:28 PM
You can try and take them to court, but I think its a waste of time, guy owes me $50.00 from 2005!

In Texas you can try and put a lien on them, but the local court told me it was a waste of time. Plus if its a rental you are screwed.

CALandscapes
07-04-2008, 10:29 PM
Hopefully you have a signed contract that will hold up in court, as well.

MowHouston
07-05-2008, 12:58 AM
A simple contract stating that they agree to pay their bill on time will suffice so that you can either take them to court or better yet, send the debt to some collection lawyers.

When my customers start service, they agree that if I cannot bill their credit card for service witihn 30 days of when it is due, I will add a $30 additional fee and send it to a collection company.

All you need is a signed contract or an electric agreement if you are doing it over the internet and it will hold up for a collection agency, civil court, or to file a lien on their property. All of those are solutions to collection debt.

Lawn Neophyte
07-05-2008, 06:28 AM
A simple contract stating that they agree to pay their bill on time will suffice so that you can either take them to court or better yet, send the debt to some collection lawyers.

When my customers start service, they agree that if I cannot bill their credit card for service witihn 30 days of when it is due, I will add a $30 additional fee and send it to a collection company.

All you need is a signed contract or an electric agreement if you are doing it over the internet and it will hold up for a collection agency, civil court, or to file a lien on their property. All of those are solutions to collection debt.

what if there were no contracts signed?

bohiaa
07-05-2008, 11:14 AM
what if there were no contracts signed?

It doesn't matter,

the options you have are to turn it over to collections, OR small claims court.

IF the customer owns the proptery SUE him in court, It's a VERY simple process, and YES it does matter....

if NOT turn it in to collections.

We have learned "the hard way" dont take customers who rent. Just dont do it. most of the time you can tell if they own or rent, If not simply ask.

you dont need a contract to hold up in court, if you notice most people talk too much, the customer will hang him self in court.

however: it's Expensive, the court cost are cheep, but you will loose 1/2 to 3/4 of a day, depending on where ya file.

Do NOT, and I repete... DO NOT slander the customer. you can open your self up to a law suite.

If the account is 90 days over due, this is the time to take action, NOT BEFORE. however, if you didn't get it in writting then you loose the chance of late fees, collection fees, and general expenses trying to collect.

simply resend the invoice, whth the statement, PAST DUE ACCOUNT.

PLEASE PAY BY THE XX,

If there is NO response after the NEW due date, RESEND and the statement sould read, FINAL NOTICE.

with ths statement inform the customer if there is NO response to this FINAL NOTICE the collection process will start on XX, XX, XXXX

inform them that legal action WILL BE TAKEN, and there credit rating can and will be efficted.........


Good Luck and keep us posted

HOOLIE
07-06-2008, 01:54 AM
what if there were no contracts signed?

I can't say for Florida, but in Virginia in Small Claims court the judge just wants some proof that there was a business relationship in existence...things like route sheets, previous checks the customer has written, etc. will suffice. At least here they do. What most guys call a 'contract' is not a contract. It's just authorization to do the work, not proof that work was actually performed.

But hey....mallets are good too, though some guys prefer a good ol' fashioned shovel :laugh:

Turfrific
07-06-2008, 02:21 AM
If it's not that much, just cut your loses could make more then that in the time you spend taking action against them. thats what i would do if it were me,i would also at the same time tell them im turning them into the better business bureau if they don't pay up.may not be able to because your the one doing the work but they don't always know that.

MowHouston
07-06-2008, 02:41 AM
what if there were no contracts signed?

What Bohiaa says is right, but it is -very- convenient to have proof of the customer relationship. If you don't have some sort of payment agreement, get one.

The customer can get himself into his own trouble in court and you win the case, but there is also a chance that you don't win it because you have no proof of service. Invoices, especially previously paid invoices will probably help with that. But 1/4 to 1/2 a day in court. Psh...

I dont let my customers get away with more than a week of service before I halt it due to non payment. Before it is sent to collections it gets a $30 fee to cope with the 25% that the lawyers take out of the collection.

In any case, small claims court seems like a waste of time for my method of dealing with late payment. But if you're letting customers continue service for two months before you try to do something about it, maybe so.

I'd rather spend that 1/2 day mowing.

Home Pro
07-23-2008, 03:19 PM
I've done a couple of night fertilization with nitrogen. Clearly spell out a word or two on the front lawn, and the more they water it the more distinct it becomes. Then forget it and move on.

AboveTheCut
07-23-2008, 03:37 PM
i will send them a letter saying somthing like "final notice before turning over to collection agency". this usually pisses them off/scares them enough to pay but there are others that still don't pay and i just wright those off and chalk it up to a learning experience. for bigger jobs i always ask for a deposit now.

MUDFLAP
07-23-2008, 04:30 PM
Depends on how you are set up, are you lic,insured,meeting osha standards,anything in writing, i think alot of the people on this site are weekend warriors, kids trying to earn xtra money, in a situation like that you would really have no ground to stand on.But if you are legit, sell the debt to collections for 25 cents on the dollar, i have had to do that a time or 2

MUDFLAP
07-23-2008, 04:53 PM
Oh, my wife just reminded me, you need a judgement before you can sell to collections, she has the time to persue that kind of stuff + she handles all my billing,payroll,scheduling, customer calls. and most of the time lets me think im the boss LOL.

jiggz
07-24-2008, 12:55 AM
I always ask for a 75% deposit on larger jobs.. so i wont get totally nailed,, if its for big money ill take it to court...if its just ""lawn service/mowing"" and its been a few cuts since they payed Ill show up at there house when i know they should be home and talk to them in person.. (((not threatening)) lol.. im come up in my truck with all my equipment and say i was in the neighborhood and realized you guys fell behind, are there any problems?? i always try and make it seam like its my fault.. like """ did i do something wrong?"" ...anyhoo i don't do the whole ""late payment letter thing"".. that is the ""corporate correct" way to handle biz but a lot of times wrong impressions can get sent that way,on both sides.. if they dont make an effort to pay when i talk to them.. i just tell them that im too busy and cant handle this account anymore..and leave it at that.. its going to cost me more time and money following threw.. then just deading it there

hackitdown
07-24-2008, 09:14 AM
We're talking about $50 here. Does it make more sense to go out and work for an hour, or spend many hours chasing $50?

Is it worth even 1 hour of your time?

ALC-GregH
07-24-2008, 10:46 AM
$50? I make more then that in a hour. I wouldn't waste my time on it.

Dave_005
07-25-2008, 06:33 PM
What would you do?

if an account falls 2 weeks past due i immediately cancel all services for that account until its brought up to date, and then require payment if Full in advance for any future service. most of my accounts pay in advance for the month already so i havent had any problems with non payment, so maybe i've been lucky.

ed2hess
07-25-2008, 08:42 PM
We're talking about $50 here. Does it make more sense to go out and work for an hour, or spend many hours chasing $50?

Is it worth even 1 hour of your time?

Good answer......this kind of thing can tie you up in knots for weeks, let it go now.

ProLandscapes
08-09-2008, 02:15 AM
Round-up their whole yard. That will teach em. lol.

kayeproperties
08-10-2008, 12:36 AM
na just round up parts of the yard or write nice words in the yard! Looks cool!!

topsites
08-10-2008, 12:40 AM
What do you mean someone doesn't want to pay?

Depends on how you are set up, are you lic,insured,meeting osha standards,anything in writing, i think alot of the people on this site are weekend warriors, kids trying to earn xtra money, in a situation like that you would really have no ground to stand on.But if you are legit, sell the debt to collections for 25 cents on the dollar, i have had to do that a time or 2

Oh, I see, yes, agreed.

But in those cases I usually see 5 cents on the dollar :cry:

I can't say for Florida, but in Virginia in Small Claims court the judge just wants some proof that there was a business relationship in existence...things like route sheets, previous checks the customer has written, etc. will suffice. At least here they do. What most guys call a 'contract' is not a contract. It's just authorization to do the work, not proof that work was actually performed.

Right.

stevenf
08-10-2008, 05:21 PM
I am dealing with this rigth now. Customer hasnt paid since the beginning of the season, Is behind $330.00 and wont pay a dime. I have gotten in touch with her on other peoples phones a few times(because she doesnt recognize there number). Right now Im working on recording our conversation. Ive been calling from different peoples cell phones and when I get in touch with her I have questioned written down to ask.
She never denies it over the phone and has said severel times "Well I sent it out, it should be to you any day now" and I never receive it. After I get her voice recorded, I will threaten to turn her over to collections and/or court with my evidence. I WILL GET MY MONEY ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!!! :dizzy:

lawnman_scott
08-10-2008, 08:11 PM
I am dealing with this rigth now. Customer hasnt paid since the beginning of the season, Is behind $330.00 and wont pay a dime. I have gotten in touch with her on other peoples phones a few times(because she doesnt recognize there number). Right now Im working on recording our conversation. Ive been calling from different peoples cell phones and when I get in touch with her I have questioned written down to ask.
She never denies it over the phone and has said severel times "Well I sent it out, it should be to you any day now" and I never receive it. After I get her voice recorded, I will threaten to turn her over to collections and/or court with my evidence. I WILL GET MY MONEY ONE WAY OR THE OTHER!!! :dizzy:And recording conversations without the other persons consent is legal in LA?

Lawn-Sharks
08-11-2008, 12:51 PM
Ive got a guy right now that owes me $100 and will not pay, i feel I'm going to get boned on this because he was a friend of a friend referral and i quoted him a price and he said go ahead and mow it and i told him i need a contract signed prior to any work he said he works a lot and is gone all the time and Mr.xxx xxxxx could vouch for him that he was good for the money and Mr.xxx did for him so i said ok i will just mail you the contract with you invoice and just sign it and return it with your payment (and he agreed) Well that was back in may of this year, i have made contact with him and all he says is "i know i owe you" and i'll pay you on this Friday (and i get nothing of course) Ive been nice to him everytime and even sent him 3 past due invoices just to remind him just in case he forgot, but still nothing. This is the first time i have done any work with out a signed contract and it will be the last. i know this will be a live and learn experience but i stll want my money from that dead beat!!

TforTexas
08-11-2008, 01:09 PM
na just round up parts of the yard or write nice words in the yard! Looks cool!!

You realize that even though this might make you feel better, but if you get caught then they can take you to small claims court and sue you for replacement costs of having a different landscape contractor come out and resod the whole lawn. Makes the 50 bucks seem cheap.

dfklawn
08-12-2008, 12:31 AM
depending on how much they owe,,,is it worth it? a lien is pretty much worthless unless they plan to sell,. then they will pay just so it wont show up.,., but remember, you cant put a lien on labor charges,,.at least not in my area.,., just use it as a esson learned ,paid or not

david shumaker
08-13-2008, 08:13 PM
If the person that owes you doesn't own a home, it's probably a waste of time going to civil court. They probably won't even show up. I did some subcontract work for about $200.00 and found that the woman that owes me has a long list of civil suits and she didn't show up in court for any of them. It appears she makes a living out of coning people. I may file a complaint through the government agency that regulates contractors. She doesn't have a contractor's license and maybe a complaint will help keep her from using her con game.

von hill
08-13-2008, 10:14 PM
I Go To The Court House An Place A Lien Against Their Property, They Can'nt Sell,re-mortage Or Get A Loan Against It Until Your Lien Is Paid

Good Luck

dfklawn
08-14-2008, 11:36 PM
they can sell, as long as the buyer doesnt do a title search. but all of this liens and sueing takes time and money to do.,,hook up with a lawyer and a collection agent, keep them on retainer, they will handle all that type of bs so you can keep your eye on the prize.,.,. dont let cheap scates burn you out

bare spot
08-15-2008, 02:21 AM
You realize that even though this might make you feel better, but if you get caught then they can take you to small claims court and sue you for replacement costs of having a different landscape contractor come out and resod the whole lawn. Makes the 50 bucks seem cheap.

not to mention what it would do for a businesses name, talk about your free publicity.

bare spot
08-15-2008, 10:36 PM
not to mention what it would do for a businesses name, talk about your free publicity. 9 (that is if ya got caught)

Big Lebowski
08-17-2008, 11:05 AM
Just an FYI. If you are one part of a phone conversation, then you can record your own call. There is no need for prior disclosure of the recording or anything of that nature. Most of what you think you know about recording phone conversations pertain to 3rd party situations. Those "this call may be monitored or recorded for training purposes" are never for training unless they teaching you a lesson later with a criminal harassment charge. That disclosure is to keep their asses out of legal trouble incase your lawyer is better than theirs.

You should also be aware that if someone calls or emails you (keep this in mind and don't do it yourself) and threatens you or uses profanity in a harassing way, then it is a crime. So yes, those nasty voice mails will find you handcuffed and arrested. I know because I left a very unhappy curse-word ridden message that at no time said or implied that I would harm the other person and yet I was in handcuffs a few hours later. I had it reduced to a minor offense so there is no criminal record but still, I took the ride and got the photos and fingerprints. It was quite embarrassing and my point was lost the second the cops showed up and then eventually had to go to court. **The guy was the mayor, it was easily 6 years ago and I still want to put my hands on him and show him how I should have handled it.

**Rhetorical. No harm is intended to the said fucktard mayor.

B_gerrits
08-22-2008, 09:15 PM
Round-up their whole yard. That will teach em. lol.

You guys need to read the back of your round up. If you get caught using round up in a way that is inconsistant with its intended use it is a felony. I think I would pass on doing that.

MUDFLAP
06-27-2009, 02:29 PM
Mail them a picture of their kids at the bus stop, works every time, LOL

MUDFLAP
06-27-2009, 02:50 PM
But seriously, whats the most somebody can get into you for,even if you bill monthly as i do, even on a commercial acct $ 1,000 ?. you just gotta move on. small claims is a waste of time (been down that road) getting a judgement is no problem as long as you keep good records,but then you have a whole nother process to get them to comply with the judgement. I have had some luck on residentials getting the H.O.A. involved. but you just need to figure in this line of work your going to take a hit every now and then, good people loose their jobs, companies fold up overnight.

QualityLawnCare4u
06-27-2009, 02:54 PM
What I did to eliminate that was the folks I don't know well I make them pay up front before I ever unload trailor. Once I see they are good then I don't usually have any problems with them. I got rid of these kinds of pita's over the years and don't have any problems now.