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What do you do when they don't pay?

premierlawncare

LawnSite Member
What do you do when they don't pay?
Do you send an intent to lien letter and follow thru?
Are we permitted to file a mechanics lien? And without a written contract? Only an implied (verbal or unwritten) contract?

Do you write it off as a loss?

Do charge late fees? And enforce them?

Do you report to credit agencies?

I am going to make a standard policy for my company and need some ideas.
 

Tonyr

LawnSite Bronze Member
I send 1 invoice, followed by 2 reminders, then a phone call, then a letter of intent to take action at the small claims court, explaining the credit rating damage this will do to them, how they'll pay my bill plus extra time charged for pursuing, interest etc. And I never do work until they have paid, my invoices are pay within 7 days, we cut every 2 to 3 weeks here, if I'm gunna get ripped, it will only be for 1 cut, not several, no excuses.
 

olderthandirt

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
here
Steal there first born and burn the house down:D
Usually a talk with the customer can clear up any miscommunication about money
 

garth1967

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
gods own country
i have only had this happen to me once. i noticed when i first started my business people who rented properties would haggle on the price and on as though i was charging a million dollars.then one ripped me off. i did a job then he moved .from then i made a decsion to ask all first timers money has to be up front and if there is no money then there is no job.i have had invioce run late.i give them a ring have talk with and there is never a prob
 

Brianslawn

LawnSite Silver Member
olderthandirt said:
Steal there first born and burn the house down:D
Usually a talk with the customer can clear up any miscommunication about money
mac... i didnt like the color of your lawn mower, so im not going to pay the bill this month... ok? good, im glad you agree. just keep mowing and if i dont feel like paying next month, i'll come up with another bs excuse to get out of the bill. oh, by the way, can you help me carry in my new plasma tv? its in the back of the hummer. i need to carry it up to 4th floor of my house. thanks lawnboy.......
 

olderthandirt

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
here
Brianslawn said:
mac... i didnt like the color of your lawn mower, so im not going to pay the bill this month... ok? good, im glad you agree. just keep mowing and if i dont feel like paying next month, i'll come up with another bs excuse to get out of the bill. oh, by the way, can you help me carry in my new plasma tv? its in the back of the hummer. i need to carry it up to 4th floor of my house. thanks lawnboy.......
No not OK! and carry MY new plasma TV to my truck. thanks THE lawnboy:D
 

olderthandirt

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
here
Usually a talk with the customer can clear up any miscommunication about money
HAHA-- The point is that a talk with a customer can usually get you your money. Most people don't want to go face to face with someone they know they owe money to. I suppose guilt knowing that there trying to cheat you out of your cash my play a part in it. But a private chat for those that don't want to pay can and does get payment, is it professional? he!l no, but when it gets to the point there refusing to pay the professional business relation is gone. I prefer the direct route to MY cash if I can get it and 99% of the time I can the other 1% I'll let the legal system deal with it.

i didnt like the color of your lawn mower, so im not going to pay the bill this month... ok?
No! but I'm flexible about my payment plans. For example I'll take a plasma TV as payment for a months worth of cuts as long as the TV is worth more. And after Its explained to them in a way they comprehend then its usually no problem to collect what is owed payup

Its all about your communication skills :D
 

LB1234

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Central Jersey
(1) First invoice gets sent...

(2) Second invoice gets sent...

(3) Phone call is placed...

(4) Knock on front door when home gets performed....

(5) Final invoice along with letter stating this is the last time I will be speaking with them directly, you will be hearing from my attorney from here on out. It gets sent via certified USPS mail and they need to sign for it and I get receipt in mail. On the letter head I place on it CC: Mr. Smith, ESQ. and his address.

I've only had to go to step #5 twice in six years. That seems to do the trick. Most of the time the call and knock on the front door does the trick.
 

Jpocket

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
DEL-MAR-VA
Send 3 letters, the last one stating that you intend to take legal action. Next file a civil action notice, this is when most people decide to pay. They get served with papers by the constable.
 
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