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Old 11-09-2004, 07:26 AM
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angry Slow Pay or No Pay...

I have began taking on more construction projects lately and have found that some people dont want to pay, or drag you out.
Is there a way to collect from such "SLUGS" without hiring a lawyer? Can I remove what has been installed? Has anyone been in this position?
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:46 AM
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Hey joe,
Nice to see you again LOL.

Do you charge interest after 30 days ? If you put that in your contract you are allowed to collect up to what the State allows. Most times just the hreat of that gets some folks moving. Otherwise the only alt. I know is small claims, or claims in larger cases, and collection agencies. Couldn't tell you a thing about coll. agents, never used them.

As far as taking back your install, that will land you in jail. Hot shower, free meals, good conversation, but a real time killer. Once its in you have to use the legal system. Though roundup is a tremendous satisfaction giver.

Scott
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Old 11-09-2004, 12:38 PM
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Hey Scott...Thanks for the info. Sounds like you may have had to "Salt a few Slugs" yourself. I will keep in mind the "Interest Agreement" in my future contracts.Thanks Again..
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Old 11-09-2004, 01:42 PM
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A letter from a lawyer is not a rediculous expense and a lien on the property or the threat of one will make things happen in a hurry. That is much more effective with a clear contract.
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Old 11-09-2004, 05:42 PM
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Place a lien on the property.....Threaten pisses them off but solves the problem for about 95%...the other 5% will try to call your bluff and force the lien process into motion.

I had someone file Bankruptcy (debt re-organization type) a couple of years back. We had a lien on the property... For about the past year I have been receiving a monthly check in the amount of $112 plus interest....I believe we have about 24 months remaining. The lein secured it.
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Old 11-09-2004, 09:26 PM
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Our contracts are designed so that we get 25% down and 50% the first day on the job. Almost all residential, though. And then 18% past 15 days. This probably doesn't work for commercial work, but it works beautifully for us.

Last edited by spiderlily; 11-09-2004 at 09:30 PM..
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Old 11-09-2004, 10:30 PM
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Agree with Spiderlily... Yet we go with 50% down on most jobs.
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Old 11-10-2004, 08:25 AM
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We have all been in this position before, and most likely will be again.

There are some excellent ideas here about how to collect money, I like the lien idea and pray I will never have to use it.

However, not working for slugs is the easiest way to avoid the problem. Look for red flags of bad customers from past experiences when you are interviewing them. It is better to have no work than to have no work and a supplier chasing you for a bill because a slug didn't pay you.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:49 PM
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It occurs to me that no one has mentioned the obvious first steps; maybe we all assume that you've already taken them, but just in case:
1. Good, firm, clear,easy to read contracts that include a payment schedule, lien information, and interest rate.

2. Timely billing. I find bills are paid quickly when I invoice quickly. When the job is first finished, everybody is happy and they remember how hard you worked, etc. If a week or two goes by, it seems to take longer for the check to come in.

3. Contracts should read that final payment is due upon invoice, not due upon completion so that client can't wrangle about what "completed" means.

3. As mentioned, a note on the invoice that says when it is due, and the rate thereafter. Example: Due May 1st. Terms, 18% past 15 days.

4. 15 days past the due date, make a courtesy call. Usually I don't even have to ask...I just identify myself and then they say they were just putting a check in the mail...so I say something like "That's great. Then I won't have to charge you interest! I was just calling to make sure things are going well and to remind you to water the hydrangeas"...or something like that.

5. Written and telephone reminders every 15 days. Then comes the lien or whatever recourse you want to take.

BUT JWHolden is right. Buttheads will be buttheads. Avoid 'em if you can!
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:11 AM
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I agree with Spiderlily.

Make it all clear from the beginning.

But that doesn't help you now, right?

Get all your numbers, invoices and what not in order and simply call and make an appointment to get the check. If they give you the run around then you can always show up in their driveway when they come home from work.
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Old 11-11-2004, 09:30 PM
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I try to be carefull whom I do business with. Sometimes even the good ones can go bad...I guess you never know...I will say this, I must have jinxed myself...A customer I supplied some products with over a year ago has still not paid ...He must be a "Smoker" cause hes been Blowin smoke up my *** promising to pay for months now...I just recievd my report showing deduction of his invoice amount from my paycheck...Has anyone suffered from this where it ended up costing a huge amount instead of making a few bucks? How about you, Bill Schwabb? It happened to you right? How did you feel about it?Did any of your vendors need to suffer because of your Slug Customer?
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Old 11-14-2004, 06:57 PM
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You can put a Mechanics Lien on the property after I believe 45 days here in Ohio. Its inexpensive and gets their attention. I have never had to do it yet. This notice is sent then to our Builders Assc. who then puts in their monthly newsletter listing who has had to file these liens and against whom. A great tool I use on who to stay away from. I always get (unless I know them personally)50% down with remaining due at completetion. I am going to change that to what Spiderlily suggested to: upon reciept of invoice. In Cleveland they a Prefered Contractors List. I would like to see a NOT prefered clients list of unreasonable, slow or non paying people in the county to stay away from ....unfortunately we would probably get sued for doing something like that. For now it is kind of word of mouth between contractors.
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