Ideas on collecting from a one time scalp?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by eddings, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. eddings

    eddings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    I met this lady who works for SBC yellowpages and she and her husband were as nice as could be. I gave her my bid and they both agreed to have me mow every week. So I scalped her yard mid March. She calls me a week later wanting to know where to send the check and tells me she found someone else to mow as well as fertilize and spray all in one. So I assumed she intended to pay me. It has now been three weeks and I have left messages 3 times. I assume I will need to go to small claims court for this. Can I put a lien on her property, and if so what info do I need from her for this? This was a verbal contract. I have never once not been paid before. This is new for me. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. matt spinniken

    matt spinniken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    I hate not getting paid.

    For me, the next step after they dont return any calls is to go to thier property when you think they are going to be home. Just knock on the door and be confident.

    Or, if you are not a really intimidating person you could ask someone you know to go to the door and say something like," Hi, I am with Bob's lawn service and here to collect the late payment."

    This method has worked for me everytime I have tried it and I have never had to go to small claims, but obviously in some situations you may have too. Good luck!
  3. mverick

    mverick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 307

    If they want it every week get a contract. Then ya got it in writing.
  4. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    Since you were ok on extending credit in the beginning, you have to allow a reasonable amount of time for them to pay you. Then you go file in small claims court. Costs you money to file. Then you go to court. Then if the judge rules in your favor, they have another 30-60 days to pay you. You can get interest, though. You will most likely get the court costs also. If after that amount of time, they don't pay, then you could garnish their wages, put a lien on their house. This costs additional monies. Good luck.

    I only have one person who has still refused to pay. They have had a lien on their house for 12 years. You can't force a sale on a small amount of money owed. Some day, one of my kids will receive a check in the mail:rolleyes:
  5. eddings

    eddings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    do you have to re-file the lien every year or does it stay on?
  6. Outdoor Creations

    Outdoor Creations LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Knocking on he door works the best. If you stay strong and dont let them tell you how it is they will pay. You might have to bother them for a while but it will come.
  7. ProStreetCamaro

    ProStreetCamaro LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,148

    Let me ask this. How much was the 1 cut for? Is it REALLY worth your time and effort to go file a lien? Is it really worth your time and effort to waste gas to drive to there place and confront them?
  8. ncls

    ncls LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 441

    It stays on. Here in Ohio.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    No doubt...I think this guy is putting the cart before the horse, here. Has contact even been attempted and made with these people since then? Probably a simple phone call will suffice. That is a far cry from putting a lien on the house for a one time cut. Depending on the state, a lien may not even be allowable. Here, it isn't. Only if something has been added to enhance the home or property.
    call,...and then get yourself some collection letters if you are unable to make contact.
  10. eddings

    eddings LawnSite Member
    Posts: 97

    Like I said in the original post. She contacted me, then I left 3 messages. I also called her on a different phone line and she answered, but was too busy to talk. She said she would call me in an hour, and it has now been 3 hours. She is trying to ignore me.

    I don't care if she owes me a $1 she owes me and she will pay me. I don't work for free, but I will bug the living crap out of her for nothing. She owes me $60 for whatever that is worth.

    I have 12 rent houses and have had to collect on them before, but never for $60.

    I guess I will pay her a visit when I am down that way.

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