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Collections or Small Claims Court?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by bluerage94, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. bluerage94

    bluerage94 Senior Member
    Messages: 398

    Over the past few years we have always seen one or two accounts that would be slightly late but with a call or reminder letter the accounts would be brought up to date.... But over the past year we have seen a tremendous increase in late accounts. Most have become up to date, so I'm down to four that I probably will not be getting paid for. Although its down to four, Its still not worth forgetting about because its substantial monies due, but not to the point of crippling us. I was considering using a collections agency that had sent out solicitations through a trade organization as opposed to spending our time in small claims court. I was wondering if anyone had used them before, although they due charge a good percentage its only paid if they receive payment.
  2. lilweeds

    lilweeds PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,178

    olddebts.com has worked with mixed success for me, but if it's several thousand I'd just go to court.
  3. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I checked that site out and it looks promising. Their fees are much less than other agencies.
  4. JTVLandscaping

    JTVLandscaping Senior Member
    Messages: 862

    How much money do you guys consider worth pursuing? I have some clients that owe me a couple hundred each, thats alot to me but probably not woth going after to me. Or is it?
  5. lilpusher

    lilpusher Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 140

    I use a collection attorney. They do charge hourly but that is a huge cost savings on any substantial amount. Shouldn't cost you much to have a nasty pay me letter sent by atty they will usually respond to that if they r gonna pay
  6. lilpusher

    lilpusher Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 140

    The times I've sued I end up with about half after expenses. But I only do that if it's over 5k. I have placed liens on property to collect but you have a limited time frame
  7. just plow it

    just plow it Senior Member
    Messages: 131

    Go through a collections agency, A few years ago we had a customer who owed us around $2000.00 and brought him to court, We had to go to a pre court to try to settle it before it goes to court, Then court, we won it hands down but customer appealed it saying the judge was bios. So we had another court date, Won that one hands down and customer was supposed to get us a financial statement withen 90 days, we never recieved one and after checking he filed a appeal with the state appeals court but they did not take his case. Come to find out I now have to get him reserved and bring him back to court for his financial statement. This was BS so I just gave up and let the looser win. So in conclusion, I will now only go through a collections agency for a fee but less stress. I also lost faith in our justice system.
  8. fci

    fci Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    I use a Lawyer it cost a lot but they don't pay up until they get served. Does anyone know Tony Sopranos number? He had a way of getting paid
  9. snoway63

    snoway63 Senior Member
    Messages: 344

    I had the same problem and usually a nice letter to them warning of action gets them to pay, they slow down on payment when there is no snow comming but if they saw more on the way they will pay up,
    try a letter first and hand deliver it thats what works for me, and its only march, wouldnt worry till at least april
  10. tjlands

    tjlands Senior Member
    Messages: 579

    Yes the Justice system is a joke,
    1st time winning a case in court I remember being ecstatic
    the guy owed me 2500, Just cost me $39 and I would get my money.
    Hell no.
    The guy walked out of the court saying he didnt have a check with him. The judge made him say under oath he would pay me within 5 days,
    It took over a year later and over $1000 in costs to get paid.
    Now I have a collection attorney,
    And have changed my wording in my contracts,

    Talk to a collection Attorney
  11. RLM

    RLM PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,270

    Get a GOOD collection attorney or collection agency, depends on what is owed.
    My story first time we took client to court, used our regular attorney, we won, but in the end got basiclly enough to pay him. Second time & had tried to collect monies owed for close to a year, finally refered to an agency, they got the money within a month...they dont get paid till you do (that was about $ 1000/so they got a percentage (20% ussally 30% though). Third time the client had been a pain all season, to get our first 10K out of them we had to with hold service. So by July I was owed another 10K. My wifes friend works for a bankrupcy attorney, so I called & asked her for the name of the best/most aggresive collection attorney. She gave me three names told me who did what, (kinda, shes OK & cheap, hes mid level, hes the most expensive...but if he cant collect, no one can). So I called the most expensive, meanist SOB, best attorney I have ever talked to, he called me back personally at 7pm, spent at least 1/2 hour on the phone, giving me things I could try, BEFORE so I didnt need him. He didnt charge me a dime for his time (& I asked & offered), said he was plenty busy but if that didnt work to call him back & he WOULD get the moneies owed...basiclly call me if you need me. His methods work, I got all but $ 200 of my monies owed in a settlement with them, & got a check THAT day, I went to their office & P/U check 1/2 hr after the settlement meeting.