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What do you do when they don't pay?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by premierlawncare, Oct 15, 2005.

  1. premierlawncare

    premierlawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 91

    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.
  2. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,973

    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.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Steal there first born and burn the house down:D
    Usually a talk with the customer can clear up any miscommunication about money
  4. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    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
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,004

    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.......
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    No not OK! and carry MY new plasma TV to my truck. thanks THE lawnboy:D
  7. Lux Lawn

    Lux Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,267

    That picture would scare me into paying.:)
  8. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    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.

    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
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    (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.
  10. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,281

    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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