Slow/No Pays

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jcom, Dec 14, 2006.

  1. jcom

    jcom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 791

    For the first time, we are having trouble with two repair customers failing to pay their bills. $300.00 each.

    We have sent past due notices. Repair work was done in October. At what point do we 1. Small claims court? 2. Lien? (What is the process for this?)
    3. Other options or ideas?

    Thanks for the help ,

  2. NC_Irrigator

    NC_Irrigator LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,455

    confront them, go to their house, go to their place of work.

    get partial payments, its better than nothing.

    for 300 bucks id just right that off, but i would def. talk **** about the dude to let other people know.
  3. kozmo

    kozmo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 70

    I have been using for my collections it has work with good results just make sure to add your service charges and interest to cover cost of service the letters usually get a good response.
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    Start invoicing them for interest, on the next statements. Strictly for the money, you could file liens, and sometimes, the notice you have to send of your intention to file, might be enough to get paid.
  5. speedbump

    speedbump LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    I have found Small Claims Court to be a joke. First, the judge is always on their side (the customer). If you win the judgement, you have done just that. Now you have to figure out where the money is coming from. If your going for a garnishment, you will have to hire a detective to find out where the customer works, then go back to court to get the garnishment. All this is next to impossible without a lawyer. Three hundred bucks won't even temp the lawyer. Lien's here in Florida used to be easy and once obtained you could start foreclosure on a customers house immediately. Talk about getting someone's attention for a $300.00 dollar bill. Now it's all changed and it's harder and harder for a hard working contractor to collect his money.

    Collection agencies, there is another joke. I've tried all the above. I have had success, but very little of it.

    The best way to collect is to hire Radiator John. He will go out to the customers house in his 15 year old Cadillac with the leaky Radiator. He will take the cap off the Radiator, hold their face in the steam spewing from the 2" hole under the cap until the guy gets off some money. Works every time!

  6. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085
  7. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    I always considered a lien, and more specifically, the notice of intent that precedes actual filing for a lien, as about the best leverage one could get, even if the leverage doesn't immediately turn to cash. A home with a lien on it doesn't get sold unless you get paid.

    Whatever you do, do it from a distance. That way, no one can accuse you of acting in any threatening manner.
  8. speedbump

    speedbump LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    In Florida, as of a year or so ago, liens only last a year. They you have to renew them. By the tenth year, paying an Attorney to update them, you have over spent the debt.

  9. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    If you are filing a lien, check the local statutes as you may have to file within a certain period following completion of the work.

    Try calling them and see if something can be worked out.

    Or hire our old friend bobbygedd and his shovel for collections. He might do it for a percentage.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    Interesting about the liens in Florida. I wonder if one can add the renewal fees to the total owed. I wonder what public interest was served by changing the lien law.

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