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My first account writes me a bad check??

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Liendeni, May 17, 2008.

  1. Liendeni

    Liendeni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    I have 10 accounts now but my very first account just wrote me a bad check for $500....not to mention she still owes me another $1469.00. All in all she owes me just under 2K. Any advice? I called her once but don't honestly expect her to call me back.

    It is somewhat my own fault because the first day I was there...the neighbor across the street came out to check her mail and said to me, "Make sue you get cash in hand before you leave....she is notorious for not paying people."

    But like an idiot....I thought maybe it was just bad blood between neighbors.

    What is really bad is that the lady and her husband probably live in a close to million dollar house with two BMW's in the driveway and a new truck.

    Should I just go down to the court house and file a claim. Its actually illegal to bounce someone a check. I have another check from her that I haven't cashed yet that I know is not going to clear for $569.

    Should I just cash that one as well to show that she bounced me not one, but two checks, before I go to court?

    Any advice? I am pretty bummed.
  2. Liendeni

    Liendeni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    Forgot to mention...plus I had her sign a contract for all the work to be done. I don't see how I could really lose in court? Do you?
  3. lawnwizards

    lawnwizards LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,434

    if she owes 2k, why is she giving you a check for 500?
  4. Liendeni

    Liendeni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    She wrote me a check for $500 and another one for $569...and at the same time I presented her a bill for $785.00, for which she has not given me a check for at this time.. I went about it the wrong way and didn't demand the money on the spot...ya, I know stupid, so as I was doing more work....her bill was increasing before I had even cashed the first check.

    I need to find that line between coming off as "give me my money now" and being way to nice. I thought the contract would do that but obviously not.
  5. huskres

    huskres LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 283

    put a lien on the house!
  6. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    Dont thake her to small claims court. Bad checks are as good as gold. Just contact her and tell her you will file criminal charges unless you receive a money order for the total amount due + a minimal charge for the returned check.

    Whatever you do, dont let that check out of your hand till you have cash, and in the future listen when people give you info to use.
  7. cuttin-up

    cuttin-up LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    This is exactly why for new customers and one time services you go to the bank where the check is drawn on, cash it and deposit cold hard cash into your account no matter how inconvenient it is.
  8. IA_James

    IA_James LawnSite Silver Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 2,593

    Good advice here. Get the cops involved, and her tune will change most ricky tick.
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 15,782

    This will get her to pay for sure. No refi, no selling of the house, no equity line without lien being taken care of.
  10. Liendeni

    Liendeni LawnSite Member
    Posts: 218

    She actually called me back....crying...on the phone...if you can believe that? My wife thinks I am a sucker because I want to give her a chance. I guess I am too soft on people....or maybe just stupid.

    Problem is with the default check is it is returned to her bank...and her. All I get is a copy of the "return check" notification? Question....should I cash the second check so she has two bounced "criminal" checks versus one?

    Where should I go from here? Court? Police? Call her? Any suggestions? Not trying to sound stupid or immature but just looking for some good advice. Appreciate any that can be given. Thanks guys! I just want my 2K.

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