View Full Version : Deadbeat??

07-11-2003, 06:14 PM
I have a client that owes me money. I contacted him today for payment and he agreed to pay me half (that's roughly the anmount that is "past due" and I agreed to start mowing again. Well I get there and the check is for 1/4 instead a half. So I take the check to his bank and cash it, and I don't mow. I'm sure I'll get a call when he gets home tonight. Anyway, his house is on the market and has just been sold, but won't close for a few weeks I'm sure. About half of what he owes me is for landscaping, mostly bed prep, trimming and lots of mulch. Do I take a lien on his property before he sells or give him another chance? What would you all do???

07-11-2003, 07:52 PM
It would depend on the amount of money I was owed.

I realize its not my business to ask how much he owes you, but if I was owed more then $1000 (total billings, not just past due), I would take some action to strengthen my assurances I get paid. Since he has already demonstrated untrustworthiness by falling past due, and not keeping his promise to pay half, I would give him very little credibility. Knowing that his house is on the market should give you a real sense of urgency, since if he moves far away, your collection efforts become even more expensive and less likely to be successful.

Rustic Goat
07-12-2003, 02:09 AM
You may be too late already if it is already 'sale pending'. Might try getting in touch with the realtor, tell them you're about to throw a fly in the ointment, see what type reaction you get.
Verify with your local court about length of time involved to get a lien, go for it if there's time.

07-12-2003, 11:11 AM
Thanks guys,
I haven't decided hwt to do yet. I suppose I will call one more time and try to get something out of him. As far as the lien is concerned...in Va when selling a home you have to sign a statement that says you do not owe anyone that could assign a lien to the property. If he signs this statement the contract could be voided, even after the sale. It's a pretty serious deal and is in response to past illeagal practice by realtors and builders in this state. So contacting the realtor might be the right way to go.
I have to call the clerks office on Monday to see how to file for this case. I'll either be able to file a lien directly, or I'll have to sue in small claims court first. One is quick, the other take about three weeks. Thanks again for the help!

Mueller Landscape Inc
07-12-2003, 11:55 AM
I would call him and tell him that you WILL put a lien on that property and you WILL be contacting both real-estate agents and let them know of the pending lien. I wouldn't give this guy 1 inch.

07-12-2003, 05:29 PM
I'd go over and start pulling out the new landscaping you did...tell him you want paid in full or you'll take out the landscapingpayup

07-13-2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by goodbeus
I'd go over and start pulling out the new landscaping you did...tell him you want paid in full or you'll take out the landscapingpayup

Not a good idea.

I'd go with informing the customer that a lien will happen if not paid. Also the real estate agent as previously mentioned.