Method for getting people to pay you

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by JimLewis, Feb 7, 2002.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I just wanted to share a method I used to use a lot for getting people who owed me money to pay. It's probably the easiest, least expensive, and most effective way to collect from a homeowner.

    If I've made phone calls, sent letters, etc. and they just don't respond. I will finally follow up with a NOTICE OF LEIN letter.

    The facts are it's very difficult to get a worker's lein put on somebody's house. At least in our state, you have to have a contract, have given a notice of right to lein before beginning work, etc. But all that doesn't matter! The reason this is so effective is because 99% of homeowners don't know that it's difficult to do.

    Most people are familiar with the concept of a lein but they have no idea how they are implemented. And when they receive your letter (registered mail) they assume that you DO know how it works and how to do it. And no homeowner wants a lein on their home.

    I get paid within 7 days like 95% of the time when I send out this letter.

    Here's the letter we send out.....

    Attached Files:

  2. Jason Pallas

    Jason Pallas LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,335

    Jim is right - I've used this technique on a few realy hard to collect accounts and it works pretty well. I've actually put liens on a few properties too - some have paid, some haven't. It's very effective if the property owner is thinking about selling the property soon - I had one lady (mad as hell) come back and pay me 8 years later - because she needed to remove the lien on the house so she could sell it (that's with interest by the way). She had told me it would be a cold ady in hell when she paid me (after I got a court judgement on her) - when she paid, I called her up and asked to borrow a snow shovel - because I heard the forecast was for snow down here in hell - she was VERY pissed. Guess I had the last laugh.

    By the way, I got a court judgement against a deadbeat customer last year. OF course he didn't pay. He was getting ready to move and I knew it was now or never to collect (as I would soon loose track of him). Long story short - I filed a lien/siezure of assets against his pick-up truck. The cops siezed his truck and gave him 10 days to come up with the $800 he owed. He didn't. The truck was sold at auction and I got a check 2 days later for the $800. That was a sweet one too. The whole process took about 3 months though. But, I got paid!
  3. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,912

    I agree Jim .... just the notice wakes people up .... I always us our local county property tax web site to make sure the person I am contracting with is the Property owner .... learned the hard way that renters can't be held liable nnn most of them know this ...but the lien letter goes to the owner ...n then the renter usually here's about it
  4. Craig Turf Management

    Craig Turf Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    This is good stuff! I have had trouble getting money in the past, but I always eventually get paid. It will help to have a professional sounding letter such as yours to motivate my slugs to pay promptly. Thanks for sharing.

    Bill Craig!
  5. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    What kind of actions do you take when they do call your bluff? Do you follow through?

    I was always taught business wise to be prepared to be called on your bluff. I have never tried this but always have thought about it and I am willing to try.

    Just want some insight on if they do call your bluff. Is this bad business because you will not follow through?
  6. I have thought of this too, only was going to use the actual legal form required for 10 day notice of intent to lein(in Colorado). I've got a couple small ones here, $70, $110, so I might as well give it a try. As for it being a bluff, I don't see a down side, what are they going to do? Call and ask where your lein is at? Tell their neighbors you bluff deadbeats? Also, you still have the option of small claims if you want to push the point. I'll post if ii works or not for me.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I've only ever had one guy call my bluff and still not pay. So I just sent him to my collection agency. They're still working on him.

    I don't personally believe in suing people so I don't go that route.

    My advice is that if they call your bluff, just pursue whatever means you would have otherwise.
  8. LoneStarLawn

    LoneStarLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Was going to write it off as Bad Debts, but I wanted to maybe give it one last shot.

    Not much at all so it wouldn't be worth our time to send it to collections or small claims.
  9. motivated1

    motivated1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    Honestly, I've come to the point that i they do not pay w /in a certain time alotted. I call and call yadda yadda. I do to small claims. I of course give them the option to pay via credit card but... even @ that 40% still refuse so.....Off to small claims. Hey they are high profile people w/ high profile jobs...their not going to show up to court they are going to default. That's when I get paid.

Share This Page