Help! I need some advice on $ collection

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by alot2lurn, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. alot2lurn

    alot2lurn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    This is my first year in the lawn and landscape business,and I do it part time.I don't usually deal with contracts unless requested by a customer.I'm not naive,but maybe a little to trusting,and so far with the exception of one customer I have'nt had any problems.A little background I mow this customers yard for the price of $135.00 first mow was $180.00 he paid me $200.00.Property is expensive here in Northern VA and he owns 20 acres with a 3500 sf house pool ,play ground ,basketball court probably worth $1.5 mil. or so_Other than mowing he requested mulching ,leaf removal,gutter cleaning,pruning etc.So I thought cool 5 min. from the house well off easy going customer with a ton of work at our agreed upon price of $45.00 per man hour.Well- I have'nt been able to get in touch with him for over 2 months after he accumulated a bill of over $600.00 with the exception of when I handed him the first bill ( he asked at that time if he could mail me the payment because he had his business check book at his office ) I called the #'s he gave me prob. 50 times literally (no response) he told me early on he gets about 300 voice mails a day in his line of work and cant possibly check them all. For his second notice I handed it to his wife 1 month ago ( no response).I'm going to drop off one more notice advising him he has 1 week to pay his debt or else There will be legal action taken.My question is and especially for you LCO's in VA but open to all- what are my options ? small claims court?With the info. I've given what are my chances of collecting ? What's it cost to do that in VA? How well does a verbal contract hold up in court? I have'nt done any work there for almost two months and informed his wife that was due to lack of payment and my unsuccessful attempts to contact him.Sorry for the length of this post there's a lot to explain here.Any help or advice would be appreciated , with the exception of busting my 00 about the lack of a contract.
     
  2. alot2lurn

    alot2lurn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Let me add that I dont mow the whole 20 ac. it's mostly woods. I mow around 3 acre's.
     
  3. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 4,205

    You need to post this in the commercial lawn mowing forum, you won't get a response here.
     
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    A verbal contract holds up BUT you have to prove everything some how. How many registered demand of payment letters have you sent? You need proof that you tried to collect. With the info you gave you have 0% chance of collecting
     
  5. alot2lurn

    alot2lurn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Hey, olderthandirt , what is a registered demand of payment letter?Registered by who?
     
  6. alot2lurn

    alot2lurn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    I've given him two itemized bills
     
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    http://www.legaldocs.com/index.htm

    find a demand for payment letter and send it registered mail with a return reciept. Then you have proof you at least tried to collect
     
  8. alot2lurn

    alot2lurn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Thanks man , this is all new to me ,hence the name.
     

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