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contractors lien or D.A?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by lugnut#6, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. lugnut#6

    lugnut#6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    i got an out of state contractor that came down here after Katrina.

    i mowed his home for 3 months.45.00 per cut.his 1st payment was in cash for a couple of the mows.then he said ill just write you a check monthly.well a couple months go by and i didnt receive a payment.i maintained contact with him and he would always say "ill have my wife get that out to you" so i continued to service his home.its not unusual for people to get 30 days behind.he finally writes me a check for 315.00 for 7 cuts.the check wouldn't clear the bank it would come back NSF.this was in June.every week my wife would take that check to his bank and every week they would say there has been no activity on that account.

    when contacted he would always give my wife and i the run around."I'm out of town at the moment and will take care of it 1st thing when i return".
    or "i had a customer not pay me and it has caused me to get behind"

    all plausible except for the fact that there has been zero funds deposited in his account in months.the account is in his personal name,not under a business name.

    so i pretty confident that he knew he was writing me a bogus check.

    Ive reported him the the District attorneys office for check fraud.they sent me a package with forms and letters to sign and to also send to him stating its now going to be considered a criminal act if payment is not received.

    my question is....before i send him this and file criminal charges with the D.A.s office.

    should i get a contractors lean against his home or should i continue with the course through the D.A.s office?

    yalls thoughts and opinions please.this is the 1st time Ive had to deal with a customer not paying me in 3 yrs.

  2. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    the d.a. the moment he gets a notice of that if hes smart he'll pay. if not :nono: jail he goes :laugh:
  3. 128Steve

    128Steve LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Ditto. Just sit. If he won't pay with the D.A. office for the n.s.f. check, a lien will have little effect. Jail wakes up most people's values.

    Hope you get your hard earned money.

    Good Luck!
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Here are my personal statistics from being in business for 5 years, from collecting from people who don't pay, I am a persistent and hard delinquent account chaser, I don't let up and I collect 99 out of 100 bills due. Thus, it has been my experience that 1 out of 100 folks never pay.

    If you don't chase accounts due, you will write off 1 out of 10 bills. Chase them and this number goes down, but not much beyond 1 out of 100, regardless of method, even a lien has no effect on the persistent non-payer, I use credit record marks on people and if some don't care about a negative mark on their record then I am sure some don't care about a lien either.

    However, if you have the opportunity to make available the threat of jail then you should use this, because I have found out of all the collection methods out there, absolutely nothing convinces non-payers faster than jail - 999 out of 1,000 people will pay their bills when faced with jail, only 1 out of 1,000 will still not pay.

    Amazing how much people dislike jail, isn't it?
    The only drawback is, when you go the D.A. route you only get to collect the original amount due (no late fees and no other fees) but it's worth it to me because you still get all of that and you will rarely run into that 1 out of 1,000 who never pays.
  5. lugnut#6

    lugnut#6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    thanks for yalls advice

    im a very non confrontational person.thats why i let the wife handle the collections....trust me,she can be a real....well..you know:rolleyes:
  6. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    heres a letter i use, i send this out before i go to the d.a. office. after i sent it i never had to go to the d.a. i got my money.

    Attached Files:

  7. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    If I were you I would sue him in small claims court , you will win because he wont show. Then you will have a judgement against him. After a month put a lien on his house right away . That is probably the only way you will see your money because builders screw so many people for a certain amount of time then move . Good luck .
  8. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,955

    if he sue's he still would get no money! the D.A. would make him pay or go to Jail! and that would be the end of it pay $315 or if not go to jail for 5yrs your chose
  9. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    You still get to put a lein on the house , Ive been through this , thats the best way to go . Even after the lein is on you cn get a sherriff sale at his house , good luck on that one .
  10. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 704

    Hes not going to jail either .

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