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1st collection problem-what to do?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by captaingreen, Feb 10, 2005.

  1. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    I did this cleanup for a guy, seemed like the nicest guy in the world, no kidding I thought the guy new me personally somehow everytime he called when we were discussing the work to be done. Well I removed all the leaves, 1100 lbs. worth according to dump scales, debris and a pile of brush from the back lawn. His invoice was returned in the mail 'no forwarding address- return to sender'. I left an invoice on his door a few weeks ago. There are 2 letters from other contractors as well as a few business cards from other people trying to reach him. Early yesterday morning I went by thinking maybe I'll catch the low life at home, nope, but someone had thrown something through one of the windows, obviously he has p*ssed off a few people. How should I handle this?
  2. derek1

    derek1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    Run don't walk to your local courthouse so you can try and get your money god forbids he tries to sell the house and if he does try to sell the house you will get your money. Don't play around with this guy he owes everyone you included.
  3. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    yup file a lein on the house, hopefully not a renter. Good luck, and perhaps a message to you that you should at least get a substantial deposit (40%) on all large one time work. Or whatever is will take to cover your expenses (remember your labor is a legit expense too)
  4. K&L Landscaping

    K&L Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    Man, sorry to hear that, I'm mad for you :realmad: It really looks like you might not get your cash for this job, unfortunately. Like derek1 said, go to the courthouse TODAY and get the authorites involved. Might I suggest the next fall/spring clean-up you do take all the debris and put it on this a-- holes front lawn rather than pay a dump fee. GOOD LUCK!!!
  5. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    Yes, that thought has occured to me. From now on I will be getting paid up front for one time jobs like this. This is the first time in 3 years this has happened. It sucks that guys like this ruin things for the honest folks out there. I'll go to the courthouse and check out what I can do, he is the homeowner. Thanks guys! :waving:
  6. K&L Landscaping

    K&L Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    Good luck Captain!!!!
  7. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,433

    Precision is right. Its called a mechanics lean. Get that as soon as possible and if you can leave the price open ended so you include all your late charges and money spent running back and forth to the courthouses. Make him pay every dime you have wasted.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I had three no pays and took them to Small Claims court. Nice thing is thet you don't have to have(at least not in florida) a judgement to file a mechanics lein. Mechanics lien will also accrue interest at like 18%. find out court costs and your time and effort fees before filing and add them to the lein. nice thing most leins are good for 7 years and can be renewed three times... I'll take an 18% return on my investment. They can then not sell or transfer title, refinance the house until the lein is paid...

    I had one girl in tears when the sherrif served her papers....I had cash in hand 30 mintues after she was served. and she still had to pay court fees since i had already filed....
  9. captaingreen

    captaingreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 471

    Bad news. I went by the guys house again before heading to the courthouse. I thought I would call a few other of the contractors and people who had left notes. One of them was a furniture store whom he is in debt for $4,000, another was the owner of the home. The owner said the guy still owes him $65,000 for the house (I don't know the specific's on that, sounded weird) and he has been unable to reach him. He has told all of us a different story, this guy is like some kind of player or con-artist. Times like this really makes one want to resort to an *** kicking. Anyway some good has come out of it, the owner may be able to let the furniture people in to collect their goods if this schmuck doesn't resurface. Since the deed isn't yet in schmucks name I can't place a lien on the property so I quess I'm just kinda screwed. :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad: :realmad:

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    STAY ON TOP OF IT it may work out but dont count on it gool luck

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