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View Full Version : First Time Having To Sue a Client...What Should I Expect


M & MD Lawn
01-24-2012, 05:16 PM
Hey guys, Like the title says I am having to get ready to sue a client of mine for non-payment of services. I have copies of the Invoices I sent, the text messages, going to call my cell provider and get copies of my outgoing calls and incoming. I think I have all my bases covered???

He owes for a Aeration, seed, and Fert and has so since Oct. I'm quite frankly tired of waiting and he has not returned ONE phone call since, I have called his cell and office..I KNOW HE HAS to be getting my messages! Talked to my lawyer today and he said file suit against him and also told me in this business as this is my first time having to sue, it wont be my last.

I know some of you have had this happen....How'd it go??

Thanks in Advance,
Paul

Gilmore.Landscaping
01-24-2012, 05:40 PM
Curious to hear answers....also won't your lawyer fees just outweigh the amount he owes you?

Patriot Services
01-24-2012, 05:56 PM
Curious to hear answers....also won't your lawyer fees just outweigh the amount he owes you?

Exactly. How much does he owe ? i'm sure in most states it qualifies as small claims court. which does not require a lawyer and is usually a minimal filing fee.:usflag:

Bunton Guy
01-24-2012, 07:45 PM
Your wasting your time for a small amount. 30,000....now I would go after them for that.

Find one of those collections agencies that will take it over....and hit him where it counts HIS CREDIT. Which if he wants to he can sue you for doing that.

IES
01-24-2012, 08:15 PM
You can sue anyone for anything. Even if you win the judgement collecting is another ball of wax. I have had to file liens and sue people and without going into great detail good luck:)
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GreenI.A.
01-24-2012, 08:42 PM
It all depends on your state, here I can add in reasonable attorney fees and court cost to my suit. Also states differ in how the collection proces for the judgement works. I told the story on here before, I took a guy and when the judge found in my favor he mumbled something along the lines of "see if you ever get a dime from me" the judge hurd it and asked him what he said, knowing that plenty of people herd himl, he repeated it. The judge put him on a payment system where he had to bring monthly money orders made payable to the courts and then the courts paid me. He had a set amount of time to pay the balance and had he not paid it he would have been summoned back to court.

M & MD Lawn
01-24-2012, 08:48 PM
NO NO NO my lawyer first thing out of his mouth was you dont need me, he told me to file in small claims..I knew i wouldn't need a lawyer for 650, but I needed his guidance.

@IES Where you able to collect reasonable fees, court cost? And also I am Sueing because I just don't know what to do anymore and im pissed about it...and a collection agency..like who? I have considered putting a lien on his home

IES
01-25-2012, 07:07 AM
NO NO NO my lawyer first thing out of his mouth was you dont need me, he told me to file in small claims..I knew i wouldn't need a lawyer for 650, but I needed his guidance.

@IES Where you able to collect reasonable fees, court cost? And also I am Sueing because I just don't know what to do anymore and im pissed about it...and a collection agency..like who? I have considered putting a lien on his home

No best I ever got was about half. But my $ amounts were 7-20k. If you are within time frame of filing a Lien do it, but just to let you know Indiana lien laws changed and if you don't start foreclosure within 1 year Lien just disappears. Make sure you do the Lien procedures properly or will be dismissed. I have a collections attorney that I use now the threat seems to work better than a lawsuit. IMO filing is a last resort. If the lien and threat letter don't work your probably gonna get nothing. Pm me and I'll give you attorney info. He's off keystone and 465. Reasonable also
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IES
01-25-2012, 07:12 AM
Btw. Been I business for 17 years never had to sue anyone till 3-4 years ago then it was on. Not helpful in growing a business. Not to hijack just got my blood pressure up thinkin about these jokers again. :)
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M & MD Lawn
01-25-2012, 11:54 AM
This is my 9th year in business and this is the first time i have had to do this...I have had some owe but was able to collect...but this is also the largest amount I have had delinquent.

landscaper22
01-25-2012, 10:17 PM
I have not had to sue, but came close one time in my almost 9 years in the biz now. I take it you didn't have a signed contract? Not slamming you, just asking. I don't have many actual signed contracts myself. But, I do a written estimate with maintenance details for every job and file a copy. Make sure to show the judge copies of checks that he has paid in the past along with the invoices that were paid (sort of setting up the history) AND then have all the evidence you mentioned, like unpaid invoices. It at least will show a pattern that you have been showing up and receiving payment, and so why suddenly did payment stop while you were continuing to provide service. Sort of makes customer look bad. Even if the customer tries to claim that your service was not up to par, tell the judge you would be foolish to continue showing up to work if you had been asked to not come back, and so it is the customer's responsibility to properly notify you if he/she wants to discontinue service or felt your service was sub par. Don't know if it will help, but without an actual written contract, it's the way to go.