Playing Repo Man

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stonehenge, Jun 1, 2000.

  1. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I finished a project about a month and a half ago. Guy has not paid the final invoice, which is small ($800), but worth collecting. Has anyone ever gotten mad enough about a non-payer that you 'repossessed' the project? I've only heard of it a few times - I'm looking to find out what kind of trouble, if any, you got into when you did it (aside from the PR ramifications of doing it). I'm not interested in the small claims/litigation process for this small $$ amount.<p>We did a brick walk for this guy, and he's already paid for the materials, just not for our labor. 20 seconds with a skid loader and forks would return the project to the state it was in prior to our arrival.
  2. columbiaplower

    columbiaplower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    if u want ur money show up at the door and tell him what ur about to do. even take the loader off the trailer for good effect. I am sure he will pay u right then and there.<br>-Nick
  3. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Only repo'd once. Customer put down 50% deposit. After completion of shrub installation and clean-up he tried to renogiate the price and refused to pay the balance. We informed him that we'd just un-install the appropriate amout of plant material if he didn't intend to pay. I chose the shrubs I liked best and installed them at my own home. Also tried to leave the job looking as decent as possible. Never heard another word from him. <p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>
  4. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    If you undo any or all of your work, do you also refund any deposit paid? Must be careful, lawyers can twist circumstances to your extreme disadvantage. In some states you can place a mechanic's lien on a property, if your work is not compensated. (Different process in other states, but same idea.) Property cannot be transferred until lien is satisfied, and serves as a negative credit record against nonpayor.<p>----------<br>Jim<br>North central Indiana
  5. PRapoza451

    PRapoza451 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    I like to show up at six am or so on a Saturday or Sunday with invoice in hand and request payment. If they don't &quot;have a check&quot; I say &quot;Will you have one next weekend? How's six am sound?&quot; They always seem to find a check. The squeaky wheel gets paid first. Important not to be threatening but firm. Another good time to show up is if they have company. Makes it very uncomfortable for them. No one likes to look like a dead beat in front of friends. Much better feeling to make a dead beat squirm and get paid then do more work (repo). This approach is difficult but effective. i always psych myself up before doing a visit, I tell myself things like &quot; I'm not the bad guy here, I deserve to be paid for the work I've done. They've made it come to this.They've brought it upon themselves.&quot; Good luck with your dead beat.<p><br>&lt;font size=&quot;1&quot;&gt;Edited by: PRapoza451<br><p><font size="1">Edited by: PRapoza451
  6. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Hello Groundkeepers - <p>Thanks for your response.<p>I don't think a black mark on this guy's credit will mean much. When we put some work in for him last fall (late paid as well), the cable guy came while we were there to shut it off for non-payment. I'm guessing this will simply be another on a long list. As for mechanic's liens, etc - the amount outstanding on this is $800 - not a ton, but enough to be mad about. Not enough for me to waste a work day doing paperwork. But enough to waste 1 hr collecting a portion of the project. As for attorneys - I don't think he'd get one involved for this little amount. Not to mention, he probably can't afford to pay for one!
  7. Trim Creations

    Trim Creations LawnSite Member
    from Ks
    Messages: 87

    Its pretty cheap and you can just put a lean on his house, call and tell them that and they will usally pay up. ( Did a commercail job and there contract said payment will be made in 15 days from finishe date, I laid 2500 yrds of sod so I was in and out and it took 94 days before I finally called lawyer. he made one call and three days later I was paid.
  8. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Have you met and/or discussed this with the guy first? Is he avoiding your calls or invoices? Give him a date as to when you need payment or you will remove what you have to at that time. Times are a bit tough right now for some. Although you kinda know his history so maybe you should've declined doing work for him.
  9. ElephantNest

    ElephantNest LawnSite Bronze Member
    from La.
    Messages: 1,878

    Yup, I repo'd a garden once. He begged me to leave the annuals for his wife. Paid me off in tools from his garage, cordless drill, chainsaw, etc.
  10. pghlandscape

    pghlandscape LawnSite Member
    from pgh,pa.
    Messages: 61

    it is totally illegal to go on someones property and remove any material even if they have not paid it is called TRESPASSING and you will get sued

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