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RE: Legal Recourse for Non payment of Services?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by snow4me, Aug 29, 2012.

  1. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    Hey guys, I'm asking for some advice so I can figure out the best way to handle this without spending a lot of money on legal fees. I have a customer that owes me $901 and she has already sent me a check that was returned due to insufficient funds costing me $12 and since promised to work out a payment plan of $150 every two weeks which was now over a month ago and I still have not received a payment from her.

    I did some research and found out the home is now listed for sale at $799,000. I just got off the phone with the listing agent and she informed me that my customer is not the owner of the home she is a tenant.

    So I assume that getting a lien placed on the property is not even an option.

    What are my options and which one do you think is the best option at this point?
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Go on line right now and search for your States rules on either "builders Liens, or Mechanics Liens"

    There is a time limit for processing.

    You will most likely not be able to bill her for legal costs, filing costs, interest or any-thing other than what she owed you in the beginning.

    Where I am, a builders lien costs a minimum of 250 dollars plus 12 percent tax. There may be other fees too. Home owner associations will cost more to file. We have to go through a Lawyer to file any type of lien.

    The small claim court fees here are 125 dollars plus tax
    Once again, no filing fees, interest or other charges can be billed on top of the original invoiced price.

    By the way, in British Columbia where I am, we Do Require a written contract. This may differ where you are. But, check with your State immediately and contact a Lawyer who will file the paperwork.

    Time is Of the Essence! Good Luck
  3. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Isnt it illegal to bounce a check? I know our local pipe supplier got a warrant for arrest for someone that bounced a check.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Small claims court,they don't like bad check writers and will put them in jail for a year. Make a call to her and tell your going to do it and she has 3 days to pay in full or court time. Don't forget to add court cost to it also.
  5. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    ^Small claims court is a civil court, NOT criminal. They cant put her in jail.

    Take the check AND your invoice. Go to the local Police Dept. Speak to an Officer, and request a report. Then you get a case #, and file CRIMINAL charges for passing bad checks and Theft of Services. Once she gets that letter in the mail its like magic....and shell pay. Trust me.
  6. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    Not here. Bad check went to the court house filed papers and that's what they told me. They had sheriffs deliver the paperwork.No pay 1 year ,but I prefer the money.
  7. Pietro

    Pietro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 855

    The court must have filed charges. Whatever works!
  8. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    I'll check with my local police dept. to see what the correct procedure is here in Illinois. Thank you for your advice. What did you mean no pay for one year but you prefer the money? Did you ever collect and did you have to go to small claims court to get a judgement?

    I know this woman has a job because she always e-mails from her work e-mail account. Does the court have the ability to force her to pay by wage garnishment?
  9. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,105

    Here is a link to an IL bar assoc article as to how to handle bad checks:

    In PA, you have to send a ten day letter, but it appears that is not the case in IL. Good Luck
  10. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,465

    No pay,or a year in jail forgot the comma. Here if you win ,bad check you always do. Needs to pay or it will be turned over to criminal court. And the lawyer will always coast more then what is owed to you.

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