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Non-payments

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radmix
radmix Member Posts: 194
If the house is new construction put a lean on the house before thay get a certificate of occupancy. All leans must be settled before thay recieve a co.

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  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
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    What are the best ways

    When you line up a job do all the foot work , show up the day of the job and finish timly and Job comes out great, Then the check will not clear.....

    Of couse the first instinked is to get made but is not a proper option,
    I have made several phone calls being polite as possible, but they will not return phone calls, i have the check but theres no money to cover it, If they would just call me back we can work it out, but no return calls is not the way to work it out,

    What do you guys do?????


    David
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,111
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    bad checks

    In my area a lack of funds /or recieveing a bum check is handled by the county sherif ya drop them a line and show them the returned check and they go after them that's if they refuse to make contact or return phone calls and if you feel in your gut you where defaured then let the authrorities handle it they will get you your money and the former customer of course won't ever be heard from .I personally always go with my gut and if it doesn't feel right then i float away from the job no sense working for some one if you ain't getting paid i can work any where for nothing peace and the best of luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating


  • I can tell you what not to do. Do NOT try any of those collection agencies. As far as I'm concerned, the one I tried just added to the misery. Unless, of course, someone here can recommend one that DOES actually work. But yea, bum checks are against the law.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    Uttering

    Uttering is the legal term for bouncing a check, rather deliberately tendering a worthless instrument. It falls under fraud statutes.

    Is a mechanic's lien an option? I am not sure what the recent changes in MA law are, David.

    Perhaps those buddies of yours in the 104th FW flying A-10's could buzz the place a bit on your call? :)
  • Dave Yates (GrandPAH)_1
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    file charges immediately

    Not returning your calls? Wrote you a bad check? Get thee to a Magistrate's office pronto and file charges. Writing bad checks can land the author in jail.
  • Metro Man
    Metro Man Member Posts: 220
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    dead beats

    Take the check to they're bank. I forget what they call it but what you do is give the bank the check and as soon as there are funds to cover the check is paid. I have used this a couple of times and it does work. You need to make sure that the account is active. What the dead beat is counting on is still using that account and the second there is enough money you get paid.

    Good Luck!
  • FRANK_24
    FRANK_24 Member Posts: 80
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    BAD CHECK?

    I once call a deadbeat and told him that I was in the insurance business also. Asked him if he had enough insurance for broken plate glass, fire, smoke, etc. The guy asked if I was threatening him. "NOT AT ALL" I just want to make sure you have enough insurance. I was paid.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
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    Uttering

    As Dave said go to the court house. Bouncing a check in both Pa and Va is a crime and the court will deal with it. Once you turn over the check to the court it becomes the State versus The Bad check writer. The exception is the Bank screwed up but when thats worked out you get paid. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • Glen
    Glen Member Posts: 855
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    that would be -

    Here - its called putting a check "on collection". Is done through your bank - the offending bank is called every day for 30 days to check for sufficient available funds. It costs 15 bucks. Works well - unless they also put a stop payment on the check.
  • Metro Man
    Metro Man Member Posts: 220
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    That's it!

    > Here - its called putting a check "on

    > collection". Is done through your bank - the

    > offending bank is called every day for 30 days

    > to check for sufficient available funds. It

    > costs 15 bucks. Works well - unless they also put

    > a stop payment on the check.



  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
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    And then

    you find all 4 valve stems cut off of the service truck during a call and no one knows nothing. That kinda of collection practices have a way of coming back home Frankie. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • Metro Man
    Metro Man Member Posts: 220
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    That's it!

    Drivin me nuts with what is was called. But we took the check to the bank it was written on. Couldn't get paid for a month and a half. Set it up for "collection" and got paid in 4 days.

    The amazing thing is the business that wrote the check..... probably worth $15 - 20M....... go figure.

  • Jeff Lawrence_25
    Jeff Lawrence_25 Member Posts: 746
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    the guy that last

    Wrote me a bad check went to jail.

    He wrote a check for a new thermostat that bounced. I called him and he said he'd be by to make good on it. Never showed. The county the check was written in has explicit instruction on how to collect. I followed the rules to the letter.

    About 4 months later, I got a call from the sheriff's office and nearly freaked out until I realized they had money for me. The check came from the county, but he paid it. It seems that he was stopped for speeding or some such, but the deputy had no idea what he was wanted for (murder?). I can imagine the (former) customers reaction.

    Here in Georgia, a bad check makes you lose your professional license. He was a CPA for a large company. Notice I said WAS...
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    Absolutely!

    The huy stole your money. That's a crime in all states.

    The dollar amount will determine whether you can make it a criminal case or only civil.

    Writing a check, knowing there was no money to back it is a crime - period. Call the police at once and report it.
  • Jeff Lawrence_25
    Jeff Lawrence_25 Member Posts: 746
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    Amazing

    Seems this guy had 2 check books, one for 'normal' payments and one for contractors(?).

    I was the nice guy and took the check to his bank (which also happens to be our house hold bank) and asked if the money was there. The customer service couldn't tell me the balance but told me the money wasn't there. She kinda shook her head as she told me she couldn't tell me.

    I've been in restaurants that have a 'wall of shame' of bad and bounced checks. Disgusting.....
  • Steve Ebels_3
    Steve Ebels_3 Member Posts: 1,291
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    I handle 'em thusly

    I call them up (always get a phone # on the check) and politely tell them that their check has bounced, then ask them when they will take care of it. Sometimes you have to be a little hardnosed but ALWAYS get a specific date and even a time if possible. If the problem isn't handled on the promised date, they get called again immediately. This time I act a bit peeved and ask for a date again. Along with this I tell them that if not handled by the promised date again, I will turn the check over to the sheriff immediately. Only had to go that far once and that was with a guy who has enough $$.$$ to buy me out lock, stock and barrel with his pocket change.

    Once you turn it over to the sheriff, it's pretty much a done deal, they pay or go to jail. A bad check is fraud period.

    The key is to be specific on your demands, follow through with what you say you're going to do and always document your conversations if it happens to wind up in court.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
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    As I said in a previous thread

    Get aggresive, have a reputation for being aggressive with collections. With the economy slowing, this will rear it's ugly head again. I watched Dad take a HO to court years ago for $50.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    Court

    Went last night for the 1st time in 15 years. Not saying I shouldn't have before, just this guy set me off. Turned his back on me from 3 ft away, twice in 2 minutes, and I never said a word to him.

    We get there and he had pics and a prepared statement he read off, but not the bills or the "witness" he kept referring to. Even admitted ignoring my billings because he thought I was rude once and charged too much. JP told him that's not the way to resolve this problem :) His F-I-L is famous for delaying payment and trying to outlast the collector. Even told me once that most contractors won't bother with court for less than a grand. Guess I fooled him :)
  • Ragu_5
    Ragu_5 Member Posts: 315
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    David Sutton...

    I have been watching your post and thinking a lot, so that I could give you an honest reply; here it is.

    This past December, I took on an installation that did not feel right in my gut; however, as I had nothing big going on, I took it. BIG MISTAKE!!! Instinct is what keeps all animals alive, and I did not follow my instinct on this one.

    Basically, each payment that I took was for less than the stipulated amount. The final payment (on January 9) was for $1,800.00; he gave me a check for $600.00 and it bounced. However, he DID notify me that it would bounce, so I got some lead time.

    Anyway, I have gone to see him several times, and he has slowly been paying me back (including bank fees); I hold no animosity towards him because he gave me the heads up and he is trying. Unfortunately, I got in trouble with the bank and my supplier, but I am staying in contact with both and am slowly paying off the accumulated debt.

    In the State of Maine (where I now reside), writing a bad check is called: "Negotiating a Bad Instrument"; (sort of like me taking violin lessons: Ouch!!). The actual physical check is proof of fraud in a Court of Law in this State (other States will vary). I would say to go with your gut; if the guy starts trying, then cut him some slack (he is obviously embarrassed). If he doesn't try, then do what dour gut tells you.

    In 12 years on my own, I only had to go to Small Claims Court one time; I filed against my local Plumbing Inspector. I bailed him out of a tough radiant heat job and he never paid me. Six months' worth of unanswered phone calls and overdue notices to him told me: "I've had enough". Filed the Claim, the Sheriff served him a Summons (in person) and he paid the next day.

    I will NEVER do anything for him again. Good luck David.

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  • Kevin Pulver
    Kevin Pulver Member Posts: 67
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    It happened to my brother 20 years ago

    He was a kid in high-school and worked his tail off picking up baled hay for a young entrepreneur who wouldn't pay him.
    A couple of us went tracked him down and demanded a check immediately- it bounced. The county attorney said to try it again; if it bounced twice, he was going to jail. No more problems. You could call him once more if you want to and tell him he's going to jail for fraud if he doesn't call you back in one hour. But maybe you should just see the county attorney right now. Kevin
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    I got stiffed once by a large fishing lodge for several thousand dollars. Wouldn't pay, wouldn't talk, nothing. So, one morning, bright and early when I knew they'd have a full roster of guests at the breakfast table I walked in and sat down next to the owner and bagan helping myself to breakfast! The owner was dumb stuck...but the guest next to me introduced himself and asked if I was there to go on the charter. I very calmly said no, that I was the local serviceman who had done some work for the lodge several months back and was there to collect on it. I got paid immediately in cash at the table.

    The whole scene scared me so bad I threw up on the way back to town. The funny thing is that the owner now has me come back every spring and open his lodge. Dewinterize, and every faucet and every toilet gets new guts 'cuz he doesn't want dripping faucets for the guests. He prepays for this service! He also recommends me to just about everybody he knows. He calls me the plumber with the big ones!

    I guess some guys make it a game to see how big you really are and what they can buffalo you out of. I think they are compensating for something. To let them get away with it just emboldens them and they turn into a bigger bully. Just like most playground bullies...you ususally don't have to fight 'em...just make 'em believe you will.

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  • Perry_3
    Perry_3 Member Posts: 498
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    Beautiful

    That's a great collection story...

    You played by his rules and he now respects you.

    Perry


  • Funny,,, I just got back from a visit with my favorite Thai resturant owner that's owed me a few bucks for a while now. Couple months anyways. I stopped in a couple weeks ago and he played the old "Didn't get the bill." routine. Today an even more interesting development. He's no longer in business. He's gone. Two new Thai ladies are there of course they know nothing about the bill. The old gut feeling as mentioned elsewhere here. Even though I've know the guy for about a year I just KNEW I was going to get burned. Sigh...
  • David Sutton_6
    David Sutton_6 Member Posts: 1,079
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    Always follow the golden rule

    Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,

    I always get the check when the job is done,payment apon completion, i le this guy wait never should have dne it,,,,but i try to trust,,,,,Custermers want a contractor they can trust ...why can't we have custermers we can trust???

    I feel now that i should be getting money down before i start, witch i have not been doing.

    Thanks for all the great replys!!!!!



    David
  • Warren_3
    Warren_3 Member Posts: 3
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    collections doesn't work

    I have found any method of collection, is only as good as the debtor is honest &/ or ignorant. I have even tried removing my equipment for nonpayment (which my contract allows) Believe it or not the police made me put it back in. Small claims is useless, getting a constable to "arrest" them costs you money that is nontransferable to the debtor. And when all is said & done once you finally get them before a judge all the half to say is "Your honor, all I can afford is $50.00 a month." Thats what the judge will order. The debtor won't pay & it all starts over again. It stinks but you go down to White Hen & steal a $0.75 candy bar the can have you cuffed on the spot. Don't pay a contractor $10,000.00 and there ain't **** you can do about it.
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
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    Here is how I do things:

    When jobs are bid, I get up to 2/3 down and the remainder UPON COMPLETION. No if, ands, or butt's. Unfortunately this is how business needs to be handled. In your case, You can file a "Mechanics lean" on the property which will prevent them or anyone else from moving on the property until the bill is paid. I know this does not solve your Immediate problem, but you can file a "Theft of Services complaint with your local Police Dept. A court date will be set and make sure you charge for all legal fee's and personal and company expenses.

    I remember when work to be done was confirmed on a hand shake......... Now you have news stations telling the customer not to give anything down or they are dealing with a non-reputable company. WHICH I say, try getting burned a few times!!!!!! This only takes ONCE to wake you up.

    Mike T.


  • I used to work for an outfit out of Philly. We did all the big mall chains. Wilson's leather ran up a $60,000 tab, wouldn't pay, went to court and it got settled for 10 cents on the dollar. I'll give a customer only so much to screw me out of the first few times till I see how they pay. I figure it's a cheap way to weed out the losers. If they can't pay promptly on a small bill, how do you think they'll pay on a big one?
  • mikea23
    mikea23 Member Posts: 224
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    LIEN

    People bounce checks now and then it happens but to not return calls.

    I am sure if the guy called you and explained his perdicament you would work something out. But no returned call.

    First thing I would do is file a lien on the home its very simple to do. This way if they try to sell or refinance the home you need to be paid first. Then protest the check with the bank the sherif will make you do it anyway if you want to file charges. But the laws are kinda strange here in NY with this If the guy writes the check and at that time there is sufficent funds its not a crime. then final resort send to collections.

    My old boss would wait till a holiday like xmas or thanksgiving and go knock on the door when they have family and friends over. He always said it worked but I dont think I could do that. It would be fun tho.

    Mike A

  • Ericjeeper
    Ericjeeper Member Posts: 179
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    I am in the window business.

    I had a lady call me two weeks ago for an estimate. I ended up selling her 6 windows. for 300 each. She paid half down with a check and advised me she would need to move some money to checking in order for the cheack to clear. Ok I waited three days checked cleared. I ordered her windows. Ten days later I call her on Sunday and asked if Tuesday wouyld be a good day to do the install.She said yes I will leave a check on the table.. I do the install and stop by HER bank on the way in to the shop. Check will not clear. she has had 12 days to put the remainder of the moeny into the checking account. I called her in the evening and asked how she liked the windows.. she said she loved the new picture window. I asked softly about the check not clearing and she said. "I have not moved the money yet." Grrr contract said paid in full upon completion.. Well I wanted to be paid not chase a check around.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
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    She left

    you a check so I would think she's good for it maybe give her a few days and you will get paid. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • Darrell
    Darrell Member Posts: 303
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    Another trick I did once I'm not quite so proud of...but it really worked. I called his employer, who happens to be a real big community minded guy. Now, ya gotta be careful ya don't libel somebody. I just asked, in a most concerned tone, if the employer knew of any personal reason that so-and-so couldn't pay the serviceman. Of course, the employer didn't know of any such reason and pretty much told me I was barking at the wrong tree...which I expected. The employer leaned on so-and-so big time and told him exactly where the chicken crosses the road so to speak. I had cash by dinner time, but so-and-so is still really mad ten years later and isn't much of a postive advertiser for me.

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  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    You're lucky

    I believe that's illegal here in NY. Although asking if the person is still employed there is not :)
  • Ericjeeper
    Ericjeeper Member Posts: 179
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    Her check cleared today

    Thanks for listening.
  • Dave L_6
    Dave L_6 Member Posts: 1
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    Getting paid !

    I had a who cut My hair for over 10 years go partners with another beauty shop in our village. His part of the deal was to pay for the renovation of the shop and He got 1/2 the business.Well the payments were never on time or the proper amount from the start.My Man was to leave me $ before I went to Block Island for a week,needless to say no $.When I got back I went to the shop, shut off his water at the curb box in the street and filled it with sand. First thing the next AM I called the Water Co and asked if they got a call from that address, the girl said no and I told her I shut the water for non payment. She was amused however had to send a service guy by 3:00 if they called. I told her not to worry I would have my $ long before 3:00. Not 2 mins later I got a call from my man complaining they had a problem with the water and i said I have a problem with getting paid.I drove over to the shop and the receptionist was walking from the corner store with a arm full of bottled water to wash hair with and my man was nowhere to be found. The other partner was standing in front of the store with a check and a pen and asked how much i was owed. He gave me the check, I went to his bank and cashed the check. Upon returning to the shop I got out my shop-vac, sucked out all the sand and turned on the water.The partner had no idea that my man was not paying me. He asked when I shut the water, and I told him the night before when I got home from vacation. He patted me on the back and said nice Fuc*&#G move kid I would of done the same thing !!

    Moral of the story: Don't "F" the oil guy in the winter or the plumber if you need water for your business !!
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