PDA

View Full Version : Robbed by phone please help?


lawnpropm
10-13-2010, 04:05 PM
Hey guys I know this is the stolen equipment forum but im reaching out for help here. I had a contract with a landowner who is selling the property. I was contracted to clear three acres of timber. Landowner gave me permission to take what ever trees and rocks off the property to sale for my profit, therefore I wasn't to high on the price. Long story short landowner gets mad and says we cut trees he didn't want cut down however he never marked anything saying he didn't want cut. He called and told me to be considered paid in full and to stay off the property. He thought we were making bank on the cherry trees and he wasn't getting any but that's not the case. Can he do this or can I sue him for the balance.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpel2004
10-13-2010, 04:56 PM
Question? Do you have anything in writing, if not then you should consider yourself paid. Im surprised you took that deal in the first place. Wow, I guess you will learn from this.

fl-landscapes
10-13-2010, 05:02 PM
Question? Do you have anything in writing, if not then you should consider yourself paid. Im surprised you took that deal in the first place. Wow, I guess you will learn from this.

bingo, live and learn

lawnpropm
10-13-2010, 05:32 PM
Yes I have a contract in writing with his signature. Yes I still have a lot of learning to do. Im only 3 years into it. I've done other jobs that were not on the cheap area but for some reason once u hit a certain dollar mark in this area you get screwed. Alot of guys here have that same problem. What can I do if anything?
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-13-2010, 06:25 PM
Yes I have a contract in writing with his signature. Yes I still have a lot of learning to do. Im only 3 years into it. I've done other jobs that were not on the cheap area but for some reason once u hit a certain dollar mark in this area you get screwed. Alot of guys here have that same problem. What can I do if anything?
Posted via Mobile Device

If you have a contract file on him, just remember you have to do it in the district he lives in.:waving:

lawnpropm
10-13-2010, 06:28 PM
He lives out if state but the property is in my county. Does that make a difference?
Posted via Mobile Device

Runner
10-13-2010, 06:44 PM
It will be filed in your county...where the contract states the work was to take place. Let me ask this...within the contract, does it say to take "whatever" trees off the property, as you state?

lawnpropm
10-13-2010, 06:59 PM
Yes it does and includes the rocks as well
Posted via Mobile Device

redskinsfan34
10-14-2010, 10:17 AM
Yes it does and includes the rocks as well
Posted via Mobile Device

Well if that's the case you don't need to "liva and learn"! You did everything right and now you've got this guy by the balls. Go get him.

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 10:22 AM
10-4 thanks guys. Glad you guys posted so quickly. Thanks for all the help. Any tips on finding a good lawyer lol
Posted via Mobile Device

Lawn Man Dave
10-14-2010, 03:23 PM
You will loose badly in court. A contract means nothing if it is not written right. Since you are asking about a lawyer I assume you have not had one read over your contract(s).

Cajun Cleanin'
10-14-2010, 03:30 PM
10-4 thanks guys. Glad you guys posted so quickly. Thanks for all the help. Any tips on finding a good lawyer lol
Posted via Mobile Device

The only place there are GOOD lawyers is the cemetary.:)

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 03:40 PM
No I didn't wrote this on good faith and trust. Guess I don't need to do that any more. Contract was written correctly I just don't like the idea of going to court over something silly.
Posted via Mobile Device

Fireguy97
10-14-2010, 03:51 PM
Contract was written correctly I just don't like the idea of going to court over something silly.

Like getting paid for your work?

Mick

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 03:57 PM
Point taken lol
Posted via Mobile Device

Springmeadows
10-14-2010, 09:30 PM
I have found that a contract is only good for what you're willing to put into it to enforce it. I have had disputes over contracts like everybody and usually nobody wins when a lawyer gets involved.

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 09:36 PM
So basically its a loose loose situation. I left some voicemails with a couple lawyers today. So is it best to sue or let this guy walk and cut my losses
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-14-2010, 11:05 PM
So basically its a loose loose situation. I left some voicemails with a couple lawyers today. So is it best to sue or let this guy walk and cut my losses
Posted via Mobile Device

File in small claims court no lawyer needed, take your contract hopefully signed by the defendent, and you will win if its worded the way you have stated. If it isn't cut your loses and lesson learned, but if he signed it, thats why you wrote it in the first place so go get your money.:waving:

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 11:18 PM
He signed and initialed it
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-14-2010, 11:32 PM
He signed and initialed it
Posted via Mobile Device

Then go get PAID, good luck to you even though you probably won't need it. If he signed it and you didn't deviate from it's content you've WON.:waving:

lawnpropm
10-14-2010, 11:44 PM
No that's one thing I paid attn to in college CONTRACTS lol well how to write them anyway
Posted via Mobile Device

topsites
10-15-2010, 04:21 AM
F U I dare you hire me and not pay fotkermucher come on around here I'll show you how *I* collect money due
and I don't need no lawyer, matter of fact we skip the court process as well, hell yeah there's always some
who think they so fackagin cute and wise in the ass end but by the time the truth comes out and the cards
laid out on the table there ain't too many who don't pay me!

Yes sir come on, bring it on already, you know after reading the above you're just ready to want to.

Worst part is it's too bad I gotta waste my time with the phone calls and the letters
when I know full and well what's coming but by the time it's over I get paid!
Next!

That's how I do things.

AI Inc
10-15-2010, 07:41 AM
First off , how much $are we talking here? . Dont spend 3k to collect $1200

humble1
10-15-2010, 09:09 AM
Keep in mind if you bring suit, he can counter sue, he will claim how how his grandfather planted these trees and that was all he had to remember him, he will say you cut down the trees he planted with his girls when they were young. Then he will sue for ornamental value instead of lumber value, he will say you cut trees you were not to cut. You run the risk of losing big. To me take it as a learing exp, that in writing customer to mark trees to cut, take pics before you cut them. Imo
Posted via Mobile Device

lawnpropm
10-15-2010, 03:02 PM
$2200.
Posted via Mobile Device

lawnpropm
10-15-2010, 03:04 PM
I took pics before we began working and he didn't mark anything. What will pics do for my case?
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-15-2010, 11:17 PM
Don't worry even the best sob story won't work, if it's in the contract i don't care if George Washington himself planted the trees, he aint got a leg to stand on.

lawnpropm
10-15-2010, 11:24 PM
That's funny yet true but im still torn on what to do. I mean this guy can't just get away with this. He needs to be the one thinking lesson learned not me. Especially when I did nothing wrong.
Posted via Mobile Device

cpel2004
10-16-2010, 02:05 AM
Don't worry even the best sob story won't work, if it's in the contract i don't care if George Washington himself planted the trees, he aint got a leg to stand on.

Thats not true, there is a great deal to the simplest contracts. Just because its on paper doesnt mean you automatically win. Furthermore most courts will rule in favor of the laymen over the professional in the case of an ambiguous contract. Which, on the surface it seems like we have in this case.

studebaker48
10-16-2010, 02:41 AM
I took pics before we began working and he didn't mark anything. What will pics do for my case?
Posted via Mobile Device

send to collections CST out of Kentucky the get the job done .

blow the phone up work better than lawyer threats

h2oskier
10-16-2010, 03:00 AM
Thats not true, there is a great deal to the simplest contracts. Just because its on paper doesnt mean you automatically win. Furthermore most courts will rule in favor of the laymen over the professional in the case of an ambiguous contract. Which, on the surface it seems like we have in this case.

Well Sherlock when the contract is signed by a defendent and the contract states a specific task at hand GUESS WHAT the law follows the contract to the T so after you finish law school call me i fill you in on business law. But seeing how you represent the customer in this matter let the guy file his lawsuit and see what happens, would be willing to bet you'll be singing a different tune in the END.:waving:

lawnpropm
10-16-2010, 03:07 AM
That actually sounds like a great idea how does the collection process work?
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-16-2010, 03:09 AM
Just remember you have to pay the collection agency usually anywhere from 10 to 60%

lawnpropm
10-16-2010, 03:17 AM
Its worth looking into better than spending more than what I am in court cost and lawyer fees
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-16-2010, 03:23 AM
If you file in small claims court there are no lawyers or fees other than the filing fee usually $45 in most instances.

lawnpropm
10-16-2010, 03:36 AM
So I just ha e represent myself in small claims court. Im thinkng either small claims or collections. I need to research the whole colections thing tho. Have any of you guys ever successfully used a collection agency?
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-16-2010, 03:50 AM
If you file in small claims court depending on the cases pending in your area, you could probably get your case heard in about 1 to 2 months. If you go the collection agency route you maybe looking at waiting for your customer to croak before you ever collect a cent. A collection agency works mostly for big businesses anyway who have usually written the matter off, so if they collect 10% they are usually surprised. But from what you have stated about having a contract, well written, customer signature, and a description of the work to be performed, i would file in small claims court. It's a safe bet you will probably like this a whole lot better.

JoshRountree
10-16-2010, 11:41 AM
Small claims is fairly easy, just be honest and show what you got, it worked for me.

cpel2004
10-16-2010, 07:43 PM
Well Sherlock when the contract is signed by a defendent and the contract states a specific task at hand GUESS WHAT the law follows the contract to the T so after you finish law school call me i fill you in on business law. But seeing how you represent the customer in this matter let the guy file his lawsuit and see what happens, would be willing to bet you'll be singing a different tune in the END.:waving:



No your a wrong, you can have the best wriiten contract however if certains arent accounted for in the contract and its brought to the Judge attention then you loose. My ex was an attorney. Smartone

h2oskier
10-16-2010, 09:55 PM
No your a wrong, you can have the best wriiten contract however if certains arent accounted for in the contract and its brought to the Judge attention then you loose. My ex was an attorney. Smartone

Wrong read the flippin post genius, he stated that the "included services within contain" exactly what he performed. So in case you think a contract is just a piece of paper better used for toilet paper, bring your contract to Texas and ill eat you up in Court any day of the week. Stick to what you know not what you see on Judge Judy.:cry:

mrealty
10-18-2010, 04:00 PM
What to do depends upon what your time is worth. I could have earned 5 times that amount in the time it would take me to pursue a non paying customer in court.

Also, just because it's small claims court does not mean you don't need an attorney. You can rest assured that if the other party has money, they will be bringing an attorney to court to represent them. Then what will you do? Believe me, you don't want to go up against a seasoned attorney even with the best of documentation. 3 things you can be absolutely certain of:

1. The other party will counter sue (not that there has to be much or any merit at all...it's just a strategy to wear you out, distract your attention, and increase your out of pocket attorney fees due to your attorney having to spend more time on the case).
2. During the discovery period (yes, there is discovery in small claims) you will be asked by the other attorney to produce your last 3 years income taxes, where the other attorney will have weeks to review your numbers and your business. Sure you want to do that?
3. If they bring an attorney and you bring an attorney, you are going to spend a minimum of $2,000+ to a trial attorney *if* it goes to trial.

p.s. I am not an attorney, and I strongly suggest you at least pay a reputable attorney for a consultation. Ask him about the 3 things I mentioned above. Best wishes.

sehitchman
10-18-2010, 04:12 PM
He is trying to sell the property, he hired you to improve the property. He refuses to pay, file a contractors lein on the property. He will not be able to sell it until you settle, or get paid and remove the lein. Forget all of the lawyer stuff, not worth it.

http://www.nationallienlaw.com/Forms.asp?StateID=41

lawnpropm
10-18-2010, 04:26 PM
Yes he is trying to sell the property but a guy told me that a lein wouldn't really help much and I couldn't understand why.
Posted via Mobile Device

mrealty
10-18-2010, 05:06 PM
If I were you, that's what I'd do. Skip court - chances are high you'll lose money going that route. Go the workman's lien route. You should at least pay an attorney $100 for a consultation. He will at least tell you how to go about the process of filing a workman's lien. There's a bit of paperwork and deadlines involved, but if you want it bad enough you'll have to keep up with all the filing deadlines.

lawnpropm
10-18-2010, 05:31 PM
Speaking of the lein idea its great bc he has the property on the market so I am filing judgement and the lein $80 fee
Posted via Mobile Device

treadlite
10-22-2010, 02:55 PM
spend a little money on a real lawyer, get the real facts, not the opinions of the people here who dated a lawyer once or saw one on TV.

A lawyer will know the proper procedures and the local laws. As much as we all dislike them, lawyers occasionally have a use....

lawnpropm
10-22-2010, 05:03 PM
Heck all the lawyers that I have talked to have told me to go to civil court. Pretty much like they don't feel like working I guess
Posted via Mobile Device

h2oskier
10-22-2010, 05:58 PM
Heck all the lawyers that I have talked to have told me to go to civil court. Pretty much like they don't feel like working I guess
Posted via Mobile Device

No it's just that they charge more than the whole case would be, so they are telling you to file in small claims court to save you time and money. Also they know that when you see how simple it is to get this done, you're going to wonder why you spent the money on them in the first place. And to the critic to thinks that everyone on here is just a lawn person, my bar card is still current.:waving:

lawnpropm
10-22-2010, 06:39 PM
Bar card wow, I majored in business management and had one business law class it seemed pretty interesting do you think as a business owner I should maybe take some additional business law classes. With this economy I can see a chance something like this may happen again.
Posted via Mobile Device

humble1
10-24-2010, 09:43 PM
lawn pro- do you have any lawyers for customers? Is there one in town that might represent you in trade for services?

lawnpropm
10-24-2010, 11:28 PM
I've never even thought of that no lawyers more doctors and insurance agent than anything lol. What should I offer a full season of mowing?
Posted via Mobile Device

topsites
10-27-2010, 08:38 PM
Around here "bar card" means you're a regular down at the local watering hole.

h2oskier
10-28-2010, 02:32 AM
Well when you turn 21 ill let you borrow mine.:laugh::laugh::laugh::laugh:

M & L
11-23-2010, 10:44 PM
I tried to buy a property..It had a mechanics lien on it from a plumber from ten years before. Title search came back "BAD" due to lien..
I Couldnt buy the property and she couldnt sell until it was paid...boy was that crazy lady suprized..she had to walk out of the closing embarrased and a couple k less..

Mechanics liens work very well!! from my exieriance..

lawnpropm
11-23-2010, 11:18 PM
Wow that's assuring im in the process now of waiting on him to respond on the papers he was served. I was also told by a lawyer that a lein draws interest if not paid. I would hate to see what that lady has to pay in order to sale that property!
Posted via Mobile Device

FoghornLeghorn
10-13-2011, 10:46 AM
Go to www.nationallienlaw.com and buy a "notice of intent to file lien" $15-20, it'll give you a PDF that you can use unlimited times for whatever accounts/addresses you need to. Then if after 2 weeks they haven't responded for payment, buy the lien (another 15-20 bucks) and you can use it unlimited times.

This way, you're only out of pocket $40 or so and you get to use the form for the rest of your business life. It's way cheaper than $300 per lien x 8 homeowners.

With the "intent to file lien", I would send a brief cover letter to each homeowner stating to the effect, "we have tried unsuccessfully to collect, bla blabla. Filing a lien is the last thing our company wants to do, so we ask you to please have your management company contact us with payment arrangements since we have not been able to get any response for them."

You will want to send a copy of your original invoice, a copy of the notice, and the letter to homeowner

Lastly, if the payment date comes and no arrangements have been made, then send a copy of the lien to homeowner. You will need to go to your county clerk office to file the lien as well.

hope this helps.
______________

lawnpropm
10-13-2011, 12:02 PM
[QUOTE=JosephCastille;4185405]Go to www.nationallienlaw.com and buy a "notice of intent to file lien" $15-20, it'll give you a PDF that you can use unlimited times for whatever accounts/addresses you need to. Then if after 2 weeks they haven't responded for payment, buy the lien (another 15-20 bucks) and you can use it unlimited times.

This way, you're only out of pocket $40 or so and you get to use the form for the rest of your business life. It's way cheaper than $300 per lien x 8 homeowners.

With the "intent to file lien", I would send a brief cover letter to each homeowner stating .....

Thanks for the info, ill keep that im mind. We went to court and got everything taken care of.
Posted via Mobile Device

JimmyTheGlove
10-13-2011, 02:00 PM
Yeah there is no reason why you should get screwed by this guy. Lucky for me, I've managed to avoid shady guys like that. I've had my share of cheap skates but nothing like that.

My only tip on finding a good lawyer is to interview a handful. Don't stick with some guy because he sounds good. They work for YOU. You're the boss this time. Don't forget that.

lawnpropm
10-13-2011, 09:45 PM
Yeah there is no reason why you should get screwed by this guy. Lucky for me, I've managed to avoid shady guys like that. I've had my share of cheap skates but nothing like that.

My only tip on finding a good lawyer is to interview a handful. Don't stick with some guy because he sounds good. They work for YOU. You're the boss this time. Don't forget that.

Yea I hope this was just an isolated incident. I have since gotten better with contracts and have them reviewed before we sign. I saw the red flags I just ignored them trying to land the job and keep the payola coming in. Ended up making very little and it wasn't worth the trouble. Lesson learned!
Posted via Mobile Device

dboyd351
11-03-2011, 10:14 PM
No it's just that they charge more than the whole case would be, so they are telling you to file in small claims court to save you time and money. Also they know that when you see how simple it is to get this done, you're going to wonder why you spent the money on them in the first place. And to the critic to thinks that everyone on here is just a lawn person, my bar card is still current.:waving:

This is very good advice and the lien route is also a good avenue. Bottom line is if you hire a lawyer, the only one that will win is the lawyer. Your case just isn't worth enough. I've been the small claims route and have both a father and brother who are lawyers. I wouldn't think of hiring a lawyer for a case that small.

dboyd351
11-03-2011, 10:16 PM
Sorry, Didn't see you had resolved it.

lawnpropm
11-03-2011, 10:42 PM
Sorry, Didn't see you had resolved it.

Its all good but hey I learned alot from you guys saved some money and got paid legally!
Posted via Mobile Device

MikeLT1Z28
11-04-2011, 03:22 PM
what route did you go to getting it resolved?

lawnpropm
11-04-2011, 03:36 PM
what route did you go to getting it resolved?

I placed what they call a "mechanics lien" on the property. Under normal circumstances I probably would still be waiting on some money, but he was trying to sell this property. I went by the court house got the paper work and mailed it to him certified. I had to do this since he lived out of state. This is the same as some one knocking on your door asking you are you john doe and then saying you have been served. Here in our great state you cannot simply tell some one to stop working when you have a contract. We were in court maybe 10 mins and the judge ruled in my favor.
Posted via Mobile Device

dboyd351
11-04-2011, 04:00 PM
Pretty work getting it resolved yourself. Either the mechanics lien or small claims court are the viable options for a relatively small claim like you had. Also feels good to do it yourself without having to hire an expensive lawyer.
Congrats!

lawnpropm
11-04-2011, 04:06 PM
Pretty work getting it resolved yourself. Either the mechanics lien or small claims court are the viable options for a relatively small claim like you had. Also feels good to do it yourself without having to hire an expensive lawyer.
Congrats!

Yea I felt pretty good about it walking out of court check in hand. However I did consult with a business attorney before I went through with all of this.
Posted via Mobile Device

GreenI.A.
11-07-2011, 09:15 PM
Even though this is old I'll add to the recent comments for others future reference. I use liens and I love them! I can file the liens myself, but my attorney will file the lien and do all of the paper work for $350. I have probably threatened too or filed 20 liens this year. The best one was a landscape contractor who I sub for. I did a couple irrigation installs, lighting installs, irrigation service calls and then some fert jobs for him during one month and he suddenly stopped paying me. At 30 days my attorney sent him a letter stating if we did not receive payment we would be filing liens on his property and all properties we were sub'ed on. At 60 days we sent the letter to the property owners saying that if the landscaper did not pay us within 30 days we would file the liens. The best was the call I got from one of his fert customers, it was a $60 fert app + $350 filing fee, they were having a $410 lien filed for a $60 job. Most the custoemrs called me and I just encouraged them to call the landscaper and for them to encourage him to pay me as they all had already paid him for the services I was subbed for. In the end I was paid for most of the jobs and their are a couple of smaller liens still out their. In order to stop the lien process most of his customers paid me even though they already paid him (including a 12k install), and said they would sue him themselves. Here if a lein sits for a while it can take often take months to get removed once it is paid for, so if you are trying to sell the property the new owner has to wait months until they can take ownership of the property after buying it. This usually gets people to pay quick once the get the letters of intention

lawnpropm
11-07-2011, 10:36 PM
Also if I remember correctly here they can draw interest and take a toll on that persons credit
Posted via Mobile Device

GreenI.A.
11-08-2011, 12:31 AM
Also if I remember correctly here they can draw interest and take a toll on that persons credit
Posted via Mobile Device

Here in MA I know it effects the property owners credit score. I don't know about any interest charges, but I'm sure if there is any interest that all goes to the state. What is nice is that we can add in any attorney fees from the lien. So that person who doesn't want to pay for a $60 fert app ends up paying $410 later down the road.