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Cutting my losses.

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by TurfPlus, Jan 14, 2002.

  1. TurfPlus

    TurfPlus Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    I'm in a dilemma. A customers account has been past due for 6+ months for a balance due of $8500. After several letters for demand of payment the customer calls and tells me that he never owned the site. I contacted my attorney (which happens to be the son of my client) to file suit. I just received a check for $8000.00. On the memo "final payment" is written and as soon as I cash it, I loss all my rights to sue. My question is.....should I continue with the suit or just cut my looses? I know I should just cut my losses but why should I left him decide my rates. Thanx in advance.

  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott Senior Member
    Messages: 142

    Ask your attorney. I know I don't have $500 to piss away. That's BS!

    OBRYANMAINT PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ohio
    Messages: 534

    i knowits a hard pill to swallow, but with not much more info i would cut my losses

    Messages: 82

    take the money and run youll end up with more than $500 in attorney fees trying to get it settled...
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    That happened to me this year on a baement remodel, they were into me for 3500.00. I finally got 3K of that and just walked away. the aggravation that is needed for the 500.00 just isnt worth it.
    The thing that really gets me, is that money always comes out of my paycheck. The profit from a job is always in the last payment, and that is what pays the house hold bills, and my paycheck.
  6. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    It sucks but take the money and cut them off. Just make sure that every other plower that you know is privvy to this info.
  7. TurfPlus

    TurfPlus Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Thanx for the advice. Your right, this is a hard pill to swollow and the more I think about, the more pissed I get. Funny thing is.....We stopped thier service in Jan. and they sold the site in April for 3 million and they are going to beat me out of $500. Anyway who do you think the new owners called for snow removal? You guessed it.....ME.
  8. RCIPlow

    RCIPlow Member
    Messages: 86

    The business man in me says cut your loses. The Irishmen in me says go after them. In Jersey a contractor can file a mechanics lien against property. Not sure if that would cover snow management, don't know why it wouldn't. Anyhow, this has to be done at the county level. This way when banks, mortgage co.'s and title co.'s do a search, there it is. Have had past occasion to actually have to threaten to hold up settlement to recieve payment. Ask your lawyer if the final payment note makes you in agreement with the customer.You may be able to go to small claims on the remaining $500.00, thus eliminating the need for the lawyer. Just my 2 cents worth.
  9. SCL

    SCL Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Something I didn't think of before but I had a plumber friend that some jerk tried the payment in full trick on the check. If memory serves right, his lawyer said that when you endorse just write partial payment on account with your endorsement. A check is a tender for money, not an explanation of accounts or a notice. I;d endorse it this way whether you decide to get him or not. As for plowing the new guys, Why Not? Just get it in writing and keep them on a short leash:)
  10. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    That amount is more then you can go for in small claims. At least here in CT where the limit is $3500. That means lots of legal fees. It hurts to get beat and I think a customer changing a rate is stealing. If you were to walk into his store and take something for $500 he could have you arrested. I think you should be able to do the same, but that is not how it works.

    I also find the idea that you lose the right to sue for receiving a partial payment. I am not an attorney though.

    I would take the money and leave it. He is burning a bridge not you.
  11. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415


    Just take the check & type XXXXXX over final payment. Make a copy before & after blocking of memo before you cash it and send them another bill after the check has cleared stating the balance is $500.00 & the $8000.00 was not the final payment. I've had to do it many times & won in small claims court.
  12. Lawn Lad

    Lawn Lad Senior Member
    Messages: 407

    I know it's an old thread... but I was in a similar situation. My attorney said to write "Not Payment in Full" on the back when you endorse it. You may never choose to pursue it due to the cost related to collection, but should you elect to, then atleast you have a claim. Otherwise, if you do deposit the check with "Payment in Full" written on it without your notation- then it becomes just that - payment in full.
  13. PAPS Landscape

    PAPS Landscape Member
    Messages: 51

    Take the 8 large and run. After attorney fees, court fees, lost days of work at small claims, its not worth the $500.00. I hate when companies pull that, but at this point as hard as it is to walk for the $500, I'd cut my losses.
  14. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415

    Small claims court

    Never spent more than a couple of hours at small claims & if your not doing anything it's a easy $500 for a couple of hours.;).You know you earned it, so go get what is yours. Maybe I'm lucky the court is only 15 min. away for me. And what attorney fees, small claims court hates it when you bring a attorney, theres nothing to it. IMHO
  15. TurfPlus

    TurfPlus Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Thanx again for the advice. Looks like I'm going to bite the bullet and deposit the check. I made copies and wrote on the back "not final payment" and I'll wait for it to clear. Then I'll send them and invoice for the remaining amount and service charges. I think just the threat of suit should get the balance paid or at least I'm hoping.

  16. Wayne Volz

    Wayne Volz Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    It sounds to me like you did not have a signed service agreement. If not, you may have a hard time getting the balance. If anything, learn from this loss that you must have a signed service agreement for all your work. This may help you in the future. I have lost some money myself in the past before using service agreements. The school of "hard knocks" is often the best teacher.

  17. Ohiosnow

    Ohiosnow Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 415


    ???? Didn't have a signed service agreement, if he goes to small claims court the Judge will see the guy sent him $8,000.00 of a $8,500.00 bill. What the guy sent him $8,000.00 just because he liked him ???? He was just tring to screw him, hoping he would be happy with the $8,000.00. This is a slamdunk win in court :D .