Late Fees

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by vsolosky, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. vsolosky

    vsolosky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Hi - this is my first post hubby owns his own organic based lawn care company (called PureGreen) since 1991....
    Anyhow, we are having trouble with our customers paying lately. I send them statements with our late charges (the regular invoices state that payments rec'd after the due date will incure an 18% apr finance charge) but certain customers (mainly the ones who live in half a million dollar houses....) who ignore the late statements (and our phone calls to remind them of the overdue invoices) and send in the original invoice (ignoring the late statement) and totally ignoring the finance charges. Or they send in the late statement and just never pay the finance charges.
    They must think that since we are a small company they could get away with it....but all other companies won't just wipe off the finance charges...what kind of letter can I send these ignorant people to remind them that the finance charges are their own fault for paying late???? Thanks so much!!!
  2. 1wezil

    1wezil LawnSite Senior Member
    from tn
    Messages: 532

    I am having the same problem also ?????????????
  3. vsolosky

    vsolosky LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    same probs as not getting paid or losers not paying the late fees? (we have noticed that since this 'depression' customers who have paid on time and were rarely late are suddenly being late....i have never had to make out 20+ late statements before on one given day!!! oh, is this ever going to end?????)
  4. tradeyouraccounts

    tradeyouraccounts Banned
    Messages: 343

    That’s a tuff one and shall be following this one
  5. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    How late are they??????

    Once I have one go over 30 days past due, I pay them a visit and ask if there's a problem with my service.... since I know there isn't... usually they pay on the spot and stay caught up from then on. Those that give some lame excuse and don't catch up right then I usually terminate.

    Depending on the amount they "stick me for" I either turn them over to collections or go file a lien on their property. I recently had a former customer sell their house with a 6yr old lien on it.... they were "shocked" to discover at closing that they had to "settle" with me before the deal could close... their original $212.00 bill cost them 587.00 to settle... late fees and 18% interest adds up.

    This is exactly why you only work off of contracts unless it's cut now pay now... I do have some clients that leave a check under the mat every visit or they're home every visit.
  6. bigclawnman

    bigclawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 121

    How do you go filing a lien on a persons property? Also is there a fee for doing so?

  7. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    There is a "recording fee" that will vary depending on where you live. I add the cost of the fee as well as my time to the balance due.

    You simply take a copy of the bill to probate court and file a lien.
  8. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    Can't tell you what to do, only what I do.

    Have a late fee of $50 minimum once 30 days is reached past the due date - which is completion in my case.

    Think of T-moble phone ...

    They shut down service after about 10 days late, and have a $20 reativation fee for each phone on the account.

    If I mowed lawns, I'd not only charge a big late fee - which I'd get their signature on - but I'd suspend mowing the first day they were late.

    How many of you quit mowing when they are past due?

    I'd think they would notice the grass getting long.
  9. CapitalLawnGroup

    CapitalLawnGroup LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I put my service agreement to state that they must pay on the first of the month, for the FOLLOWING months services, that may help your situation...
  10. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    You need to check with your state to see if you can even legally charge them a late fee. If they dont pay it then forget it. Are you really going to get upset over a late fee that was not paid? Secondly if you are having these problems with these people either get paid up front or get rid of them.

Share This Page