i'll pay the bill, but not the other fees

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i recently put in a complaint of theft with the police department. lady owes me $300 . we serviced her property for 5 weeks, and it became clear to me she fully intended to rip me off. i added a ton of charges including a $45 court filing fee for the time it took me to drive down and file the complaint. a $45 certified letter fee. a 3% late fee, to be compounded monthly, and i got my attorney friend to send her a letter, for which i added $150 to her bill. i will also bill her $45 per hour for every hour i spend in court. she calls and says, "i'll pay the initial bill, but not the added fees, this is rediculous. send me a new bill, for $300, and i'll pay it. " i told her to ask the judge, and do not call me again, this is now a legal matter. would you have taken the initial $300, and dropped the additional fees?
  2. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,110

    I would continue forward if I really had alot of extra time & money invested, but if not I would take the $300 and call it a day. Just my 2 cents anyway.
  3. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 497

    if the extras are not on your contract with her , here in NJ you won't get a dime , now the 300 bucks she owes you , you will reseave, the labor thats it! to much paper work , just to collect acouple of bucks.how do you fine time to go to court with these people.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i don't need to work 18 hrs a day, i have plenty of time. my contract states if the client defaults on the contract, they will be charged a 3% late fee, pay legal fees, court costs, and all other expenses incured during the collection proccess.
  5. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    I would have said, "I'll be over in a half hour, if you can have a check for me for $300.00, I'll drop the other charges. I'm not sending out another bill, I have too much time invested in this already. If you can't pay me today, then I will let this be a legal matter."
  6. Oldtimer

    Oldtimer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,459

    Put a lien on her property and hope she doesn't pay for several years. You would probably need to renew the lien annually but the property cannot change ownership until you are paid. It's better than money in the bank because the interest is better.

  7. Norm Al

    Norm Al LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,227

    was it this lady?
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    one time, i met this girl in a bar, i was hammered. took her home, did the thing, fell asleep. woke up like 3:30 am, pretty sober at this point, and almost jumped through the cieling, i couldn't because she was laying on my arm. i seriously thought about chewing my arm off just so i could escape without waking the beast. i ended up waking her up, and telling her we need to go out for ciggarettes. i sent her into the 24 hour supermarket for a pack of marlboro's. my plan was to drive away once she got into the store. damn, she left her pocketbook on the front seat. i couldn't bare to face her again, i threw the pocketbook out onto the curb and drove away. anyhow norm, i think that was her
  9. GBCS

    GBCS LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 93

    Bobby, I would take the $300 and end it. I do not think a judge would ever pay you for your time to file on her and especially the $45 for every hour spend in court. Now if you did pay a filing fee and your friend to send the letter I would ask for that also. If not take the $300 and be happy.
  10. CapnDean

    CapnDean LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    I would suspect that a small claims court judge would allow you the $300 she owed you and the court cost and that's it.

    That being the case your options were to take the bird in the hand (if she really had the $300) or go to court.

    HOWEVER: Have you ever received a judgment against someone? You can get a judgment and STILL never get squat.

    In fact about all you can do to force em to pay up after you receive a judgment is file a lien on their property. Which essentially means that they cannot ever sell the property until they settle with you. Mind you that a property lien is not cheap to get either.

    CapnDean woulda gone to the house and said; "okay pony up the $300" and let it drop.

    PS: I would rather receive payment in the form of a bounced check rather than a judgment or promise to pay. At least the DA will collect the bounced check for you!

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