Info on Leins ?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by YZJOE23, Apr 23, 2007.

  1. YZJOE23

    YZJOE23 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Can any one help ? I own a small lawn care business and over the past 20 years I've had only a few people refuse to pay for services rendered BUT ! lately its becoming a problem in the last year I've had 4 people including 1 Realtor stiff me with non payments. I've used the usual forms and letters, phone calls even as far as sending them intent to lein letters which they ignore. Does any one know how to go about putting a lein on a property and how much does it cost and is it really worth it or just a waste of my time, effort and more $ ? The 3 are small amounts are about 75.00 to a 100.00 each and the realtor one is for over $ 400.00 with late fees :) Any help or advice would would be appreciated.
     
  2. lqmustang

    lqmustang LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    Not sure how it works in Florida, but here I'll bring a small claims suit against the deadbeat customer. Once I have a judgment in my favor I can then file to place a lien on their property, file for a debtors exam which is where I can seize property equal to what I am owed, or file to garnish their wages. It's kind of a pain in the butt process, but so far my record is 4-0, and I have 2 property liens out there earning me 6% and 8% interest respectively. Most of the time the defendant doesn't even show up, which makes for an easy win. I usually wait until late fall or winter to file any necessary suits when business is slowing down.
     
  3. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Sure,,, I have done it and have been a wittness to it 2 times.....

    Ok 1st you Must prove that they owe you.... shouldn't be a biggie.

    next sue them in small claims court, " town where the work was preformed

    IF they show up in court you really dont have to say much...

    Yes I am who I say I am and on this day this work was preformed and no payment I made X amount of attempts to collect and here's my proof...

    then If they do show up it's there turn to talk and it's a no brainer....
    the judeg will say PAY HIM.....

    ok here come the fun part...... You can sue and win a claim, BUT you can not force someone to pay...( Kindof )
    they will have like 10 days to pay and if they dont then you can put a lein against there perptery..... ( it's amother court date ) no brainner.

    BUT here's the catch.... It's only good for 7 (seven ) years... and where the lein comes in to play If they want to sell the proptery they CANT untill your paid off.....

    NOW here'a another catch..... YOU being the lein holder as such .... CAN AND NEED TO put interest on this ammount... It cant be like 30% but IT CAN be like credit card.... ok like 22 %....

    Now at the end of 7 years YOU have the option to reup the lein for another 7 years...... AND this lein can be handed down... Like to your childern...
    SO somewhere someone will want to sell the proptery and maybe not you but your airs will be in for quite a chunk of change... unless they pay you at court...

    NOW the kindof thing.... them being a business and IF and when you win the court settlement " and ask for court cost also " they can shut down there business untill you are paid in full..............

    Go shut them down my friend...

    this is how it works in Texas, for your state it may very a little, you can pick up all you need to know at the small claimes court office it will walk you through it....
     
  4. Scagguy

    Scagguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,522

    Not sure how the process works in Florida, but here you can go to the county clerks office and file a lein on their property.
    Make sure that you bring all of your records regarding these customers with you when you file.
     
  5. Metro Lawn

    Metro Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,112

    Here.. you can't put a lien against a property for non payment of maintence services. If you did an improvement ie: sod, pavers, new mulch ect. then you can. I have found that sending them a letter telling them that you will file a police report for "theft of service" usually does the trick. If it is over $100 in some places, that makes it a felony. They can get a warrant issed for them ect. Many times just saying you will place a lien on the property if the bill isn't paid by xxx date works. Even if you can't do it. They may not know the law.
     
  6. YZJOE23

    YZJOE23 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Thanks for all the help I'll try and get it done this fall too busy now. hate FLORIDA TOOOOOOOOOO hot is was like 89 today
     

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