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#174972 - 02/18/08 04:26 PM small claims court
WireNuts29 Offline
Member

Registered: 07/24/07
Posts: 85
Loc: Mass, U.S.A.
At what point is small claims worth the time involved. I have one jerk who flat out refuses to pay a $650.00 bill. He said 300 was the most he'd pay. The main problem I'm having is I did this work for a friend of a friend, who I thought I should trust. WRONG, won't ever do that again. So now I'm out the money for stock, and the $200 I paid my help. The flip side is if I take it to court Now I'm out a days pay, about 1/2 the debt.....can't win here. I do have access to part of the work I did. the Satelite dish and co-ax are outside. However I'm thinking if i cut the wires, now I'm vandelizing...even though I have not been paid.... I guess i need to get everything in writing, and a deposit...should have known. Butwhat should I do now?

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Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:
#174975 - 02/18/08 05:01 PM Re: small claims court [Re: WireNuts29]
leland Offline
Member

Registered: 08/20/07
Posts: 856
Loc: Lowell area, Ma. USA
Vandelizing, Damn straight, don't go there!! He owns all the stuff now.

Small claims, very time consumming.

If you can eat the time and all, go to the court (cambridge I think) or another and file a contractors lean. When he needs to sell or refi. it will lock up all deals.

or we could... oh never mind that.

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#174976 - 02/18/08 05:18 PM Re: small claims court [Re: leland]
JoeyD Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/08
Posts: 21
Loc: Arlington MA
Does he go to the grocery store and say I will only pay x amount for this food, no way. Take him to court and make him pay. Teach him a lesson and remind yourself of how easy it is for us to get screwed and why we demand signed quotes and deposits. Good luck

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#174977 - 02/18/08 05:27 PM Re: small claims court [Re: leland]
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5299
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Sure, sometimes it's a matter of efficiency: is your time worth more working, or standing in line at the courthouse?

Other times, it's far more than that at stake. This snake never, ever, had the slightest intention of paying you. That changes things.
First ... friend of a friend? Make sure they know what a creep this guy is. Heck, bring them along, and have the guy re-state his position in their presence!

Second ... ask the court for monies beyond what is on the invoice. Charge for time spent trying to collect, and make a log of your efforts and his responses. You want to show the judge that this guy has never intended to pay the bill.

Third, lien him.

Fourth, see about assigning the debt to a collection agency. If nothing else, they'll make sure the judgment appears on his credit reports.

Here's what we're dealing with: There are certain folks who fancy themselves to be predators. They deliberately seek out 'side workers' so they can jerk them around. They also assume that you will not be willing to invest in exercising your legal options. To them, it's all a game.
I've run into this sort a few times; it's amazing how they settle as soon as papers are filed .... the worst case had payment waiting on the courthouse steps!

The best cure is prevention. When that fails, the your contract, and other documentation - as well as having all necessary permits and licenses - come into play. Finally, knowing how the system works - and making sure it does work when needed - makes all the difference.

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#174981 - 02/18/08 07:02 PM Re: small claims court [Re: renosteinke]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
First mistake was no signed contract or down payment, All the satellite companies, want full payment up front, on a credit card, before they come to install, if a big company wants payment up front, why would you work without payment?

In my state as a corporation we need to have an attorney take the case to court, so we need to pay attorney fees, and we can't lean in our state without filing an intent to lean first before starting the job. Check with your state laws.

Collection agent is fine, as long as you have a signed contract, collectiom agency will get the most back, but you do need the signed contract for them to proceed.

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#174998 - 02/19/08 07:59 AM Re: small claims court [Re: LK]
Gregtaylor Offline
Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 212
Loc: Boise, Idaho, USA
I know everyone who reads this reply will roll their eyes and groan as it's off topic. The word is 'lien' not 'lean'. If you want someone 'leaned' on you need an enforcer, not a lawyer.

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#175000 - 02/19/08 08:10 AM Re: small claims court [Re: Gregtaylor]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Gregtaylor
I know everyone who reads this reply will roll their eyes and groan as it's off topic. The word is 'lien' not 'lean'. If you want someone 'leaned' on you need an enforcer, not a lawyer.


I pray that is the only word I missed.

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#175001 - 02/19/08 08:16 AM Re: small claims court [Re: Gregtaylor]
sparkyinak Offline
Member

Registered: 07/08/07
Posts: 1286
Loc: Alaska
My cousin Vinny has a "friend" with no neck who leans on people for a living. You can find him through the local garbage collecing company. Just contact their waste management engineer. He is hard to get a hold of though. He rarely works out of his office. That is dedication to the job. ;\)
_________________________
"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

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#175017 - 02/19/08 02:52 PM Re: small claims court [Re: sparkyinak]
Tiger Offline
Member

Registered: 05/04/05
Posts: 714
Loc: Crystal Lake, IL USA
Don't even think about removing any of your work. You could be arrested for vandalism, theft,or trespass. It's hard to say how this will turn out without a contract. The key to service work is contracting. There's a saying that goes something like "The value of service diminishes rapidly after completion".

Was this a T&M job with the shocking invoice at the end?

Dave

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#175018 - 02/19/08 03:59 PM Re: small claims court [Re: Tiger]
LK Offline

Member

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 1721
Loc: New Jersey
 Originally Posted By: Tiger
Don't even think about removing any of your work. You could be arrested for vandalism, theft,or trespass. It's hard to say how this will turn out without a contract. The key to service work is contracting. There's a saying that goes something like "The value of service diminishes rapidly after completion".

Was this a T&M job with the shocking invoice at the end?

Dave


I was thinking the same, hard to say, how this will play out, without a contract.

We just hope he thinks about this, on the future jobs.


Edited by LK (02/19/08 04:00 PM)

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