Screwed on payment, can i take him to small claims and win?


#1

did a house for a guy who wasn’t home (long time customer, so I trusted him), his 14 days for his invoice is expiring soon (our agreement was he would pay me the day of completion, but it wasn’t in writing, so I brought an invoice into his office the next day, he “wasn’t there” he wont return calls, wont text back, even tho we were steadily talking, up until I told him the job was complete, he disappeared, except for one phone call where he called, I said “hello?” and he hung up (he accidently called me)

anyway, i have some texts where we talked back and forth as i was inside his home, i showed him a pic of a cracked window, and was making sure he knew it was cracked before i touched it) other than that, and the invoice for 280, which he didn’t sign, as he wasn’t in his office, i have no proof. can i win in small claims court?


#2

I’m not a window cleaner, but here in Missouri your lawn guy can put a lien on your home for not paying a $30 bill. Check zlien.com. I’ve went through them a couple times to send pre-lien letters. They should let you know if you can or not in your state. It’s $50 which is cheaper than court and I’ve been paid on the three I’ve sent.


#3

i think that a lein on the house just prevents them from selling the home. if the person has no plans to sell the home, then what is the use? or am i understanding this incorrectly?


#4

It’ll keep them from getting a second mortgage or any loan with the house as collateral too I believe. They’re a pain to have removed as I understand it. Which usually makes people want to avoid it.


#5

I bet this varies by state, but if you google mechanic lien, in some cases if you persue it you can actually force the sale of their house to get paid. Liens are bad news, and most people want to avoid them. But you do have to document certain things like giving them notice before you can file it.


#6

Wait it out. 14 days isn’t really that long, esp considering that he is a long time customer. Don’t nag him, just give Hume a reminder in a week or two. I would be willing to bet it clears itself up.


#7

The way he called me and hung up, and hasnt contacted me since the moment i said i was done, and also we had a deal i would be paid that day when i finished, it all combines to look very shady


#8

Once you reach the 14 days remind him in writing (return receipt if you feel you have to) that the 14 days have expired. The reason being is if you intend to take out a lien you will need to D O C U M E N T E V E R Y T H I N G.


#9

Suing people is for chumps, specially for a pittance of $280.


#10

Oh! So since it’s just a pittance, when are you sending him a check?


#11

Send him a message after the 14 days are up and let him know you will be around in the next day or so to replace the dirt you removed…


#12

I would wait, especially if he is a long-time client.
$280 is not worth going to court, in my opinion.
For me it takes up to 80 days sometimes to get paid by large building companies, the larger the client, the longer it takes to get paid:)
But I always get paid!


#13

When you are at the house cleaning, you have owner’s consent, if you come there for a second time to throw dirt on the windows, you would be trespassing. Is $280 worth getting arrested?


#14

So not even 14 days yet and you are already wanting to go nuclear option and head to court? Honestly, you need to chill out before you have a panic attack or something.

Check out the dates on this check stub. Took me 4 years to get a $40 payment out of Rent-A-Center. Service date: 8/22/2012 Payment date: 8/15/2016 (only one reason I don’t do storefronts anymore).

Owning a business is a marathon, not a sprint. You should have a certain amount of loss built into your yearly budget anyway. Give him 90 days. Send him a past due statement every 30 days and after 90 turn it over to a collection agency.


#15

Stupid Bad advice.


#16

Wow, 4 years!!! You that must be the record!
The longest I had was 8 months…


#17

They will screw you if you don’t keep good records…


#18

I figured he was joking. But could have used an emoticon or “jk” or something to indicate that :smirk:


#19

Maybe he was, but some guys do think about revenge like that. I’d hate to see someone go to jail (or worse) over something so stupid easily solvable.


#20

Very true.

Regarding the OP’s concern: I used to freak out like that anytime someone was late on payment. After enough times of finally getting paid, often with little or no intervention on my part, I quit worrying about it.

A lot can happen in 2 weeks. For some people, the more financially successful they are, the more complicated their lives seem to become. That doesn’t mean they’re deadbeats or deliberately avoiding you.

A friendly, cordial reminder is always best. Overreacting can needlessly offend good customers and burn bridges.

Sit tight, chill, send a warm, friendly reminder. But don’t pester.