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Turning the deadbeats over to collections

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  • #16
    I
    I still have on guy that owes me $125.00 on a piece of commercial property. I think he is getting ready to sell or build. He has 30 more days before I make a trip to the court house.
    If that is the case, go lein the property now! Here it only costs about $10 to file a mechanics lein. They can't sell or refinance without clearing the lein.
    If he sells you maybe SOL.

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    • #17
      I found it interesting that criminal charges sometimes are brought forward. By far and away, debts are handled in civil court. At least then you only have to meet a preponderance of the evidence level of proof vs. a beyond a reasonable doubt level in a criminal case. In other words, whoever has the best evidence wins, i.e., 51% proof trumps 49%. I fully understand that collecting from a favorable small claims decision is no the end of the problem.

      I anticipated using liens in case of a deadbeat customer and did some homework on most of the properties I service. Before anything was signed I found who or what actually owns the property. It could be a corporation, individuals, trusts, and so on. Whatever that entity was, it was named as the customer, not the person signing. I had a few ask why I did that and told them straight up it was make sure I was paid, otherwise I would file a lien. They have always paid and are my best customers.

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      • #18
        I found it interesting that criminal charges sometimes are brought forward. By far and away, debts are handled in civil court. At least then you only have to meet a preponderance of the evidence level of proof vs. a beyond a reasonable doubt level in a criminal case. In other words, whoever has the best evidence wins, i.e., 51% proof trumps 49%.
        Good point about the evidence needed. In a criminal case if the defense can prove "a reasonable doubt" then the case is typically dropped. Like you said, in a civil case you just have to prove you have more evidence than the other side.

        There is only one thing I can say about criminal charges: if criminal charges are an option (meaning if your case meets the requirements for stealing according to your state's statutes) then you should be able to press charges. If the person is arrested they will ultimately have to pay a higher cost because if they post bond they will have to come up with that money. On the flip side, if the person is not found and a warrant is issued they may be contacted on a traffic stop or at some other call. When they are found to have a warrant they go to jail.

        Hopefully you will be able to collect your money from a victim's compensation fund when they have gone to court. Either way, they have been greatly inconvenienced by having to go to jail and criminal court. Most people would rather be sued in a civil court than face a criminal court judge. But to even be able to do this you have to be able to prove stealing. Remember, you have to be able to prove to a jury of their peers that they have, beyond a reasonable doubt, committed the crime of stealing. If you can not, try civil court. To see if this falls under any criminal statute you should contact your local law enforcement agency as each state has different statutes. If the person lives inside the city limits there may also be some city ordinance.

        Also keep in mind that if you press charges or sue civilly then you agree to show up for court, otherwise charges or the suit are automatically dropped. Showing up to court can drastically cut into your profits you have to go to court rather than mow yards. Think about starting this process at the very beginning of your slow season so you can hopefully get all your court appearances out of the way before the busy season rolls around again.

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