Collecting Overdue Bill

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by branhamt, Nov 19, 2002.

  1. branhamt

    branhamt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    Hello, I am in need of the finer points of collecting on a over due bill. I want to avoid any mistakes. My ex customer moved and I haven't been able to get a reply from the past bills sent to him. I am thinking of sending a registered letter next? Any help in the process would be helpful.

  2. Lawn Sharks

    Lawn Sharks LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Since they have not responded you should assume that they are not planning on paying.

    If you have sent two "friendly" reminders then it is time to play hardball. Don't continue to send the "please pay this" letters. Go directly for the big guns.

    Here is everything you need. Neat little website that takes all your info and puts it into a printable demand letter. This usually wakes em up.

    Hope this helps.

    Best of luck,
  3. f350

    f350 Banned
    from mi
    Messages: 424

    make up some nice red postcards, on the front put past due, pay $.... now.
  4. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,468

    ive used legaldocs letter for years I had one guy say he couldnt pay the bill 3 days after i sent the letter i had a check from his wifes account was just about to send another one and i get a call from some guy representing one of my ex customers saying the lady had lost all of her money and they were going to sell the house and then pay me i told him he couldnt sell the house if i put a lien on it and a real estate agent came to my door and i was paid in cash (400 dollars) my collection rate is 100% in 12 years.
  5. bilbo7021

    bilbo7021 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    you didn't say if they recieved the past due bills. what I mean is, maybe they just didn't forward the mail. if this is the case, go to the post office, tell them you're looking for a "friend" who has to be notified immediately (or something), give them the old address, and if they have it, they usually give up the new address as well. PI's do that all the time, so do collection agencys.

    LLMSERVICE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    I had a case years ago where a guy had everything go wrong - laid off, garage roof collapsed, etc and he was into me for a couple of hundred.

    After the bill went unpaid, I called him up and asked if there was a problem and we worked out a repayment plan that met his needs. Becasue I took this route, I picked up more work as he recommended me to others because I was understanding of his situation(they all paid)

    I'm not saying it works for every client but I recommend it as a first step to call them and determine if their problem is cash flow or if they're just a jerk.

    If they are just fraud artists, go get the big guns. My irrational side lends me to think about things like chartering a water bomber full of raw sewage and plowing them into their driveways after the first good snowfall but its always better to take the high road and go through the legal channels.
  7. branhamt

    branhamt LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I haven't received any returned mail. I assume it is being forward.
    The post office was no help I tryed that. I am gonna look at the leagal docs approach. Thanks for the insight.

  8. wriken

    wriken LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,154

    Thanks to this post I just mailed out a leagal docs , letter to a past due client, we'll see how it works. Do you send a 2nd letter if no response, or send it to a collection agency after the 30 day period? Thanks.
  9. landman

    landman LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 110

    Another tip for you, If you have it printed on the front of the envelope "Address correction requested" the Post office will send you a postcard in the mail with the address the mail is being forwarded to.
  10. Have you ever got a new address from doing this? I've tried 4 times with no luck. Seems like a good idea, curious to hear about others results.

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