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Small Claims Court

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by calvinslawnservices, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    I have a customer that owes me $75 from July. Would it be worth it to take him to small claims court or just move on?I have called him and sent numerous letters.

  2. Georgia Lawn Works LLC

    Georgia Lawn Works LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Yes. If everyone did that you would be out of business. If you win chances are you won't have to pay any money back. Mention in your finial demand letter that you will be filling a police report for theft of services. told the last customer that owed me 50 bucks that and suddenly she was communitacing with me again and I was paid up within 5 days.
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  3. ajslands

    ajslands LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,238

    Go pound on their door!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Glenn Lawn Care

    Glenn Lawn Care LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,645

    Tell your client that you are going to take her to court if you dont get the money by this date. Give her another 2 weeks or so. Or tell them your are going to turn it in to a collection agency. Thats what I always do and it works every time!
  5. Georgia Lawn Works LLC

    Georgia Lawn Works LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 365

    Yep collection agency is a good tool to use if any of your customers that have good credit
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  6. calvinslawnservices

    calvinslawnservices LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    I have given them there final notice. I pounded on their door for 10 minutes, because I knew someone was home. If I didn't have an appointment I would have camped out there.

    I may call and say I will add theft of services and turn them over to a collections agency to receive payment.

    Hopefully they wave the *trucewhiteflag*and I don't have to file, but it is ridiculous how much time I have spent cause of $75. But its more the fact of trying to screw a guy out of his money.
  7. dgclca

    dgclca LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    You can send a letter saying the you will be forced to put a mechanics lien on the home if he doesn't pay the total amount due by a date. Thats what ive done to homes i do lawncare and real estate so i know all about that stuff.

  8. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    DO NOT threaten to call the police for theft of services. Theft of services would not apply in this case. A smart debtor would realize that threatening arrest would violate the FDCPA, and threaten to sue you, asking you to drop the debt as a settlement.

    Anyone who owed larger debts and had an attorney helping settle their debts would pick up on this right away. Its the first thing lawyers look for when trying to help their clients reduce debt.

    Do some research on Theft of Services. You HAVE to be able to prove that there was malicious intent when the customer signed up for service, and unfortunately for us, the only way to prove that is if someone has tampered with a meter, such as a water or electric meter. Restaurants are specifically protected under that law also, because of lobbying from the restaurant industry.
  9. LushGreenLawn

    LushGreenLawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,120

    Keep in mind that if it was for lawn maintenance you cannot place a mechanics lien on a home. It has to be some form of permanent landscaping, something that would add value to the home.
  10. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    I'm almost 100% sure you are incorrect on this. I have put a lien on a property for lack of payment for surveying services. The only problem I see here is the lien would cost the op about $$35-$45 dollars and lost time writing it up and hand delivering it to the courthouse for sign off, they have never asked in the past what services were rendered and I didn't have to supply an invoice, only the amount owed.
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