First Time Having To Sue a Client...What Should I Expect

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by M & MD Lawn, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    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
     
  2. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    Curious to hear answers....also won't your lawyer fees just outweigh the amount he owes you?
     
  3. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,532

    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:
     
  4. Bunton Guy

    Bunton Guy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,743

    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.
     
  5. IES

    IES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    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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  6. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    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.
     
  7. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    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
     
  8. IES

    IES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    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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  9. IES

    IES LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 296

    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. :)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. M & MD Lawn

    M & MD Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 518

    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.
     

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