How would you handle this situation with an EX customer?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by MikeTA95, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,756

    A couple years ago I got summonsed to court where one of our clients had jumped ship and left several contractors without pay. We had received all but a month worth of pay, but there was an electrical contractor who had been working for about 3 months since his last payment was processed and even though he kept sending late notices and continued to bill, he kept on working and just adding to the total. The judge told him that he was eligible for payment up to the date of the original late invoice, but once he started sending out "past due" notices AND still continued to work, he was taking it upon himself to work "at risk". Granted this wasn't small claims court, this was over $180K worth of outstanding debt between several sub contractors for a large job.

    That's my point. If the OP continued to bill and was not receiving payment, the judge if they decided, could say something similar "you knew you hadn't been getting paid, but still continued to provide a service..." tough luck. But again, we don't know the whole situation.
  2. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    I agree, not too mention the deal is over a year old. No telling how a small claims court judge would rule.

    In your example a civil law suite would have been necessary in which a "Jury" should have ruled on it.

    Personally after a year and only 500$ Id just forget about it.
  3. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,756

    To me it just seems like stuff like this is "Judge Judy" material. No offense to those involved, but there's just a whole lot of factors to be involved before the "almighty lawnsite jury" could make a decision on what he should do. Personally I hope for his sake it is a $500 one time deal that they never paid and he's got records from where he keeps sending notices. If it's an account that has been building up on the AR, I just don't see re-cooping any money on that one.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,649

    Small claims wont have a jury trial, the 180,000$ suit would. Small claims judges are usually lawyers starting out their careers

    Like I say I wouldn't mess with it, but the op is worried about it an small claims court is his only chance of collecting it.
  5. 94gt331

    94gt331 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,718

  6. aaronmg

    aaronmg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 357

    Go to the nearest new home building site when they are there working. Ask for the lowest man on the totem pole. Place in hand a Ben Franklin and kindly ask him to look at a job and repair.
  7. Bagit

    Bagit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Tell them you'll need at least half of the money to send someone out to do the repairs. Get cash and never look back.
  8. humble1

    humble1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,519

    I would hand it over to American Profit Recovery. A greens ind collection company. They can't hold your money hostage. Hope you have insurance, let them sue you for it, it would be hard to prove you did the damage when they have had someone else taking care of it between when you stopped and now.
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  9. Mike NY

    Mike NY LawnSite Member
    from NY.
    Messages: 114

    Get it in writing that if you fix the siding(assuming that it was broken on your watch, and you are responsible for it)That they will pay the bill.
    Then just fix the siding.
  10. MikeTA95

    MikeTA95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 84

    To everyone asking about how many invoices, the total was two. They were for lawn mowing. It's an ongoing service that nobody really pays on time to be honest, so I really didn't think much of it.

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