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Question about late payments

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by boxoffire, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I live in North Carolina and haven't had problems until now collecting money owed to me. Well I have a couple of dead beats whom I don't think are going to ever pay me until I take them to court. Well, I'm gonna wait until spring I think when my budget is ready for it, to put up the money to get them into court. In the mean time, how much can I charge every 30 days I don't see any money from them. One owes me $50 and the other $80 and both are already late 3 months almost. I figured I'd send them a new bill every 30 days with a new total but wasn't sure what I was legally able to tack on to their balance. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    Depending on the STATE laws in your area you may only have a certain time to file.

    But remember YOU cant force someone to pay you.

    If you win Judgement you can put a lean against there proptery "if They own it" then it has to be renewed every 7 yrs.
  3. boxoffire

    boxoffire LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Thank you for absolutely nothing dude. I know I CAN"T force them to pay that's what a judge is for. I also know I have 3 years to take them to court, which is not what I asked either. Got any other helpful answers to questions I didn't ask. :confused:

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    Keep sending a invoice you might get paid,as far as late charges depends in your area charge anything you wish sometimes getting your money back is breaking even.
  5. MMLawn

    MMLawn LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,569

    Max Interest you can charge in NC is 1.5% per every 30 days (so for every $10.00 you can add .15 cents per month) for a APR total of 18% in a 12 month period and you can charge that regardless of a contract or not.

    However, you can only charge them an additional Late Fee if you had it stated and the amount ahead of time in your Contract or Service Agreement with them. If you did not then you cannot charge them one at all, only the interest.
  6. skidmaster

    skidmaster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    You should know all this long before you actually start a business. "If you think an education is expensive you should try ignorance"...Ben Franklin
  7. befnme

    befnme LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    imo the best thing is to write it off and call it a lesson learned . you loose too much money what with filing fees court cost and lost work .
  8. 29 Palms Property Management

    29 Palms Property Management LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    You can pursue this if you want to, but, is it worth it in the long run? Time in this business is way too valuable to be messing with this, I think. Write it off and move on. Not worth the stress, time and aggravation that you'll spend on this. I promise you, this will not be the last time you'll encounter this problem.
  9. Doug Z.

    Doug Z. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    With those dolloar amounts, I'd find a collection agency to deal with it, and turn it all over to them. They may take 25 to 30%. And, only if they get the money owed. If you never see it, at tleast that person will have a black mark on their credit for not paying you.
  10. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    A judge cannot make them pay either. You can merely get a judgement, which opens some additional avenues to try and collect, like garnishing wages or a bank account, but there is additional time and expense to try and do that. There is no penalty for not showing up to small claims, it just means you forfeit your defense and have a judgement made against you, they won't be sending the cops out to collect. For those amounts, when compared to court filing fees, service fees and the time to go do that, how much money would you be losing by not just working? In the future, signed work orders before you begin work that state late fees of 15% per 30 day billing period,plus interest and collection fees will be applied on all unpaid balances after 30 days. This will at least make that bill swell into a dollar range that would make it more likely to spend time with, if even then.

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