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non paying account. how do you collect>?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by ant, Sep 26, 2007.

  1. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    i have a client that is selling her house and owes me 150.00
    how do you guys collect?
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    30 days letter 1 (kindly please asking, hi and nearing past due notice pretty please pay yes?)
    45 days letter 2 (hi again, we're about past due, pay please or is gonna be late fee 'k? yeah )
    55 days letter 3 + $30 late fee (no more games, hi ok but pay in 5 days or else stupid late fees and worse to come)
    60 days - Begin 30 day countdown while more late fees accrue at rate of $15 per day.

    90 days, collection agency.

    From very nice to hey ok > bad > worse, progressively so.
  3. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,442

    what collection agency do you guys use?
  4. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    don't mess with an agency...

    go to the magistrate and file a lien on the house. She CAN'T sell until the lien is paid and released....
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I have a client that is 90 days past half of one months pay, 60 days past the next months pay, and will be thrity days past Sept pay, for a total of $5k.

    This is with a management company. Can I put a lien on both the owner and the management company, or just the management company?

  6. Mrs. H

    Mrs. H LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    YES! And run to the magistrate. If she sells before you're paid she can skip on you and you're out!

    Most collection agencies I have talked to say that they leave it up to you to file the leins in your own county. If you are interested in an agency, they will charge you a percentage of the money that is collected for you (If they collect $100, they will keep $25, for example.) But, if you have more than one account that needs collecting and it is a significant amount, then it may be worth it to you. Otherwise, you can write up some stern letters of collection yourself. Ask another business owner in town to help out if you don't know how to word one. BUt, there are collection agencies all over, just browse the yellow pages in your area.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    This is true, collection agencies are good for lesser amounts (< $500 or so).
    Greater amounts your best bet is to take it to court, file a lien, etc.

    Oh yeah, try olddebts.com
    Keep in mind that for this price you're likely only getting a computer on the other end spits out a form letter with the info you just entered (and paid for), someone stuffs it in an envelope and see ya later, so I use this mostly because of the credit record option. However, you can later 'sell' the debt to their parent company and they DO go after your deadbeat client but there's also a minimum of $250 (hence my late fee system, got tired of cut skippers) at a cost of 30% of the amount (you get 70% back if they collect).
  8. Dunlaps LawnCare

    Dunlaps LawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    what about takeing them to court
  9. SimonCX

    SimonCX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 729

    From exprence I think collection agencies are a waste of time and money. If you send someone a couple letters and call and they still won't pay an agency is not going to help because they don't care about credit history and won't pay you, if they cared they won't be late 3 months. I filed a x-customer with olddebts this year and they sent there letters but it wasn't worth anything, they could of cared less and I never got my money. Best bet is a lien or court, and sometimes that does not work.
  10. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    go to www.olddebts.com

    File for immediate collection and they will send your client a letter demanding immediate payment. If they dont get payment they will report the debt to the credit bureu. This will likely get a response from your client within the week.

    I have used www.olddebts.com several times with only one not paying. My fault b/c I did not have a contract for the one time quick job. They were not able to prove the validity of the debt and the case is still pending.

    This will cost you $25 or something. SO much easier than going to the court house. I dont know about you but I dont have time to go there.

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