Worth it to take to small claims?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by jbannick18, Jan 31, 2008.

  1. jbannick18

    jbannick18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Well first off I live in Florida. I have a customer who bounced a check on me for December's payment and has yet to pay me for December and now January. I have not been able to get in contact with him and I believe he is now just avoiding me. Is is worth it to take the case to small claims or better to just let it go? And for those who have done it, is the process a pain in the ass?

    He owes me $250.00, and I have him under contract.

  2. stevenf

    stevenf LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,612

    I dont have any experience with this but I think you should take him to court. It might not seem worth the trouble but you will get refunded the court cost.
    If it were me, I would bring a $50.00 case to court just to change the "untouchable" mind set that some people have.
  3. M&SLawnCare

    M&SLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 306

    I have heard of people filing a lean instead of going through the hassle. I've never done it but it might be another option for you to look into.
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Your contract means nothing period, Property owners always retain control over their house and home and at a moments notice can disallow you. Property maintenance contracts or agreements do not stand up to the authority of the homeowner. It's purpose is to communicate and have reference to expectations of services rendered. It can't do more.

    You should attempt to cash it again at the bank it is drawn on to avoid fees from your bank. but at least make a few attempts to cash it.

    I was taken for 2400 last year and I did not bother doing anything. Why loose more money in time spent? But this is me, "In my opinion" "Making" a thief face the music is not a valid enough reason to shell out more cash after bad. when their are millions of these scum bags out their. So Just based on solid business experience I would never let the scum bag cost me even more cash just in a attempt to get back at him, F-that. My time is money why toss more at him dealing with him. try olddebts.com
  5. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I would make an attempt to put a contractor's lien on the property. As eshkis said, is it really worth your time and effort to "teach this guy a lesson" over $250?
  6. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,020

    Have you tried to submit the check again. try that if it comes back again, send him a registered letter saying if you don’t get payment with in 30 days you are filing a claim. in small claims court.
    Attention I think this guy has intentions of paying other wise he wouldn’t send you a check. If you want other advice how to file the claim fell free to ask. :drinkup:
  7. DaveinSWFL

    DaveinSWFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I think that small claims could be an option but you need to remember. If the judge agrees with you and awards you a verdict and says to the home owner, you owe the plantiff $250 plus court cost, unfortunately that doesn't mean you get your money on the spot. You have to collect it. You won in court and he owes you the money but you are no farther ahead then you were before you filed in small claims. Its more paperwork, more time, more money out of your pocket Prior to this business, I was a deputy sheriff and worked in many court rooms. My advice would be present the check again, knock on his door, blow his phone up. If that doesn't work. I feel you just need to bite the bullet on this one. Good luck to you.
  8. DaveinSWFL

    DaveinSWFL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 178

    I had another option for you. Have a attorney type you up a letter advising him that he has x amount of days to make good on the debt, if he fails to pay the debt then you will be foced to take other actions, ie. small claims. Most attorneys in my area charge $45 to send the letter. If the guys a dead beat than chances are you won't see a dime of your money. Best of luck.
  9. TGK

    TGK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    If the check is made out to you personally ( which i realize it might not be) You can go to a check cashing place. Then its done with.
  10. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,578

    Its already been mentioned, but you can try olddebts.com, use the instant payment option. Its the cheapest, and also put a lien on the property. It will prevent him from selling the property if he decides to up and move. Worse case scenario, if you go through the olddebts.com, it will be reported on his credit and cause his FICO score to decrease. It will cost you a little, but it will be taken care of and over with a lot quicker.

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