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Small claims

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by AL Inc, Feb 5, 2003.

  1. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Well, I've given up on try to collect some money owed to me from last season. I stopped service on these accounts when they didn't pay their bills, and despite letters, telephone calls, and stopping by, I have gotten nothing. Total of about 1K from two dirtbags.
    I filed the necessary paperwork for small claims court this morning. I made sure that the court date was a weekday so they would have to take time off from work to come and argue with me. I really don't expect either to show.
    I understand that if they don't show, I win, but what happens from there? I would appreciate any input from people who have been through this.
    Thank you, Mike
  2. In Colorado I get a default judgment on a no show. I can file a judgment lien on the property then. Other collection options also. Your best bet is to get info specific to your small claims court. Court clerk should have or be able to direct you to info.
    Also try nolo for books pertaining to your state laws
    Winning in court just means that they owe you the money, getting paid can still be a big collection problem.
  3. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,144

    In Pa you have 2 choices if the defendant fails to pay after you win the case.

    1- file a lein against there property. You will eventually get your money but not untill they go to sell there housee or refinance. May take many years.

    2- You can pay 70 dollars and send a sheriff to there hosue to tag enough items to auction to get you your money owed. they have a period of time after the items have been tagged or there will be a sherrif sale.

    I have only had to go through with option 2 once. I wound up getting my money 1 day before the day of the auction.:angry:
  4. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Posts: 4,254

    This also happened to me. In my state, the sherrif goes out to tag their vehicles for action. But first you have to contact motor vehicle to find out what kind of cars they have. Or the sherrif will knock on their door to gain access to their home, to tag possesions for a sherrif sale. The sherrif will make 3 attemps at each. In my case the home owner wouldn't allow the sherrif in the house. This was deifying a court order,and the judge wanted to see them the next day . I got my money a few days later.
  5. Lawn Tek

    Lawn Tek LawnSite Senior Member
    from u s a
    Posts: 457

    I have a lot of experience at collecting from dead beats . And playing the imtimadation game works well . You have to be as low down as they are . Now First thing is are they judgement proof ?
    Do they have leins on everything ? Most likely any vehicles that they might have will already have a lien againts it already , and being second lein holder is not a good position to be in . Your sherriff if he's like my old one , wont be in any hurry to do any thing ,because its a small town and he wants to be friends with every one . I doubt if you can file a claim for a service anyway , state laws are different . Now since you have filed , call him up, and say hey man lets settle this thing out of court , man court cost are real expensive , offer 90 cents on the dollar . Next offer to take trade , anything he has of value . If that don't work how about a repayment plan say 20.00 per week I ll pick it up ever Friday . A total cuss out is my final deal , good luck , hey you can write it off Tax time

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