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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by SharpEdgeLawnCare, May 30, 2003.

  1. SharpEdgeLawnCare

    SharpEdgeLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    I have a customer that is set up for terms of Net 15. Meaning after each mowing - she gets 15 days to have the payment to me. I have mowed her grass 7 times now (She is now about 50 days past due), and no longer am mowing. I put 2 statements in her mailbox saying we are unable to service her lawn until payment is made, Her grass is now about 6-7" high. I havent heard freom her. SHe gave me a whole line of excuses on why she hasnt paid,. and she wont pay via Credit Card either. Any help on what to do? She owes $140. Every time I go by she doesn't answer the door or istn home. LMK steps I need to take.
  2. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

  3. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    Drop by when she has company. Be polite. She'll pay, so as not too look like a thief in front of someone else. I had one that owed me from last season, I stopped in when I saw a guy with a mower, AND company in the house. Paid in full. My record of always getting paid is intact.
    Crawdad payup
  4. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    Did you have contract? if so, go to small claims court. If no contract signed, contact a local lawyer to draft a letter, usually does the trick, but will cost you some money.

  5. bushwoods1

    bushwoods1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 101

    I assume you had a contract. If so remind her of her obligation, before you proceed with the legal avenue. However if no contract, I'm afraid you may be SOL.

    This is why you should ALWAYS GET SOMETHING DOWN IN WRITING.
    Why did you keep cutting so long after non payment?
  6. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 393


    Although small claims court is an option I have a better and faster idea for you. Go to your local police department and find out what the laws are regarding Theft of Services in your state. If you have such a law and you have allowed for all the requirements of the law, you can then advise her that she will be subject to an arrest warrent issued in her name. The police can and will show up at her door or pull her over while driving and take her into custody where she will be processed as a thief.

    Gas, water and cable companies all use this versus small claims court as there is no way they can recover the actual stolen services. What she has done is no different then someone running out of the restaraunt without paying, and is a prosecutable offense.

    I'll bet once advised she'll pay up fast.

    PS: Dont cut her anymore.

    Follow up on your post to let us know what you did.

  7. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,076

    Send her a certified letter stating you need to have full payment by X date. If she does not comply either take her to small claims court or contact a lawyer. A lawyer will handle this matter for you but want to take a piece of the pie but this leaves you free to work on your other clients.

  8. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I agree with the above. Except I will add, if she still didn't pay I would just walk away. A lawyer will not want a piece of that pie. Its only $140. The lawyer fee will eat up most of what she owes you. Its not worth it. $140 is just not enough to go to much trouble over.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Exactly what Gravely Man and Hoss said. Whoever stipulated above that if you don't have a contract, you are sol, is not right though. In contract law, regular services being rendered under a verbal agreement IS a contract. Small claims may be the best bet, and if you have your documentation - dates of cuts and previous bills, then you are in good shape. You WILL win. The courts always favor for guys like us. Also, there is a site that has some good legal documentation info on it. Someone from HERE gave this to us, I wish I could remember who it was. Try this.
    Good luck with it!;)
  10. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,457

    Do you have a contract?

    No............you're screwed.

    Yes...........You're not screwed, but it will cost you some time and money to chase the customer down, all of which is recoverable IF court cost's and attorney fees is part of the fine print on your contract.

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