I am going to small claims court

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Expert Lawns, Feb 10, 2004.

  1. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    Metro has a point with the late fees. Also are you a corporation? If you are then you can charge the maximum in late fees, which I thought was only 18% yearly but I could be wrong because metro says its 25%. If you are not a coporation the percentage rate is around 7% yearly.
     
  2. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    This is not Judje Judy your going on they usually don't ask ? and if they do its usually a yes or no answer. Your case is going to be 1 of hundreds that a referee or majistrate has to go over that week. So keep it simple then and hope that you end up with 1/2 of what your asking. And no you would not have to show that you had $1000 worth of worked lined up you turned it down becuase you were tied up mowing for the dead beat. Remember this is all going to be word of mouth so you could say you had the work and it would help if it was documented. When you get in that court I promise you that the story the other guys gonna tell is going to be the complete oppisite of your. That means one of you won't be exactly truthful lol

    Mac
     
  3. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    I may be wrong on the %. I know the most that can be charged on a loan, credit card ect. is 25%.. thought that may also apply here. I use a flat fee based on the job being invoiced. It is printed on each invoice.
     
  4. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    no corporation here. so i'm thinking 7%? that seems really low
     
  5. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    That rate is an annual rate, not by the month. Your 7% would only be .58% a month where the norm is 1.5% or 18% annual
     
  6. C & S

    C & S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    I just got done with my small claims case. I won, but I was only awarded about half of what I sued for. The judge wasn't convinced on the number of "visits" I missed out on. I did not include the late fee in my losses and I was awarded them anyway.

    If nothing else, it's a hell of a learning expeirence and you can only benefit from the knowledge gained.

    Now I'm just waiting for my money!!!
     
  7. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    exactly what i hope happens C & S. How much did he actually owe you, and how much did you go in asking for? you said the judge wasn't convinced about how many "visits" you missed out on. by this do you mean you tried to get compensation for lost wages because of this guy?
     
  8. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I know what you mean with it being low. I was shocked when my lawyer told me about it. He did tell me something else that was interesting which is a rebilling or office fee. He says that sometimes you can get away with calling the late fee something different. So a $15 rebilling fee. Or a $20 paperwork fee. Something like that. Just as long as it shows on the invoice what the fee will be if thy are late with a payment
     
  9. C & S

    C & S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 125

    Expert Lawns

    I missed out on 6 mowings. I sued for the 6 mowing charges, minus gas & wear & tear on my mowers, plus court costs. The judge didn't think the lawn needed to be mowed that much @ that time of year. I pleaded my case, but I was beating my head against a wall. I took what I could get & learned a ton. I got two mowings plus court costs.
     
  10. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    thanks for the tip tiedman, good heads up.

    C&S, that kinda sucks man. well, like you said, at least you learned something (and got a little bit of money out of him)
     

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