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Collections Agency for overdue mowing accts

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,228

    Who do some of you guys use for a collections agent?
    What are the costs involved, and how is it working for you on your overdues?
  2. mngrassguy

    mngrassguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,167

    Wow, lots of replies. I'll look a couple up tomorrow that I've used and pm you.
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,228

    Thanks mn, you have been a help on other things as well.
    (PS - I am thoroughly enjoying the day-long rainfall today). Probably close to 2" here, it has been months since we have gotten that much rain at one time. Mowing should be superb from here until we drain the gas for the year.....)
  4. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    I would also be interested in knowing who you use if your willing. My collection agent has not collected a cent in 3 years...
  5. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    There's a debt collector on this site, olddebts.com is their name. There banner is located on the left side of the LS.
  6. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    olddebts.com is not really a collection agency. They send out a few letters on your behalf, and thats it. You pay up front. Its a joke really.

    A reputable collection agency only gets paid when they collect on an account, and they have someone assigned to your account to collect on it. They send as many letters and make as many phone calls as it takes to collect, not a pre-specified number. I can send 4 letters myself.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah but for 10-20, even 30-40 bucks I can't find anyone does as much...

    Fine, but can you recommend such a collection agency, preferably the one you
    use yourself, and have you seen their rates?

    A lot of those top-notch agencies you speak of have minimums to go after, too...
    They talk about if it's not at least several thousand dollars don't even bother, and then they want 50%.
    Others ask for a fee upfront, even the % ones some want a security deposit and it ain't never no 20 or 50 bucks either.

    The real problem is, there doesn't exist about anyone out there for the small guy, every last one I checked out
    is way out there, by the time I'm halfway through their requirements and pre-requisites I've lost all interest.
    Maybe that's their purpose, make me lose interest :p

    So it's not a bad deal for the money, it's not that you can't send the letters yourself,
    it's that it looks like a bonafide collection agency (which it is) is on your side and when a deadbeat
    gets these letters it at least lets them know you mean business.

    I've seen one or two of their letters, it's not something you or I could type up, it really does look bad-azz
    even if it is just a letter, it's not something I would want to receive in the mail.

    And that's all any collection agency can do anyway, much as some of us might wish they would
    send their goons to the deadbeat's door they don't, none of them do that lol

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2008
  8. Crabtree

    Crabtree LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    goons to the door sounds like the answer to me. i have one customer who has always been late paying. he's out of town a lot and a manic depressive. i sometimes wouldnt see him but maybe once a year. this last year he didnt pay at all, ended up owing me $1100 and after many many calls i finally got him on the phone in January. he was very apologetic as always and said he would take care of it but never did. now its april and i really want to go throw rocks through his windows... or maybe stake out the place next rain day. i mean, what else can ya do? eff a buncha letters. i just want some money
  9. WheatBookkeeping

    WheatBookkeeping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    Guys, some of you may be doing business in a county that has a free court Mediation Service. You may be able to use the system to resolve collection problems.

    Most people think “mediation” is just for family law matters but there are many jurisdictions throughout the country that have Mediation Services for other kinds of disputes. Check it out, if you have such a service, go ahead and open a case naming the slow payer as defendant. This is not small claims court and it should be a free service. The party that owes you money will get a “Summons” in the mail informing them that they must appear before the Mediator to discuss their slow paying, or no paying, habits.

    The customer knows they owe you the money and when they get the official looking letter from the Mediation Office they will usually pay up immediately. When they do, you call the Mediator’s office and drop the case. Every things good at that point. If they still don’t pay, you’ll have a leg up in small claims court because you have already gone through mediation.

    The whole process takes about two hours and if you can’t spare the time, get your office help or bookkeeper to do it. I have done it several times on behalf of my clients because I take it personally when my clients don’t get paid.

    Happy collecting. . .

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