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Thread: Collecting from deadbeats
01-12-2012, 08:25 AM #21
digger doug liked this post
01-12-2012, 10:30 AM #22
Besides making fake lawyer letters is most likely illegal, when he realizes they are fake you are going to have just shot yourself in the foot as he will realize you are not really serious about collecting the money, and you will have no chance.
What have you done so far? Sent emails?
Call him every day.
As mentioned find his home number and call him there.
You know anyone in the area that can stop by in person? Or make a weekend trip and stop by.
Be annoying and persistent, when you call him at home when he is eating dinner or in the middle of the night it will play with his mind, and he will pay it to get you off his back. Send notices to his house, so the wife gets it.
01-12-2012, 10:38 AM #23
Have you guys heard of this new feature called "Caller ID"?
Think Snow Eh!
RedBaron liked this post
01-12-2012, 10:54 AM #24
01-12-2012, 11:07 AM #25
Outgoing call ID Block?
Never heard of it.
My cheat sheet here doesn't list that. ???
What is the skype reference about?
Think Snow Eh!
01-12-2012, 11:31 AM #26
To the OP: I have seen some on here say "send him a W2" on the balance. Tax time is here.
I always thought that was good, wondered if that ever works or get results?
01-12-2012, 11:37 AM #27
Jobs we did in the mechanical contracting side of our business varied from about $15K to $1 million. Had one job, about $45K, where we didn't collect the last $1500 or so because the general contractor legitimately went bankrupt as a result of another really big job they had where everything went wrong. We'd made good money on the job even without the $1500, and didn't worry about trying to collect since the owners of the GC outfit were good people who had plenty of other problems facing them. Other than that, we never failed to get the money across millions of dollars worth of work, and never had to go to court to collect.
OTOH, we figured out pretty fast in the crane rental side of the business that you could lose a lot by extending credit on jobs that ran in the $300 to $1500 range. They know damn well it isn't worth your while to take legal steps to collect, so they just ignore the bill. As a result, all such work was COD unless it was for a well established customer. Didn't worry about whether they supposedly had good credit or not, and just operated on the assumption that if they didn't have $1000 today to pay the bill, there was no reason to assume they'd have it in 30 days either.
Subsequent conversations with other business people confirmed they'd also found its the relatively small amounts on credit where you'll get stuck by non-payers rather than on bigger job where anyone assumes you're going to do whatever it takes to collect.
01-12-2012, 12:21 PM #28
Appreciate the advice.
As someone else mentioned, there are laws that you can't break... calling outside normal hours, discussing the debt with anyone other than the debtor, making threats, etc. I believe the statuatory damages for breaking those laws is $1,000 per violation, so I don't want to give him ammo back against me.
I think I am going to send a final demand letter to his house stating that I have talked with an attorney (true, I talked to an attorney last year about a contract issue on a machine I bought) , and that I know he owns his home and that his business is not registered with the state (meaning the debt is his personal debt). In the letter I am planning to tell him that he can either pay $X by the end of the month (where X is the original balance), or on such-and-such date I WILL be filing a lawsuit for $Y, where Y is a much higher amount with all allowed interest, fees, court costs, attorney fees and such added on.
I will tell him that if I end up filing suit, I WILL be in court (realistically if it comes to it I will probably find a local lawyer) and once I get a judgement I WILL file a lien on his house.
As I understand, all liens have to be satisfied in order to sell a house, so he would eventually have to pay up some day.
Anyone got any comments on the above? Wouldn't take much of my time, I don't think.
01-12-2012, 12:40 PM #29
As to caller id the local neighbour hood succeeded in removing some trouble some residents in rented accommodation. Random phone calls through out the night on the best part of 50+ diffrent mobile + land line numbers really pisses people off and into action. Tenants left in sub 24 hr, we all slept silently ever after :-)
01-12-2012, 01:20 PM #30
*67 + number hides you outgoing number
01-12-2012, 01:33 PM #31
*68 turns it back on too.
Tried it via the fax line....
EDIT - It looks like it is only good for that one particular call.
If you hang up - it goes back to ID automatically.
Think Snow Eh!
Last edited by Ox; 01-12-2012 at 01:39 PM. Reason: edit
01-12-2012, 01:38 PM #32
*67 isn't a modal m code you turn on and off :P. Just dial the number with *67 in front and it hides it. Dial the number normally and it doesn't hide it...
01-12-2012, 02:37 PM #33
Without meaning to cast aspersions on the people GIVING the advice above - most of it is bad. Deceit is never a good idea.
A small claims action shouldn't cost more than about $35 dollars and a lot of trouble. Even collections attempts are subject to a universe of red tape.
In Texas, to get the clock ticking you have to send a "demand letter" with proof of receipt. Thirty days later you can file a small claims action. I'm confident that if you go to your local JP court they will explain how it's done.
01-12-2012, 02:39 PM #34
I forgot to add. There's something called "the statute of limitations". Simply put, it means you cannot wait forever. My best guess is the statute in your state is 2 years.
01-12-2012, 02:42 PM #35
If the guy is a professional deadbeat he will know you're bluffing mentioning anything about "talking to an attorney".
Keep the emotions out of it. The letter can be nice and polite. But it should say "demand for payment" somewhere in it. Otherwise, it should be straight to the point but civil. Remember the judge will read it.
Suggest you get some advice from the small claims court on how to proceed.
01-12-2012, 05:12 PM #36
I was owed money by an agent of a landlord who did not want to return my cleaning deposit due to her greed. She also worked for the local school district. Well, I filed in small claims court, got a friend of a friend to serve the woman notice to appear and I won and then I had to garnish her wages. California law states that you cannot garnish a school employee's wages but her coworkers and boss pressured her to do the right thing as she was a workplace eccentric. I got my money. Get this guy before a judge. He will also have to pay court fees and costs if you win. Spread the word about him. You will win.
01-12-2012, 05:42 PM #37
A lawyer letter shouldn't cost too much, considering how many companies and people are broke they probably have a generic "fill in your name and amount" and hit print all ready to go, they usually just have the secretary or other assistant do that stuff anyway.
Plus side to this experience if we're learning anything, future others are prepaid in full before shipment, more so if they're not local and that you don't intend to take a trip that way soon.
01-12-2012, 05:49 PM #38
I've been down this road. The OP is in MA and the deadbeat in OH. You file in MA, he doesn't show up you win. You now have to get the judgement transferred to OH and get the local OH sheriff to enforce it. That's after you prove he has the assets to pay the debt. Deadbeats are often "judgement proof", Good luck with all of that. A judgement is worthless if you can't enforce it. If he wasn't so far away I would resort to "self help", which the legal system seems to despise. Other than harassing him into paying it's going to cost more to collect than it's worth.
01-12-2012, 06:12 PM #39
At this point, there is probably a 99% chance you will never see the money, even if you get a judgement on him. As others have said, just because he has a judgement doesn't mean he's actually forced to pay.
I've heard others here in the past come up with some interesting ideas of involving the IRS, but I'm not sure how to go about doing it.
A few weeks ago, while my wife and I were grocery shopping, I walked right next to a fella that nailed me for $17,500...........and he's still alive. I have to admit, I was shaking and had some awful, terrible thoughts, but then I snapped back to reality. It's a good thing for him that my fear of jail and possibly judgement day keeps him alive. Can you imagine ...........how long would he have lived if he had stolen that much from a drug dealer ??? A couple hours ??? It just goes to show you that crime really DOESN'T pay. Why be a criminal, when you can rip off dumb machinists and get away with it legally ???
01-12-2012, 07:25 PM #40