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Past due collections

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by dmk395, Mar 16, 2003.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    I have a customer who owes me $800 from last season. Mid season he started having trouble paying me, came out one day and told me he would pay me in a few months as he was having some family problems. I agreed, since I went to school with both of his sons and have known the man for over 10 years...boy did I make a mistake. I have been trying to contact him to no avail.....phone, and by stopping by the house. Should I try taking him to small claims court? I heard rumors his house was being foreclosed upon, although the other night randomly one of my customers told me he was buying this guys house. Tough call on what to do...any ideas, I could use them
  2. BB36

    BB36 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    Forget small claims court,a waste of your time and money;Been there, done that.I would send it to collections.Look in your phone book.Lots of luck.
  3. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    chauk it up as a lesson learned??
  4. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    they'll harass and track his a** for a % of the total if they collect. You forget about it and sometimes they send you a check.
  5. Awilkinson

    Awilkinson LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 96

    I had the same thing happen this past year. It was in my best interest to just write it off on taxes at the end of the year. Depending on how you invoice, you should be able to charge interest or late charges on the owed amount and then you can rite off the entire amount.
  6. xpnd

    xpnd LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 378

    If you have your ducks in a line, small claims is an outstanding way to collect. Although there is no vehicle for enforcement of payment when a ruling is made in your favor, 10 days after the ruling you can have the court file an Abstract of Judgement on the defendant. This places a lein on the property and is recorded on their credit report. There is not a title company in the world that will touch a property with an Abstract filed on it and it will be tough to buy on credit (new car) . The Abstract accrues 10% interest yearly and is renewed every ten years. If this work was done without a written service agreement, about the only thing you can do is write it up as a loss and chalk it up to stupidity (yours). Reputable collection agencies will not take a claim without minimal documentation that it exsits.
  7. LawnGuy73

    LawnGuy73 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,946

    I agree take it up with collections, or you are a organized company you can put a lien on his house this means if it did get foreclosed they tack the money hes owes you onto it. If he tries to sell it- the buying party cant close on it until your paid. I know it works...I know it works we'll just say that, however mine was for much much more than $800.00 I'd say you just learned that you can't take some peoples word for anything and it looks like you learned it the HARD way
  8. BB36

    BB36 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    If you have the time go look at my old posts/threads and look up post "Customer won't pay ".
  9. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I don't know about your state but small claims is under utilized. If your in the right you can get it all plus costs but not guarenteed. If it is not paid here in NJ a judgement is levied and if could result in garnishment of wages or getting dollars when a property is sold, if enough remains to satisfy all creditors. Check it out.
  10. yergus

    yergus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 146

    all these dead beats, you should enter them in www.clientcheck.com so we all know who not to give service to.
    i have put in several clients so that if anyone gets a call from them they know in advance they will not get paid

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