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Debt collection advice

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by horsepowerlawns, Mar 4, 2007.

  1. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    What do you guys do when you do sub work and they have not paid in over 40 days? He said you would be paid in 7-12 days.

    How did you collect?
    Did you send it to a lawyer? file a lien? collection agency?

    I have left several VMs. He claimed to have my check, but not have my address. I have given him my address in a PM, E-Mail, VM and someone gave it to him for me. But that didn't get me paid. So, today I dropped off a bill at his house. I am trying to follow the Fair Debt Collection laws, even though I don't have to because the debt is owed to me. I'm not going to post his name here.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    At this point I would send a written letter by registered mail. Check with your state laws to see what might be required in the letter for the next step, small claims. Here in Mass we have Chapter 93A for protection, following this chapter gives it some strengths if you have to take them to small claims.

    If you have written proof of the contract, then a letter demanding payment in 30days or a request from the party as to why they do not feel the claim valid, also do with in 30days. State that after 30 days you will file a claim in court.

    lawyer - costs too much
    lien - costs too much
    collection - they want a big percentage, read costs too much
    small claims - just about right.
  3. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    It was a phone call. So I have no contract.

    I will give him few days to see if the bill helps get him to pay.

    Could I add the lawyer cost to the bill?
    I don't know if I could put a lien on the place I plowed, its not his place.
  4. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Generally, you're not able to put a lien on property for plowing snow or similar service. Without a contract, how are you going to prove what you and he agreed to? You say "I am trying to follow the Fair Debt Collection laws, even though I don't have to because the debt is owed to me." - what does that mean? Why don't you have to? Are you special in being exempt from the laws? If the debt WASN'T owed to you, then the law would not even be a consideration. I must be missing something.
  5. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    No lawyer here,,,, but if I where in your shoes.

    Keep your phone records. Even more so if he called you.
    Not sure on the lawyer, I think that depends on the state. I would guess that since you have no contract, and no contract that states that you can add on additional fees, my gut feeling would be no.

    I went through a few collections. Even with an invoice, you still need to have notes on the invoice regarding interest and collection fees if it came to that. Else you could only collect the original amount.

    I am pretty sure a lean will cost you most of what is owed in lawyer fees.

    Any proof you preformed the work? Pics, witness etc....?

    If I were in your shoes, I would send and invoice registered mail to him. Include late fees, collection fees etc... Also note on the invoice that if he feels it to be incorrect he has 30 days to respond in writing. At least you have a start.

    Could also think about sending the actual customer an invoice. Not sure but I think you have a right to collect from them if the contractor did not pay. Could be a cheaper start then a lean, could also make him wake up and pay since the customer is now in the know of his practices.
  6. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    Because he owes ME and I am NOT using someone to collect, I don't have to follow the laws.

    http://www.indianajustice.org/Data/DocumentLibrary/Documents/1053371789.26/0105debt collection.pdf

    I had someone PM me some info I will use Monday.:D

    I think they will remember me plowing the lot.
  7. cjasonbr

    cjasonbr Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 635

    is that really a link to "indianjustice.org"? Doesn't look like the laws you are referring to are very official.....
  8. farmboy555

    farmboy555 Junior Member
    from Ky
    Messages: 10

    Bill the customer's you worked for, let them know what's going on. If you did good work they should be your customers the next time.
  9. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    A 6ft blade and a very large parking lot don't mix well.:dizzy:
  10. Ole Tower

    Ole Tower Senior Member
    from MAINE
    Messages: 210

    YOU said He called YOU? Thats NG in Court your word against His! another NG Did You just plow One? or secveral of His Customers? to ME theres a lot of INFO un-known?? whats the Total Bill? One Customer? or as stated above? serveral?? & I assume? Hes on this Site? due to You Not desiring to Mention Him? there again? WE Dono? I*M Not much into the Legal Court Deal-- I*D find Out? Where He hangs out? Coffee shop? Garage? where ever? & Confront HIM Up close & Personal in Front of as many others as Possible? & here in MAINE any One Dunded< {asking!} for Non payment of any Bill in front of others is--PAID in FULL-- just by You Dunning who ever? in PUBLIC! & theres a 50/50 chance He does Not know this LAW? so He Might? Pay You?--so its a 50/50 chance? You would Get PAID? & even If He Don*t? Your Asking & in front of others will EMBARRAS Hell out of HIM? as every One there Will Know! that He Cheated You! which to ME is what Lifes all about--Seperating the Good Guys! from the BAD Guys! & as a Moderator here in our local court system & where I Dono ither of You? Here it will Cost YOU $100.00 in Court if You Punch Him on His BUT in front of other People! Thats IT--the Balls in Your Court!--Ole Tower
  11. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Senior Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 745

    I have heard that landscaping is sometimes allowed as a lean, even cleaning services (cleaning after a fire), not sure if snow plowing could be far off?
  12. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    the guy is a real dickwad. hes screwed over several people for quite a bit of coin. at one point i do belive he was close to 30k in debt to subs over snow removal. i know of at least one witness to the mess well a portion of the mess that will hold up in court if i could fiqure out my damn dvd recorder..

  13. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    I think you might want to read this:
    You would be a "Creditor" and these federal debt collection laws DO apply to you.
  14. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    just go knock on his door. you know what he drives. if not call me.

    come by the house and ill share the vid with ya.

  15. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    I did that today. The truck with on plate was there and the car with an out of state plate was there. The SUV was not. The man that answered the door said he was not there. It was about 2PM when I did this and still no call.

    RBRONKEMA GHTFD 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,592

    If you want your money bad enough I wouls start calling him and stopping by everyday and I would always be calling him. Keep your phone records and when you stopped by his house. If it was me I would be calling in the middle of the night asking for some money. Also you might try asking the customers if they got a bill from him and for how much. Just to see if he is getting paid at all. But it doesn't make it right. The guy I am subed thru pays me before he gets paid. Hope you get everything worked out. Keep us posted on whats going on too.

  17. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    a good contractor makes sure his guys are paid b4 hes paid. i know this cause i make sure my guys are paid.

    white chevy was there? but no black jeep thats what hes driving last i knew.

  18. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    The last guy that sent me a check called because I didn't let him know I got it. I had only had it for 1.5 days. He wanted to make sure I got paid. Thats why I will work for him next year.:drinkup: :waving: payup
  19. horsepowerlawns

    horsepowerlawns Member
    Messages: 97

    Fallacies regarding debts and debt collectors or collection agencies
    * That creditors are unable to or are forbidden by law from turning
    accounts over to a collection agency. This is simply not true. Debts
    arising out of virtually all transactions can and could be turned over to
    collection agencies for collection efforts.
    * That if a person is making any effort at paying a debt, it cannot be
    turned over to a collection agency nor can a lawsuit be filed. Again, this
    is not true. A creditor is entitled to be paid according to the terms of the
    contract and has every right to resort to collection agencies or lawsuits
    in order to collect, if necessary.
    * That the creditor must comply with the Federal Fair Debt Collection
    Practices Act in collecting their accounts. The Act does not apply to the
    creditor or employees of creditors in collecting their own debts in their
    own names; the act only applies to third party collectors such as
    collection agencies and attorneys who collect debts on a regular basis.

    This is a better link than what I posted before, but both say I don't have to follow it. (Just trying to teach him to be a professional ;-) )
  20. payton

    payton Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    sounds like a hell of a great guy..