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Turning the deadbeats over to collections


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  #11  
Old 02-16-2009, 09:38 AM
SuperiorPower
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Sorry for the long winded response.......
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2009, 10:09 AM
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
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Originally Posted by SuperiorPower View Post
Sorry for the long winded response.......
Hey, there's nothing wrong with long responses if you have alot of pertinant things to say. Good informative post.
I Have looked into small claims court already on one of them. Trouble is even if they recieve a judgement against them, they don't nessesarily have to pay. IF they don't at that point all I can legally do here in florida is lein the house. If they don't sell or refinance anytime soon I'll wait forever to see any return. I can lein the home for $10 without going to court & spending the court fees for the same result. Plus as I said earlier, man of these are tenants I don't think I can lein the home, though I supose if I found the owner I might be able to contact them & collect from the security deposit as you guys said above (good idea).

Sherman,
Yeah, I was tweeked when I started this thread & I am not really one to sugar coat anything to anyone. I am about as straight foward as (I imagine) it gets.

Kind of off topic:
As leins go here is a story that reinforces what I said above (why I don't want to rely on just a property lein) After Hurricane Charlie destroyed our town in 2004 my father hired a roofing company to replace his roof, he had an expensive standing seem metal roof put on, had paid them I think a third as deposit, a third on delivery of materials. They put the roof on & wanted the balance that day. May father refused to pay til it passed inspection & the permit was cleared (good thing). It failed misserably, multiple issues, shotty work & the roof needed to be ripped off & started over. the company refused to do it. We got word that they were in financial trouble from an employee there. The owner through a fit & threatened my father to lein the house. My father said go ahead azzhole! If you morrons are still in business when I die you can have your money then. They went out of business & the lein has lapsed.
Now I'm not afraid of going out of business but my point is if someone takes this stance.... you can be waiting forever.
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2009, 03:34 PM
SuperiorPower
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Another idea I kind of alluded to but did not specifically point out is to dress up like say a UPS or FED-EX driver, etc? This works great if you have friends employed with UPS or FED-EX.... I know that happens around here at times...... lol
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2009, 08:12 PM
bnclawncare bnclawncare is offline
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I am not sure about your state, but some states have laws about "theft of services". Don't know where, but I seen on TV where a guy paid 10% tip instead of the required 20% and lost in court. He actually faced criminal charges. I do not know if this is the same, but in my mind, they stole services.

If you file to the credit bureau, they will always have this showing on their report where ever they go and will eventually cause them pain somewhere down the road. If they are renters, can you put leins on their vehicles?

Good luck!!

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.
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2009, 10:21 PM
SuperiorPower
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Originally Posted by bnclawncare View Post
I am not sure about your state, but some states have laws about "theft of services". Don't know where, but I seen on TV where a guy paid 10% tip instead of the required 20% and lost in court. He actually faced criminal charges. I do not know if this is the same, but in my mind, they stole services.
Just depends on how your state laws are written. For example, in the state of Missouri, there needs to be at least some "intent" which you have to prove: "A person commits the crime of stealing if he or she appropriates property or services of another with the purpose to deprive him or her thereof".

Typically what you would have to prove is that they intended to deprive you of the money when they agreed to have you service their lawn.
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  #16  
Old 02-18-2009, 07:32 AM
musician/lawnman musician/lawnman is offline
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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  
Old 02-22-2009, 10:14 AM
S.P.Martin Lawn Care
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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  
Old 02-22-2009, 03:23 PM
SuperiorPower
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Originally Posted by S.P.Martin Lawn Care View Post
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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