Collection Company

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mikewhit1010, May 16, 2008.

  1. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    I know this has been discuessed but I couldnt find the thread.

    I have one customer that will not pay. He is no longer my customer and almost put my company under. He lives in a very nice house. Drives a nice car and wears flashy clothes. I did a spring clean up and two mows. I know this isnt a lot but I paid out $100 in dumping fees, $125 in employee fees, $20 in gas, $20 in materials. So I paid him to take care of his lawn. I figured he had money and he would pay. He kept pushing me to lay 5 pallets of sod and kept asking me why I hadnt. I kept pushing it back because he told me the check was in the mail. Then he said he only sends checks out on the first. Well its been the first twice and no pay. I sent him three letters stating he needs to pay and atleast he needs to pay the materials. I also explained to him I am a small LCO and if I would have done the larger job for him. (The sod was not all he wanted) he would have put me under. He replies every time. I will review invoice and put check in mail on Monday.

    If he doesnt have a response for me on Monday how to I go further. I know I have the right in TX to put a mechanics lien on the property but I dont have him as a client any more and I would also like to send him to collections.

    Any help will be great. I normally send letter after letter and show up to peoples houses. I save customers this way but there is no way I want this guy as a customer any more. He owes a total of about $400 with no late fees. I dont want to spend a lot recovering but I also do not want him to do this again. There are people in FTW that do this alot. They jump LCO every 2 months and never pay.

    I am not the one that would take the next step and put Round up on his lawn or drive through his lawn. That was me 3 years ago. So that being said any collection companies you guys use.
  2. timmac

    timmac LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 480

    the next clean up job you do, just save the dumping fees and dump it in his lawn.
  3. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    ha ha that is funny. I forgot to mention what we call these people down in Fort worth.

    They are "$30,000 millionares". They are people that will fake it and never make it. I think its really funny because he thinks he is going to get away with it. I will not let this go. My pride is to high to have someone do this to me. It would be different if I did the job and he wasnt lying to me or dodging me or straight up told me he wasnt going to pay.
  4. BillyRgn

    BillyRgn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    i would go to his house, and if he said i will put it in the mail i usually say " Well i have a few minutes right now, so i will wait to save you the cost of the stamp if you don't mind" If that does not work, i would talk to a lawyer and have him send him a letter, send two copy's, one certified mail, and one in normal mail, so no matter what they will get the letter. and after that i would not hesitate to put the lien on the property, it sounds like you wouldn't't have any trouble getting one issued. just make shore you have copy's of all the invoices and letters you have sent with dates, and i would also try to document all conversations - phone and in person in the event you have to take him to small claims court, the more evidence the better, when you have your stuff in order, it shows the judge your not a hack and you have your business in order. i am in the same boat as you, i'm having trouble with a client from last year who didn't't pay for the last four months ($50 per cut). What really pisses me off, is that he is a local school principal who's salary is published in the paper in top ten paid employees in the town. ($110,000). i talked to the neighbor who is also a customer and he told me he just had his water shut off, but it was turned on a few days latter because he finally paid the water company. the neighbor said he has more money than he needs, he just does not pay any bills, what the hell is wrong with him, i gave him a week, if he does no pay or at least call with a solution, i will visit him at his home with a few intimidating looking friends and see what happens.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here's what I'm fixing to send off to a few...

    Attached Files:

  6. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    I had a contractor a few years back that would pay. I got so poed I called him and told him that if he doesnt pay me by 3pm today I would go to his office and break both his legs. The guy sends his man over right away with a check, he tells me that his boss will contact his Lawyer if I ever threaten him again. Well I was still poed and I replied fine I'll break the Lawyers legs also.
  7. mikewhit1010

    mikewhit1010 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    wow there are some violent people on this site. hahahaha just kidding. I use to have the strong arm mentality but if i hit someone or did something like that the medical bills would be to high. i wasnt old enough to remember the good old days when debts where handeled like this
  8. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    That incident was in my youth IM too old for breaking legs nowLOL. I was just poed.

    Another time I remember a contractor wouldnt pay me, I got poed, so I had a real muddy water main job in the morning, i really got covered in mud my boots were soggy. So I went to the guys office and asked his sectratary if I could speak with him. She said hes busy, so I said I had time Id wait, I left really bad footprints on his carpet and procedded to sit in his chairs and yes I muddyed them up also. I wait about 30 minutes and another sub comes I asked him what he was doing, he was bidding on a job. He asked what I was doing I told him I was collecting money for a job. Well I guess the secutary herd all this and told the boss because he came out of his office with a check for me. I had to laugh he also told the secutary to clean up all th mud I had left in there.
  9. k911lowe

    k911lowe LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    just keep going over there for the money.collection companies charge a ridiculous amount and you have to pay even if they don't collect.lawyers are worse.other than personal contact there is nothing you can do except eat would cost you more to collect than you are owed.mailing is just a waste of time.been there done all that.just take a deep breath and hope his bad karma causes him a heart attack or hit by a car.
  10. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578, post it on there credit report and be done with it.

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